Friday, May 17, 2013

Review: Huntress Moon by Alexandra Sokoloff

There's nothing new about FBI staking out organized crime in San Francisco, but Alexandra Sokoloff adds a twist. The head of the organized crimes division, Special Agent Roarke, is on his way to meet Greer, an undercover operative. Greer has used the signal that means he has either been made or there is something of dire importance he needs to communicate to Roarke. On his way to meet Greer, Roarke is across the street from the undercover operative and he spots a slim, striking woman all in black wearing a sleeveless turtleneck sweater behind Greer. She and Roarke lock eyes just before a truck passes. In its wake, the woman is gone and Greer is roadkill.

Stunned by what seems like an accident, Roarke is even more shocked by the feeling that he recognized the woman, but he isn't sure from where. As the reports from eye witnesses come in, it becomes more apparent that the woman was involved in Greer's death, an assumption that becomes fact when they trace the woman back to her hotel and discovered the whole place has been wiped clean of trace evidence and reeks of bleach.

The woman could be that rarest of individuals, a female contract killer hired by the organized crime bosses in San Francisco to terminate Greer. Was that why Greer needed to talk?  That can't be since an organization that traffics in women wouldn't hire a female assassin. A search reveals two more murders within the past year and a half tied to the woman and Roarke is on the hunt. He must find the woman and stop her from killing anyone else. And Roarke is intrigued, a female serial killer is rare.

Huntress Moon is riveting. Alexandra Sokoloff dives right into the action and spins a tale that becomes more exciting and confounding with each page. The story proceeds at a fast pace and gets more complex and more exciting as Roarke peels back the layers of the mystery woman's past. Here is a murderer which is neither black nor white with considerable shadowy gray in her personality that turns this FBI thriller into something darker. Sokoloff blurs the line between right and wrong where justice is seen through a glass darkly.

There are no wasted words in this razor's edge tale of suspense and horror in Sokoloff's signature style. Huntress Moon is just the beginning of what sets a new benchmark in thrillers. Very seldom do I award 5 stars, but Sokoloff's Huntress Moon deserves no less.

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