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Spine chilling tales from the Amazon ALL-star Bestselling author Willow Rose

The first two books!

– HIT THE ROAD JACK:

Ben is supposed to be in school. It’s Monday morning but his parents are still asleep after a night of heavy drinking. Ben waits patiently, even though he knows he is missing out on today’s field trip to the zoo. But, when his black Labrador suddenly runs upstairs and comes down with a finger in his mouth, Ben knows he’s not making it to school today at all.

Detective Jack Ryder is chaperoning his kids’ field trip when he gets the call from the head of the Cocoa Beach Police Department. A body has been found and they need his help. Soon, Jack finds himself up against a killer, a predator who ruthlessly chases women and kills them so they can never leave him. The case soon causes serious consequences for him and his family once the truth is revealed.

With her new hero, Jack Ryder, as a loving father and committed detective, a new location in tropical Florida, and a story that moves at an incredible pace, Hit the Road Jack is Willow Rose at the top of her game.

– SLIP OUT THE BACK JACK:

They take turns with the knife, cutting their thumbs open. A drop of blood lands on the dark wooden table. Eyes meet across the room. All four thumbs are pressed against each other one by one. Blood is shared, secrets buried.

Years later a brutal madman sprays bullets into a crowd at a movie theater in Miami and sends a chill through the entire nation. When human remains are discovered in the dense forest next to a biking trail in Brevard County, it is only the beginning of a series of gruesome murders, which will shock the entire Space Coast.

Detective Jack Ryder is preoccupied with Shannon King and the strange email she has just received that leaves her terrified just as she prepares to go on stage at the Runaway Country Festival. Jack Ryder senses the connection and soon he realizes he is on the hunt for a serial killer with a killing spree that spans over more than a decade.

It’s spring break in Cocoa Beach and evil is lurking everywhere.

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Reviews:

"strong characters with good character progression through both books, and some complex and well-woven plots mean these are stories mystery readers will enjoy, as long as they can handle multiple plot threads and non-linear storytelling."

Reviewer: .


This is a collection of two stories: the first two Jack Ryder novels. Willow Rose is better known for her horror writing, but I have to say her style works well here. Her ability to create disturbing murder scenes, and to put the reader into the killer's head whether they want to be there or not, is excellent.

Early on this book has a lot of separate plot threads: an abused star, a serial killer, the titular detective, and I found myself wondering how on earth these would all tie together. The answer is very, very, well in this collection where Detective Jack Ryder has to take on two dark and outright disturbing serial killers. The end section of the book is an extract from another novel "What Hurts Most", which is also a promising read.

The unusual element is that both stories are told out of order. The chapters jump around in time from the 1980's to the present day, telling the story both of the murder and the murderer's origin. While this can be hard to follow it is nicely done, and with changed names and careful writing, the reader doesn't guess who the culprit is until the characters do. One minor thing that did irritate me was a repeated theme that abortion destroys a woman's ability to have children, brought up every time abortion is considered, which will annoy most medical staff and anyone who knows (or knows of) a woman who has had more than one.

Overall, strong characters with good character progression through both books, and some complex and well-woven plots mean these are stories mystery readers will enjoy, as long as they can handle multiple plot threads and non-linear storytelling.

Rating: 4



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Discussion

rz3300 (19 August 2016)
Well I think that I might use this one in a little different way than I might use the others. I am typically not a big fan of character driven stories, at least not when they are in the title, but I also recognize that you cannot simply judge stories based on that so it is just more a generality that I follow. That said, though, I am always interested in how the characters in the story are built, so this might be a good little research and creative exploration story for me. Either way, though, thanks for sharing.

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