- Author: Sue Coletta
- Published: November 2015 by Tirgearr Publishing
- Category: Crime, Thriller
Will Sage heal from the gut-wrenching impact of surviving a serial killer and save her twin sister in time?
When a serial killer breaks into the home of bestselling author, Sage Quintano, she barely escapes with her life. Her husband, Niko, a homicide detective, insists they move to rural New Hampshire, where he accepts a position as Grafton County Sheriff. Sage buries secrets from that night, secrets she swears to take to her deathbed.
Three years of anguish and painful memories pass, and a grisly murder case lands on Niko’s desk. A strange caller torments Sage–she can’t outrun the past.
Three years ago Sage and Niko Quintano’s lives were changed irrevocably after a horrific and brutal attack on Sage by a serial killer who also injured Niko. They left Boston where Niko was a homicide detective and relocated to a small New Hampshire town. Niko is now the Sheriff of Grafton County and he and Sage live under the radar, their location a closely guarded secret. Or so they believe.
Niko and Sage are both still suffering emotionally as well as physically from the trauma. Sage is keeping her deepest feelings buried, finding it impossible to talk about certain details of the attack. She feels a victim’s unjustified shame for not fighting her attacker, trying to save her unborn baby. Niko also fails to disclose his feelings and as a result Sage and Niko’s marriage is not what it once was, leaving Sage feeling vulnerable and easily hurt. When Niko and his deputy, Frankie Capanelli, land a homicide case with haunting similarities to the Boston serial killer coupled with Sage’s sister going missing, it seems Sage’s past is returning to torment her, and once again she is in mortal danger.
Third ring. I rushed over. “I told you he’s not home. What do you want? Why are you calling back?”
“Do you want to live forever?”
A cold sweat broke across my back. “What’d you say?” This cannot be happening. Not again Unless…evil followed us here.
“Do you want to live forever?”
He found me. How? We were so careful. Niko and I hadn’t left a forwarding address. Our phone number wasn’t listed in the book. Neighbors asked where we were moving, and we refused to disclose any details. If questioned I said north and left it at that. We escaped clean and faded into obscurity. Yet, he called.
There’s no doubting the amount of research that’s gone into this story. The vivid, disturbing and grisly descriptions of crime scenes and the forensic details are chillingly detailed. A well structured, dark and suspenseful plot, which makes it easy to get caught up in the narrative and be drawn to Sage. She’s been through some of the worst things that could happen to a woman and now there’s no end in sight.
I enjoyed Frankie’s unconventionality and personality, a gruff exterior with a soft(ish) centre which she likes to keep well hidden. The writing and plot kept a good pace with unexpected twists, the main characters well drawn. The story is told in the first person from Sage’s perspective with the rest in the third person.
Personally I found some of the narrative/dialogue a little choppy, the flow could have been smoother in places, but that said, Marred is a really good debut.
This book is reviewed for Rosie Amber‘s book review team and is based on a digital copy from the author. This does not affect my opinion or the content of my review
About the author
Proud member of Mystery Writers of America and Sisters in Crime, Sue Coletta is always looking for new ways to commit murder…on the page, or so she says. A four-thousand-word excerpt of Marred, her psychological thriller, scored first placement in Murder, USA, an upcoming anthology.
She runs a popular crime website and blog, where she shares crime tips, police jargon, and anything and everything in between. If you search her achieves, you’ll find posts from guests that work in law enforcement, forensics, coroner, undercover operatives, firearm experts — crime, crime, and more crime. If you’re a writer with murder in your plot, pick up a free copy of 60 Ways To Murder Your Fictional Characters.
For readers, she has the Crime Lover’s Lounge, where subscribers will be the first to know about free giveaways, contests, and have inside access to deleted scenes. As an added bonus, members will get to play in the lounge. Your secret code will unlock the virtual door. Inside, like-minded folks can discuss their favorite crime novels, solve mindbender puzzles, and/or relax and chat. Most importantly, have fun.
Sue’s two biggest passion are crime and animals, and never the two should mix. Surrounded by furry friends, she’s in her glory. On her bucket list is a trip to Australia to play with quokkas, the happiest animals in the world, with absolutely adorable faces. She’d also love to take a safari in Africa, roam Paris and Italy, and ride the high seas — code for a cruise to an exotic locale.