Hunger Moon (The Huntress/FBI Thrillers #5) by @AlexSokoloff #Audiobook #Thriller #FridayReads

Author: Alexandra Sokoloff

Performed by R.C. Bray

Released: October 2017 by Brilliance Audio

Category: Crime, Mystery, Thriller, Book Review, Audiobook, Books, Reading

Revenge has no limits.

Special Agent Matthew Roarke has abandoned his rogue search for serial killer Cara Lindstrom. He’s returned to the FBI to head a task force with one mission: to rid society of its worst predators. But as the skeletal symbols of Santa Muerte, “Lady Death,” mysteriously appear at universities nationwide, threatening death to rapists, Roarke’s team is pressured to investigate. When a frat boy goes missing in Santa Barbara, Roarke realizes a bloodbath is coming—desperate teenagers are about to mete out personal, cold-blooded justice.

Book five in the Huntress series sees Matthew Roarke returning to the FBI, despite his intention never to go back to the Bureau after he followed in the teenage Cara’s footsteps, her group home and high school, discovering what she endured, and in the process solved a sixteen year old cold case. This has given him something of a dilemma. His feelings towards Cara had changed.

Now Roarke is to head a task force specifically targeting the sexual abuse and trafficking of children. Working closely with Singh and Epps, they follow cyber trails into the darkest reaches of the internet and learn that someone is offering a bounty for the capture and delivery of Cara.

Meanwhile, after she jumped bail, Cara headed into Mexico where she is living in a small wooden house at the bottom of a canyon in Navajo territory where she patrols the rim of the canyon, her quest to eliminate the evil that is It undaunted. In the preceding books Cara was on the FBI wanted list because of her methods of seeking revenge against sexual predators. But now the general population of women are aware of Cara’s motives and have taken a stand.

The story has two main threads: the hunt for Cara and the disappearances of frat boys who are known rapists. Teenage girls cannot rely on the justice system, as Cara knows only too well, and take matters into their own hands, spurred on by the online organisation known as Bitch and Cara’s notoriety.

Like the Internet hactivist group Anonymous, the feminist organization Bitch was a philosophy more than an actual structure. “Affiliation” was probably a better word for it. It was an underground, off-the-grid operation that claimed to have no headquarters, no corporate location. There was no telling if there were forty members, or four hundred, or four thousand. Anyone who wanted to could use the name Bitch to claim credit for a certain kind of action. In Bitch’s case, that action was exposing sex criminals. 

Last month, when the pairs of pimps and johns started turning up dead on infamous prostitute strolls in the city, no one had used Bitch’s name to claim credit for those murders. But the crime scenes were linked by the shrines and offerings to Santa Muerte, and Bitch had adopted the symbols of the saint when they were staging protests against the incarceration of Cara Lindstrom. 

This is a series that really should be read in sequence, in order to form your own opinions with all the relevant background and details. It’s obvious Cara is a killer and, although her underlying rage is understandable from the female perspective, her actions are controversial at the very least, yet the question remains, is she inherently evil? A blend of fact and fiction slams the impact home. The story covers many dark aspects, including more than one type of abuse and corruption, with a combination of mysticism and supernatural adding to the overall reading experience.

The reviews seem to be split down the middle, most negative ones centre around the opinion that this book is being used as a political platform, the positive from people who enjoy the series for what it is. For me, everything in this book fits in with the continuing story and is applicable in the present climate. I’m not going to comment on the choice of the American people, I’m just reviewing the book. Nevertheless, the attitude coming to the fore of a seemingly growing number of individuals and the resulting violence towards women and girls without much hope of redress, although not a new phenomenon, surely needs to be confronted and dealt with.

A challenging read given the subject matter, but extremely well written with much food for thought. Still one of my favourite series, with a great narration by R.C. Bray.

Taken from the author’s Afterword:

‘My plea from previous books remains the same. I have not in any way exaggerated the horrific and unacceptable national rape kit backlog, the bureaucratic failure of the Violent Criminal Apprehension Program, the criminal mishandling of rape complaints on college (and high school) campuses, and the inadequacy of resources to prosecute traffickers of children and teens.’

Book links ~ Amazon UK | Amazon US

*****

ALEXANDRA SOKOLOFF is the Thriller Award-winning and Bram Stoker, Anthony, and Black Quill Award-nominated author of the Amazon bestselling Huntress/FBI series (HUNTRESS MOON, BLOOD MOON, COLD MOON, BITTER MOON, HUNGER MOON – now in active development as a TV series), and the supernatural HAUNTED thrillers (THE HARROWING, THE PRICE, THE UNSEEN, BOOK OF SHADOWS, THE SHIFTERS, THE SPACE BETWEEN). The New York Times Book Review called her a “daughter of Mary Shelley,” and her books “Some of the most original and freshly unnerving work in the genre.”

