Thursday, June 6, 2013

ARC Review: Aberration by Lisa Regan

Author: Lisa Regan
Publication: Sapphire Star Publishing LLC (May 16, 2013)

Description: FBI analyst Kassidy Bishop is assigned to the "For You" killer's task force after a series of sadistic murders bearing the same signature arise in different parts of the country. The homicides are both calculated and savage, occurring in different states, but bearing the same signature: the words "for you" scribbled at each crime scene. The case chills Kassidy, bringing back memories of her own encounter with a violent criminal five years earlier. The stakes rise when the task force links the killer's signature to Kassidy. As more and more bodies turn up, Kassidy must delve into her past and the mysterious death of her twin sister, which holds the key to uncovering the killer's identity. The closer Kassidy comes to finding the killer, the closer she comes to a deadly confrontation that could cost her everything-including her own life.

My Thoughts: I enjoyed this thriller a lot. Kassidy Bishop has had a tough life. When they were in college, her twin sister died by falling from the window of her eleventh floor dorm room and Kassidy is convinced that she didn't jump. She becomes an FBI agent and, when acting as bait for a serial killer, she is beaten and tortured before someone comes in releases her, hands her her own gun, and lets her kill her attacker. The facial reconstruction and resulting memory loss were enough to have her transferred into the Behavior Analysis Unit at the National Center for the Analysis of Violent Crime. 

She is now working the case of a serial killer who is leaving a message—For You—at the scene of every crime. On the personal front, she is having a long-distance affair with Portland Detective Jory Ralston. They don't meet often but the passion is intense when they do meet. Kass feels very guilty about their relationship because Jory is married. Jory wants to divorce his wife and be with Kass but she fears she will lose him as she has lost many of those close to her. Things get even more complicated when Kassidy realizes that the killer is killing people that she knew. 

The story is also told from the viewpoint of the For You killer. It turns out that he is doing his killing for Kassidy. She saved him from abuse at the hands of a group of older boys when they are middle schoolers and he has fixated on her. He wants to protect her and has developed a fantasy that the two of them are in love. The story of his abusive childhood and assorted mental issues including dissociative identity disorder make it hard to hate him despite the horrible things he does. It is also extremely creepy that he has been stalking Kassidy for more than 20 years. 

I can't really say too much more about the plot without some major spoilers. The story was filled with twists and turns as we saw the events from both Kassidy's and the killer's points of view. The story-telling technique managed to keep building the tension all the way to the stunning resolution. Fans of psychological thrillers will really enjoy this one. 

Favorite Quote:
Then grief. I knew this feeling. First, the smoky cloud of denial because the reality was so foreign, so alien, so contrary to everything you knew as a human being, that it simply could not be true. For a split second, you hoped your denial would make it so. Then there was the sensation of falling. Reality snuck up on you. It took a convoluted path, but when it hit you, it hit like a door slamming closed for the last time. 
I received this eARC from the author for review. You can buy your copy here

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