Sunday, April 28, 2013

Book Review of Red Rose Reaper

Book Review of Red Rose Reaper
        Sponsored by Enchanted Book Tours

Welcome to Books, Books, and More Books.  I am pleased to share my review of this book with you.  Thank you for visiting and please come again.

Title: The Rose Red Reaper
Author: Kristi Loucks
Genre: Romantic Suspense/Thriller

Blurb : 

Lt. Commander Mason Cole never intended to follow his brother into law enforcement, but the murder of a loved one gave him the motivation needed to take a position as the head of Chicago’s Serial Crimes Unit. Along with his brother, Detective Devon Cole, former FBI Profiler and Technical Analyst Melinda Kade and Detective Piper Torello, Mason is tasked with finding some of the cities most prolific serial killers.

As a former Navy SEAL, Mason has seen some of the worst the world has to offer, but nothing could have prepared him for his initiation into the world of a serial killer.

Their first case came with a gruesome introduction from a man who has given himself his own press ready moniker. Known for his macabre signature and the white rose he leaves at the scene with a calling card signed in blood,


Mason and his team will pursue the killer through the vast streets of Chicago, across the affluent suburbs of the North Shore following cryptic clues left at each crime scene and pointing them to a web of violence dating back to The Reaper’s own childhood.

Complications begin to arise when The Reaper makes a connection to the woman that Mason loves. Dakota Rose Shelton. The stunning, raven-haired beauty that has carefully salvaged Mason’s broken heart may also be the key to ending The Reaper’s bloody reign. Left blind by a childhood illness, she must help them to assemble the pieces of the Reaper’s past with no visual memories to aid her.

Can Dakota help the team put the pieces together before The Reaper targets one of there own? And will she be able to fight off a killer that she cannot see?

About the Author:

                Kristi Loucks is a Pastry Chef and Cake Designer with a degree from Le Cordon Bleu Chicago.  Her writing and storytelling has always been a way to manage the day to day stresses of working in the world of restaurants and food service.  Kristi started writing in High School and has continued to share her work with friends over the years. 
                While she never planned to pursue writing as a profession, but a supportive friend armed with a copy of her debut novel, A Life Interrupted happened to share it with the right person who urged Ms. Loucks to consider publishing her work.
                On March 4, 2013, Kristi released the first book in her new Chicago Serial Crimes Series, The Rose Red Reaper.  It’s follow up, The Blue Line Bone Collector is expected to arrive this summer.  Currently, she is planning for a four book series.
                Kristi splits her time between two creative worlds these days.  Working at her Suburban Bakery during the day and writing at night, or on her somewhat infrequent days off.



As they made their way into the building, Devon stopped to talk to the first officer on the scene. Mason sprinted up the stairs to see what kind of shape the victim was in and to see if he could get any kind of statement from her.

He pushed through the front door, only to find there was not one victim, but two. A male was positioned straight ahead and on the floor in front of him was a void in the shape of a small crouching person. However, drag marks indicated that the woman had pulled herself across the carpet into another part of the home where she had called 911.

Two victims at once in broad daylight and leaving a survivor weren’t the only things that were different with this crime scene. The male was in a sitting position with his back against a beam, his legs secured with zip ties and a pair of scalpels embedded in his hands extended above his head; his eyelids had been taped back so aggressively that you could see the space between his eyes and the orbital bone. And his carotid and brachial arteries had both been severed. This time, no tourniquets had been applied prior to making the incisions. His mouth had also been taped shut and based on the protrusion of his throat, the calling card was undoubtedly entombed with his last dying breath. There was an additional spray pattern on the victim as well as the floor surrounding him and three shallow knife wounds surrounded by substantial amounts of blood, more than he was likely to lose for wounds that shallow.

Mason went further into the home, following the trail of blood in search of the survivor, praying that she would be able to fill in the gaps before they transported her to the hospital. As he approached the kitchen, he saw one of the EMT’s coming out of the room.

“How is she?” Mason asked.