As a screenwriter she has sold original horror and thriller scripts and adapted novels for numerous Hollywood studios. She has also written three non-fiction workbooks: SCREENWRITING TRICKS FOR AUTHORS, STEALING HOLLYWOOD, and WRITING LOVE, based on her internationally acclaimed workshops and blog (www.ScreenwritingTricks.com), and has served on the Board of Directors of the WGA West and the Board of the Mystery Writers of America.

Alex is a California native and a graduate of U.C. Berkeley, where she majored in theater and minored in everything Berkeley has a reputation for. In her spare time (!) she performs with The Slice Girls and Heather Graham’s all-author Slush Pile Players, and dances like a fiend. She is also very active on Facebook, Twitter, and Pinterest. But not an addict. Seriously, it’s under control.

Author links ~  Twitter | Goodreads | Website | Facebook 

Favourite Opening Lines 2017 #Books #AmReading #SundayBlogShare

In no particular order, these are some of the opening lines from books I’ve read over the last twelve months that drew me in.

That Bright Land ~ Terry Roberts

In the summer of 1886 I went down South to find and kill a man. It’s not what I would have chosen, and when I first arrived in the territory, I didn’t want to admit that’s what I was about. Nevertheless, I was well suited to the task – by my past and the shadows it cast in my soul.

My review is here. Book links ~ Amazon UK | US

High Force ~ LJ Ross

As soon as she awakened, MacKenzie knew he meant to kill her. There was no confused, fumbling recollection of what had happened. On the contrary, she remembered everything with horrifying clarity.

My review is here. Book links ~ Amazon UK US Continue reading

Top Reads of 2016 #Books #AmReading #TuesdayBookBlog

It’s that time again! This year has gone so quickly and it’s been filled with really great reads. Narrowing down favourites is a difficult task but here they are. As always, they’ll be either 4.5* or 5* and clicking on the cover will take you to Amazon UK. 

28111823Dead Is Dead ~ Thriller

Private investigator Jack Bertolino, previously an inspector with the NYPD, is employed as technical advisor, consulting on a movie being made of his last case. His job includes protection for the female star, who is being targeted by a disturbed, out of control stalker. Susan Blake is beautiful, haunted by a past that she can’t lay to rest.

During filming there’s an actual shooting several blocks away, which results in the accidental and tragic death of little Maria Sanchez and also that of known drug dealer, Tomas Vegas. Cruz Feinberg, the technical wizard in Jack’s company, knows the Sanchez family and asks Jack to make some enquiries. As Jack’s investigation progresses the Dirk brothers’ names pop up too often for Jack’s liking and his ingrained cop’s instinct is on high alert.  Continue reading

Bitter Moon (The Huntress/FBI Thrillers #4) by @AlexSokoloff #TuesdayBookBlog #Audiobook

  • 30281100Author: Alexandra Sokoloff
  • Performed by R.C. Bray
  • Published: Brilliance Audio and released November 2016
  • Category: Crime, Thriller, Suspense
  • five-stars

FBI agent Matthew Roarke has been on leave, and in seclusion, since the capture of mass killer Cara Lindstrom—the victim turned avenger who preys on predators. Torn between devotion to the law and a powerful attraction to Cara and her lethal brand of justice, Roarke has retreated from both to search his soul.

This is one of my all time favourite series. Totally compelling. Initially, it was Roarke, his reaction to Cara’s terrible story when he was just a boy himself, and the impact it had on his life that intrigued me. And Cara, a protagonist with such a tragic young life, turned vigilante. As the story and the series progressed the characters developed and became ever more complex, so it was impossible not to become involved and care about them.  Continue reading

#FridayBookShare ~ Bitter Moon (The Huntress/FBI Thrillers #4) by @AlexSokoloff #Crime #Thriller @ShelleyWilson72

#FridayBookShare ~ an excellent idea created by Shelley Wilson

With the weekend approaching it’s the perfect time to seek out new books to read, so Shelley created a Friday Book Share meme to help search for that ideal read.

FridayBookShare

Anyone can join in. Just answer the following F.R.I.D.A.Y. questions based on the book you’re either currently reading (or listening to, in my case) or have just finished reading. Use the hashtag #FridayBookShare and remember to tag Shelley (@ShelleyWilson72)  Continue reading

More Favourite Opening Lines 2016 #Books #amreading #SundayBlogShare

It’s all on twelve months since I first wrote about my favourite opening lines, so I reckon I’ve read enough books to warrant another selection. So in no particular order, here they are. Clicking on the book title will take you to my review if you’d like more info.

