NetGalley Top Reviewer

NetGalley Top Reviewer
NetGalley Top Reviewer

Wednesday, July 13, 2016

Slaughter by John Lutz (#10)

Slaughter (Frank Quinn #10)

3.0 out of 5 stars -- "If two people held a secret it was no longer a secret."

This is the first book by John Lutz that I have read, and I requested it from my library because I saw a brief synopsis of it here on Goodreads. Until I actually got the book, I did not realize it was not only part of a long running series, but was the 10th one -- so I felt really out of the loop even as I began. I had no idea who Frank Quinn was or his history. No understanding of the relationship he had with his employees and it did take me awhile to realize that he had his own Quinn & Associates agency because I thought at first that he was with the NYPD. So, behind in every respect, I gamely forged on.

Lots of murder and mayhem, very graphic, extremely grisly and gory. The serial killer that the Q&A team hunts has been given the moniker "Gremlin" because of his strange pointed ear, elfin features and short stature. There is nothing small about his crimes. Unlike most serial killers, Gremlin mixes it up with all sorts of heinous activities all listed in the publisher's blurb.  Of course the reader immediately wants to know WHY. Who did what to him as a child? (We find out a little but so many questions unanswered about the psychology of this classic narcissistic sociopath.) The reader learns that the Gremlin is Jordan Kray and there is a lot of back and forth between past and present and point of view that can also be a bit confusing.

The blurb says the killer is taunting cops? Is focused on the girlfriend (Pearl) of Detective Frank Quinn? I must have missed that whole section in the novel because mostly we are plummeted from one disaster to the next with the body count rising and the Gremlin unidentified and no where to be found. The end comes in such a confusing setup that I can't honestly tell you what exactly happened. There is no resolution that gives any detail about Jordan Kray's real motives -- guess he was just a totally sick SOB and completely unexplainable.

So, Q&A finally get their man (I don't think this is a surprise to any reader) and they will move on to their next case, no doubt, but I don't think I'll be going along with them. I don't know if this book is reflective of Lutz's writing style, but I don't have the energy to start at the beginning of this series to figure out who and what. I do like police procedurals and was happy that there was no big romance component, but it read more like an action movie script than an in depth detective novel. The word I would use is disjointed. No smooth transitions between time, place, character which made starting a new chapter a bit jarring.

If anyone tells me that I am making a mistake, that I should really try again, I would consider! But when I read the list of endorsements by other authors that I do read and like, I was blown away. Really???!!!! Obviously I am missing something...

Library book.

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