When Jack wakes up in a storage locker, bound and gagged, she knows with chilling certainty who her abductor is.
He's called "Mr. K." More than two hundred homicides have been attributed to him. His victims have died in the most horrible ways imaginable. He's the essence of evil. Some think he's just an urban legend. But he's real. Jack has tangled with him twice in the past, and both times he managed to slip away.
Now Jack will finally have a chance to confront the maniac she's been hunting for over twenty-five years. Unfortunately, it won't be on her terms. In less than two hours, Mr. K is going to do to Jack what he's done to countless others. And Jack is going to learn that sometimes the good guys don't win...
J.A. Konrath achieves the stupendous feat of blending both a prequel and a sequel in this timeline-hopping thriller, expertly making the pieces click together like an intricate Swiss watch.
Over the course of her decades-long career, Detective Jacqueline "Jack" Daniels has pursued her own great white whale: a sickeningly twisted serial killer named Mr. K. Years ago, Jack came heartbreakingly close to catching him, but he managed to slip away. Now Mr. K is back from her nightmares, and she's his captive, in a secret place where she's beyond rescue. Bound and gagged, the clock ticking down till zero, Jack faces a death more excruciating than anyone's worst imaginings. She has seen Mr. K.'s other victims, so she knows how terrible her end will be.
In flashback, we see just how Jack ended up at this moment in her life. From her first exposure as a rookie to Mr. K's handiwork, through her career-long pursuit of her nemesis, we watch Jack grow as a cop, as a woman, and as a friend to her two eccentric colleagues, Harry and Herb. That journey is both terrifying and wildly hilarious, a wacky combination that only a writer as good as Konrath can pull off. Throw in a deeply moving denouement, and you have a story that hits every single mark.
The pace is frantic, the horrors truly horrifying, and the dialogue will have you laughing out loud even as you're gripping the pages in terror. Konrath is so good, he makes other novelists jealous--and count me as one of them.
Five very enthusiastic stars out of five. --Tess Gerritsen