The Snow Child by Eowyn Ivey

15932273Mabel had known there would be silence. That was the point, after all. No infants cooing or wailing. No neighbour children playfully hollering down the lane. No pad of small feet on wooden stairs worn smooth by generations, or clackety-clack of toys along the kitchen floor. All those sounds of her failure and regret would be left behind, and in their place there would be silence.

Lowcountry Punch by Boo Walker

21863524The Miami I knew wasn’t all G-strings and mojitos. We were undercover, working our way up the stairs of a parking garage in the Latin Quarter, minutes from a cocaine exchange, with no backup. We’d been trying to get to whoever was up there for two weeks and needed to make arrests. I’d be damned if we were going to let them walk away just because there hadn’t been a chance to call it in. Continue reading

Cold Moon ~ The Huntress/FBI Thrillers #3

Audiobook Review

  • ColdMoonAuthor: Alexandra Sokoloff
  • Performed by RC Bray
  • Published: July 2015 by Brilliance Audio
  • Category: Crime, Thriller, Suspense
  • five-stars

The hunt for mass murderer Cara Lindstrom is over. FBI Special Agent Matthew Roarke has been working for this moment: the capture of a killer who savagely hunts the worst of humanity. But Roarke remains traumatized by his own near-death at the hands of the serial killer who slaughtered Cara’s family…and haunted by the enigmatic woman who saved his life.

Then the sixteen-year-old prostitute who witnessed Cara’s most recent murder goes missing, and suddenly pimps are turning up dead on the streets of San Francisco, killed with an MO eerily similar to Cara’s handiwork.

Continuing the story of Cara Lindstrom, the sole survivor at five years old of her family’s horrific massacre by a serial killer, and FBI Assistant Special Agent in Charge, Matthew Roarke, whose career in law enforcement is a direct result of Cara’s tragic past. Continue reading

Blood Moon ~ The Huntress/FBI Thrillers #2

AudiobookReview

  • BloodMoonAuthor: Alexandra Sokoloff
  • Performed by RC Bray
  • Published: February 2015 by Brilliance Audio
  • Category: Crime/Thriller/Suspense, Psychological
  • five-stars

Twenty-five years have passed since a savage killer terrorized California, massacring three ordinary families before disappearing without a trace.
The haunted child who was the only surviving victim of his rampage is now wanted by the FBI for brutal crimes of her own, and Special Agent Matthew Roarke is on an interstate manhunt for her, despite his conflicted sympathies for her history and motives.
But when his search for her unearths evidence of new family slayings, the dangerous woman Roarke seeks – and wants – may be his only hope of preventing another bloodbath.

Blood Moon continues the story of Cara Lindstrom and FBI Special Agent Matthew Roarke which began in Huntress Moon. Roarke, Epps and a team of agents are in the process of completing a bust on the sex trafficking ring that Cara had led them to. Cara, the only survivor from the short but bloody reign of terror twenty-five years earlier, carried out by the serial killer known as the Reaper, dispenses her own brand of justice to those men who prey on women and children. Roarke’s team is assembled and ready, Damien Epps, Antara Singh and new agent Ryan Jones. Cara managed to escape at the close of Huntress Moon and is still at large, the team’s main focus now is to find and apprehend her.

Cara  Lindstrom was a killer, the most unusual one Roarke had ever encountered. She hunted and killed, brutally and specifically. But psychologically she was more of a vigilante, her victims hand-picked for their crimes against women and especially children: child molesters, sex traffickers, and in one case, a homegrown terrorist who had been plotting to bomb a Portland street fair.

Roarke’s plan to lure Cara out of hiding doesn’t go according to plan when it appears the Reaper is back and killing once more. He likes to kill during the full moon. The team have less than two weeks until the next full moon.

This is a brilliant continuation of the story and it also allows a deeper insight into the developing complex and compelling characters. Roarke’s feelings towards Cara are very confused, part of him feels a connection to her because of the circumstances of the slaughter of her family and the fact the Lindstrom murder case set him on his career path. And although he can kind of understand, if not agree with, her actions he’s drawn to her, which causes tension between him and Epps and puts  a strain on their relationship. Roarke is very intuitive which gives rise to a vulnerability in his nature. For me, this trait adds realism to a character’s personality.

Cara, who was broken and traumatized at such a young age and then went through the added emotional shock of being sucked into the system.  Bounced between foster and group homes and juvenile prison until she reached twenty-one when she disappeared from public records. And now she faces her worst nightmare again.

The characters have authenticity and it’s easy to get involved and care about them – or loathe them, as the case may be. The murder scenes are heartbreaking, the great writing style creates a dark atmosphere of tense anticipation and suspense, with vivid scenic descriptions, throughout a well paced and interesting storyline. So glad there’s not too long a wait for book three. And I know when RC Bray is narrating, the performance will be first class and the perfect complement to the storyline.

Book links ~ Amazon UK Amazon US

Author links ~ TwitterFacebook, Website