Mystery/Thriller published August 19, 2014
The Story Plant
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Synopsis from Goodreads:
A father returns home to find that his family has been kidnapped and the only way to save their lives is for him to kill another innocent person…
So begins a journey that will force Special Agent Marcus Williams of the Shepherd Organization to question all that he believes, unearth his family's dark legacy, and sacrifice everything to save those he loves. In order to stop the serial murderer whom the media has dubbed the Coercion Killer, Williams must enlist the help of one of the world's most infamous and wanted men...the serial killer Francis Ackerman Jr.
Rippling with intensity, charged with tension, and brimming with a relentless spirit of humanity, FATHER OF FEAR is the latest evidence that Ethan Cross is one of the finest suspense novelists on the planet.
I said it in my review of the last book in this series and I will say it again....these really should be made into movies, they would be excellent! This book was more of a psychological thriller than the last one, at least in my opinion. Ethan Cross can definitely write crazy and it's so, so good.
In this installment we find Marcus and his crew in Kansas City trying to catch the Coercion Killer. He is someone who kidnaps every family member but one and forces the remaining member of the family to kill someone he has chosen. If they refuse he kills a member of the family until they complete the task, if they follow his orders he releases the family unharmed and virtually unaware of the situation. Marcus enlists the help of his brother, who happens to be a wanted serial killer. He's also the perfect person to help because of the way his mind works. Both Marcus and Francis are quite brilliant and they work well to kind of balance each other out. Marcus the light half to Francis' dark.
Marcus is having his own problems, trouble sleeping, headaches, etc... He's kind of a loose cannon on the job, but Maggie helps keep him in check. Despite his qualms he's also bonding with Francis as they work together. Things go from bad to worse and Maggie is forced to work along side Francis, whom she despises. It's a race to the finish to save someone they care about as well as the lives of countless others and they have to learn to trust people they wouldn't ordinarily trust in order to see it through.
This book is written in third person through the eyes of many different characters depending on what's happening at the current time. It's fast paced and most of the chapters are short and succinct. That combined with the quick pace makes for a very quick read if you have the time to sit for a couple hours.
This is a very dark read filled with lots of action, but a fair amount of gory imagery as well. Not only from the serial killers view, but from Francis as well. I have to admit that I loved Francis' character in this book. He is clearly still a very unstable person, very prone to violent outbursts, still a killer no doubt about it, but he's changing. He's a smart guy who knows that someone made him this way, and it's not necessarily who he wants to be anymore so he's trying very hard to change. He reminds me of Dexter just a little bit. He knows that what he is is wrong, but it's not entirely his fault that he's like this.
If you like a good thriller then I highly recommend this series. You will be on the edge of your seat until the very last page.
*Disclaimer: I was provided with a copy of this book courtesy of the publisher in exchange for my honest review.*