Book Review Friday: Two Can Play

“Cautious is boring.”

I took a trip to my local library on a mission to find books from unknown authors. I wanted to stroll through the shelves and see what I could find without having my usual list of must haves. Two Can Play caught my eye with its bold red cover and “deliciously twisted” quote. I did not realize it was the second in a series before I made it home but it was easy to follow regardless.

Audrey Harte is a criminal psychologist hired to prepare for the trial of a teenage serial killer, Ian Monroe. Before interviewing Monroe, Audrey receives flowers signaling the beginning of a game that she did not intend on playing. As evidence begins to come together, it is likely that Monroe had a partner or someone that is helping taunt Audrey. She must race to find answers as more girls are taken and protect the one surviving witness, Tori Scott. Between the victims, Monroe and Audrey’s personal life this book is jam packed with action. After getting past the first few chapters I couldn’t put this one down. I had to know how everything was going to come together.

As far as mystery novels go, this one is a winner! The author gives just enough of the story to keep you hooked without letting you guess too much about the future. I didn’t really know the ending until about 20 pages before it was revealed. The clues left along the way are perfect to keep the reader going. I would definitely read this book again to see if I found any more along the way.

I have spoken to the author, Kate Kessler, and book three will be out in November of this year. She is currently writing the fourth installment. I am going to be anxiously waiting for my copy to arrive! 

A Novel Way to Die

“I guess that after running into that terrible woman, we should just count ourselves lucky to be alive.”

I ran across this book while searching my library catalog for “criminologist,” and must say I was happily surprised. My first thought was that the book must have been low on the publishing priority list because of its white pages, and binding. Have you heard of Five Star Publishing? Why do some books take priority over others? Why are some books published, while others are not? This book brought questions of why I read certain novels over others, and why we trust the big publishers over the small, local ones. If not for my random catalog search, I never would have found this book that captured me from the first chapter.
The story starts off with a mystery novelist found dead in her home by a close friend. Molly, her daughter, seeks to find the truth surrounding her mother’s death while struggling to keep her family together after her husband’s indiscretions. Many believe the death to be a suicide, including Molly, until evidence begins to arise of a stalker and motive from people close to her. As more people begin to die, Molly must hurry before she is next! I finished the story in one day, because it was easy to read and kept me guessing. There are several viable options when it comes to choosing the killer, and it unfolds perfectly as you continue reading.
The author of this story, Karen Hanson Stuyck, gives me hope that I may one day write a novel that will be published. I hope more will pick up her work, and give small time authors a chance!