Thursday, August 16, 2012

A Review of "Afraid to Die" [68]

Afraid to Die: Selena Alvarez/Regan Pescoli by Lisa Jackson
Zebra, ISBN 978-1420118506
June 12, 2012, 484 pages

It's Christmas, and what says Christmas more than a serial killer?
OK, well this serial killer has a special wintery twist. Not does he just kill woman, but he freezes them to death and leaves them around town, encased in ice, frozen sculptures. He is an artist in Murder.
"Others may dread the chill of winter, but he relishes it. The way the frigid water preserves his victims, the feel of their icy skin beneath his fingers...And soon the world will see their beauty - and his vengeance. The town of Grizzly Falls is on edge in the wake of a serial killer, and Detective Selena Alvarez is no exception. That case was solved, but a new nightmare is about to unfold. There are two victims so far - their bodies found frozen solid and deliberately displayed. Both are women she knew. And each wears a piece of Selena's jewellery. Selena's partner, Detective Regan Pescoli, and the entire department are on the case, as is P.I. Dylan O'Keefe - a man Selena got too close to once before. But this killer already knows too much about Selena's secret terror, her flaws, and the past she's tried to outrun. And soon he'll show her that she has every reason to be afraid."

This is fourth book in this series by Jackson, but the first one that I read.
Which maybe is my problem with this book, although I really do not think so.
Because I did have a problem.
While it is not a bad book, I did not love it.
If I had been more vested in the characters, with Selena and her love interest Dylan O'Keefe and her partner Detective Regan Pescoli would I have liked it more? Maybe, but honestly, I should not have to read the whole series to like this one in my opinion. I have said this before, but I think ever book in a series has to be able to be read as a standalone and still enjoyed, or the author is not doing their job.

But that was not my biggest issue with this book. My biggest problem perhaps was with the killer and how he is portrayed..or not portrayed. Even though there are a number of chapters from his point of view, I never felt I understood his motivation. Even worse, I did not felt a sense of fear, or evil, or danger from him. I never really felt much of a sense of suspense. Woman disappears... frozen body found. Woman disappears, frozen body found. Police getting nowhere. Another woman you can guess what happens. Yes, frozen body found, police are still clueless. The ending felt rushed..after a long, wandering middle...and never felt real as to how he was caught, why he did it. I actually went back and reread part because I though I had missed something. And maybe worse, it left a lot of questions hanging in my mind, something I hate in a mystery.

There is lots of Selena and her 'love him/hate him/fall in bed with him' relationship with O'Keefe and her Big Secret..which is not that much of a secret. Lots of Pescoli and her very badly behaving teenagers..who are in need of some Tough Love in my book. These are not very interesting, especially those kids, and take up way too much of the book in my opinion.

As I said, it is not a bad book. It is well written, the dialogue is pretty good, some interesting characters ( and a few not) and I liked the setting. But then I love the cold.
Fans of Ms. Jackson may enjoy this book and fans of the previous books in the series may want to read the latest installment. But I can not honestly say reading this book makes me want to run out and read more of Jackson books and in my mind, that is very telling.

My Thanks to LibraryThing and the publisher for providing a copy of this book for review.


  1. You shouldn't have to read the whole series to like the book. Sorry this one wasn't your favorite.

  2. Sounds more romance-y than mystery. There is no point to reading a murder mystery if you never find out why. Sounds like Tuesday's episode of Rizzoli and Isles - women murdered but encased in plaster sculptures.

    1. Yes! I don't much like that show

  3. dont know the author or obviously these characters but a town that is recovering from one serial killer is now hosting another? you lost me right there ... but thanks for taking a hit for all of us and reading/reviewing this

    1. Yes, totally right. And ...believe it or not...I think there is another murder or two in its recent past. Bad form.


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