Book Review: Blood Moon

He moved on to the next aisle and found himself in front of a wall hung with sculptures, a theme of hearts: two blackened hearts bound together with rusted chain link, another pair of hearts twisted in barbed wire.

He felt something in his own chest twist at the sight.

I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again: Alexandra Sokoloff is one hell of a writer.

The first book in her Huntress/FBI thriller series, Huntress Moon, blew me away, as you can tell from my review.  An eerie merging of the logic and legwork of a police procedural and the intuition and symbolism of magical thinking—something at which the author has always excelled—it unearthed a fundamental connection between an unlikely serial killer and the man charged with tracking her down.

In the second book, that connection is becoming a serious problem.

Blood_Moon_7The last time FBI Special Agent Roarke encountered the Huntress, he not only allowed her to escape, he used the information she supplied to take down her targeted prey.  At odds with his partner, who believes Roarke is becoming far too sympathetic to his quarry, he himself wonders if he’s losing all objectivity when it comes to the woman whose victims are the worst kinds of predator.

But as he and his team design the perfect trap for the Huntress, they find evidence that an old evil has returned after twenty-five years of dormancy, and may strike again during the next full moon—the Blood Moon.  And Roarke must decide whether to arrest the Huntress or work with her to take down the killer whose heinous crimes led Roarke into law enforcement and sent the Huntress into a life controlled by signs, portents, and ruthless murder.

Honestly, it was nearly impossible to set this book aside for mundane things like eating, driving,  and work and if I hadn’t misplaced the charger for my eReader (it’s been a heck of a week all ’round), I wouldn’t have tried to sneak it under the dinner table, too.  As it was, that virus actually came in handy, and I read the last hundred or so pages all at once—whew, what a ride!

This book is so tightly written that I can’t share much without spoiling it further than I have, but I think I can mention an extremely effective technique that I marveled at in the first book:  the switch between Roarke’s past tense and the Huntress’s present tense.  This helped delineate the two characters—his logical piecing together of the past versus her living from moment to intense moment .

This continues in Blood Moon, with one addition: Roarke experiences recurring dreams which are also shown to us in first person.  This not only intensifies those scenes, but brings his viewpoint that much closer to hers.  It’s subtle, but the impact is undeniable . . . and possibly inevitable.

If you haven’t read Huntress Moon—and if not, why not?—I recommend reading that one first.  Though Blood Moon does a good job of dropping information from the first book, it won’t be the same as experiencing it; in my opinion, you need to earn the Huntress’s real name with Roarke and his team and you’d be cheating yourself if you skip.

And I highly recommend reading the first two before the third comes out—because I honestly have no idea what’s going to happen next and I desperately want to know.

That’s a deliciously frustrating place for a reader to be.  Come enjoy it with me.