Review: Retribution by Jillianne Hoffman

3 Stars

C.J. Townsend is a formidable Florida prosecutor.  She’s known for keeping her cool even in the most horrific of cases.  The serial killer known as Cupid has just been caught and the case has landed in her lap.  This sadistic killer has taken the lives of at least 11 women in the most horrific manner.  He has removed their hearts and left them posed, ready to be discovered.  And now he has been caught in the most mundane of manners, a routine traffic stop.  One that leads the officer to ask to search his vehicle and ultimately find one of the victims in the trunk.  This looks like a pretty open and shut case.  But looks can be deceiving.

There are quite a few twists and turns in this book.  You think you know who the bad guys are only to be left with your jaw hanging.  You empathize with C.J. and you want to root for her, even when some of the things she’s doing aren’t quite ethical.  The accused is reprehensible and disgusting but wrapped up in a nice looking package, someone you least likely find standing trial for his life.  In the beginning you almost feel bad for him as it seems like he’s being railroaded.  But then his true colors start to shine through and you can’t help but want to strap him down to the electric chair and flip the switch yourself.

The utter depravity of the murders was quite shocking.  I’m somewhat used to graphic violence, but the descriptions of what was done was a bit much even for me.  It wasn’t really over the top, but I’ve never been a fan of blood and gore.  I was pretty creeped out by the medical examiner too.  He just seemed really, really creepy.

I wanted more from C.J. and I was somewhat disappointed in the romantic side of the story.  It didn’t really feel like it fit.  Especially in the middle of the trial against a serial killer between the prosecutor and the lead detective on the task force.  And as much as you really want to like and empathize with C.J., she got on my nerves.  She’s criticizing the actions of the defense attorney while she’s breaking not only ethics but probably a law or two.  It’s hard to get behind a hypocrite.

I did enjoy the book and if you’re looking for a crime novel with a pretty solid plot and some really good twists and turns and some pretty gruesome murders, you won’t go wrong here.  I’ll probably read a few of the authors other books too.

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Filed under Mystery/Suspense/Thriller

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