The EMT just shook his head and pointed him into the kitchen. When he got there, he saw the woman lying on the floor. Her breaths were shallow and raspy as she tried and failed to pull oxygen into her lungs. There was no precision to her injuries, and she was alive, both indicating that she was either the person he blamed for whatever wrong was committed against him, or that she wasn’t a part of the plan and he’d been forced to improvise when she interrupted. Her arms were covered in defensive wounds and there were four ever-expanding spirals of blood soaking her t-shirt from what appeared to be knife wounds.

Book Two Teaser:

Excerpt from Book Two of the Chicago Serial Crimes Series, The Blue Line Bone Collector

It had been unseasonably warm for early February in Chicago, but at two o’clock in the morning, the streets were still relatively quiet in Logan Square. Having lived in the city most of her life, Molly Shaw was no stranger to public transportation and she was always aware of what was happening around her.

She had just moved through the turnstile at the “El” station and she was headed towards the steps to the platform, when she noticed a tall thin man lurking in the shadows at the top of the landing. Her instincts put her on edge as she tried to get a read on him before ultimately turning back towards the street behind her. She could feel the rumble of the “El” as it coasted into the station above them, and she prayed that the man would be lured towards the train.

As she made it back to the turnstiles, she chanced a look back in the direction of the stairs. When she didn’t see the man, she breathed a sigh of relief while she berated herself for her evident paranoia. Her relief was short lived. When she turned back toward the exit, Molly caught a glimpse of the man as he reached out from her right side.

She gasped as she saw the glint of a steel blade and tried to scream as his hand clamped over her mouth, just before the blade tore through her skin.

“Such lovely bone structure,” he whispered, staring at the blood that coated her skin and running his thumb over the bones of her wrist.

Molly was fixated on the blood that ran in thin rivulets across the veins protruding from the back on her hand. That was when she noticed the markings that covered the hand of the man who held her captive.

Though she was spared further contemplation of those markings when pain shot through her system. Molly cried out behind his hand, which reeked of bleach and cigarettes, as she heard the sickening crackle and pop of bone and ligaments when he savagely wrenched her arm back at an awkward angle. In an instant, her survival instincts kicked into high gear, briefly drowning out the pain.

She fought hard as he pulled her back towards the shadows from which he’d emerged, slamming her forehead against the rail as she struggled against him. She could feel the warmth of her blood as it ran down her temple. She frantically dug through her bag, which hung to her left side, looking for anything that would give her a moment’s advantage.

Her fingers finally gripped her salvation, a tiny bottle of pepper spray that Devon had given her a few weeks back. She’d thought it was ridiculous at the time, but if she got out of this, she was certain she would kiss him for his part in her escape.

She quickly slammed her eyes shut as she sent a burst of the pepper spray over her right shoulder in the direction of her attacker, feeling the burn against her own skin as well.

The moment she felt his fingers open slightly, she bit down as hard as she could on the hand covering her mouth and flung her head back towards his face. He fell backwards as her skull connected with his and she quickly flung herself towards the turnstiles and out towards the street in the hopes that a car or a taxi might stop for her. Her only hope was that the man wouldn’t pursue her with witnesses.


I was excited about this book that I actually had my Kindle read it to me while I cleaned house because I didn’t want to wait to find out what happened  (and the kindle voice is pretty bad and mispronounces words all over the place).  I was hooked and hanging on every word before the first chapter ended.  Now I can’t wait for the next one.  In fact the blurb has me on tender hooks.  Not sure I can wait very long…. So if the author is reading this…I’m up to review the next one, or beta read, or whatever as long as I get to read it soon.  I’m very worried about Molly.

Okay, this is a definite buy for everyone… especially if you like mysteries.  The heroine was a kick as she was totally not what you would expect and yet totally just what was needed. And no I’m not telling you why but I loved that she was differently-abled.

I give this book 4.5 out of 5 clouds and plan to re-read it soon…… while I waste away waiting for book 2 (hint, hint)

This product or book may have been distributed for review; this in no way affects my opinions or reviews.

1 comment:

  1. Hi Mindy!
    Thank you so much for hosting a stop and especially taking the time to read and review! I sent you a msg on twitter, too :) I meant to reply on the day of, but I was away from home and couldn't log-in.