Thursday, July 17, 2014

Heather James's Hands of Darkness ~ Reviewed

Hands Of Darkness
By Heather James
272 Pages
Release Date Feb 1, 2014
Series Lure Of The Serpent
Series Number 2
ISBN 0825442923


When the terror becomes personal, the hunt becomes more urgent

Evelyn Barrett has a new job, a new baby, and a new life--of sorts. Nearly crushed by the horrific abduction and murder of her daughter (book 1, Unholy Hunger), Evelyn is moving on as best she can.

No longer allowed to practice law, she is recruited by one of the detectives from her daughter's case to become a police consultant. Her inaugural case becomes a baptism by fire as she joins the hunt for a chillingly methodical and sadistic serial rapist and murderer.

Her revulsion and anger fuels a passion for justice . . . and then it becomes personal. Her friend and law school 
roommate, Jen, becomes a victim. The rapist has made a catastrophic mistake with Jen: he has left her alive and able to talk.

Filled with the chilling tension of Unholy Hunger, Hands of Darkness explores the emotional and spiritual consequences for all involved when justice and compassion collide head-on with the darkest examples of human depravity.


This is the second book in this series, and the second I've read of Heather James's novels. I can't shout from the mountaintop that every person needs to read this book. Just like the first one, Unholy Hunger, the theme of the novel is dark, heavy and almost unbearable. 

However, the stories have been powerful and the writing is impressive. James is succinct but descriptive in her narrative. The timing is perfect with tense page turning moments followed by pages where the reader can catch a breath, or slow a heart rate. James even manages to intersperse quite a bit of humor into the storyline, though it could be considered darker in nature as it's the type of coping humor often seen in recovery rooms or station houses. 

The main character, Evelyn, is brash and offensive and sarcastic but underneath has a broken heart that has begun to heal again. Cheering her on toward hope and happiness feels right. In the midst of overcoming her own horror from the recent past, reclaiming her marriage and rejoicing in the birth of their new baby, she collides with a serial murderer rapist and is thrown back into a nightmare. It's not just a generic nightmare because of her position as a police consultant either, her friend lands into the path of the monster and Evelyn finds herself clawing against the serpent as he attempts to take more innocent lives. 

If you crave suspense, crime drama, police or legal procedurals, or gritty Christian fiction and love a tautly and well written story give it a shot. If you need light and inspirational reading material, steer away. 

Reviewed by: Kelly Klepfer

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