Tuesday, 11 October 2016

Review: Beautiful Maids All in a Row

Beautiful Maids All in a Row by Jennifer Harlow
Published October 11th 2016 by Alibi/Random House

Beautiful Maids All in a Row is the first in a series about ex-FBI agent Iris Ballard. After her husband is killed by a serial killer from a previous case, Iris relocates to a small town to teach forensic psychology. There is a new killer coined The Woodsman on the loose and Iris puts aside her reservations to help her former FBI partner and close friend Luke track him down.

Iris is a flawed, but not a fragile character. She loses her temper quickly and it's easy for her to head into an emotional downward spiral. Once she becomes involved in The Woodsman case she slowly pulls herself together to focus on bringing the killer to justice.

The pace moves quickly, there's no real opportunity to stop and think about what will happen next, which is something I really loved about the book. Luke and Iris are well rounded protagonists and it's easy to see how they are motivated and what drives them to solve the case over everything else happening in their lives. I would definitely recommend this title to my friends who enjoy suspense and crime thrillers.

From the publisher:
In this white-knuckle thriller for fans of Lisa Gardner and Karin Slaughter, a brilliant, troubled forensic psychologist finds herself matching wits with a frighteningly talented sociopath.

Dr. Iris Ballard’s glory days are behind her, so when Luke Hudson, her former FBI partner and onetime lover, asks for help constructing a psychological profile of an elusive serial killer who murders single mothers and dumps their bodies in the woods, Iris turns him away. She just wants to be left alone with her infomercials, her German Shepherd, and her vodka. That is, until she gets a peek at the case files.

The media has dubbed him “the Woodsman.” But after Iris learns the sickening details held back from the press, and as she sets foot onto the scene of his latest crime, she assembles a portrait of a more complicated, enigmatic, meticulous man. Control is his motivation. He thrives on it. Soon he even tries to manipulate the investigation by contacting Iris, hoping to rattle the woman he considers an intellectual equal.

The game is on. Iris thinks she has a read on her target, enough to push his buttons, to make him lose control. But when the Woodsman gains the upper hand, Iris faces the most painful reckoning of all—with her own violent past.

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