BOOK TITLE: A Piece of You
AUTHOR: D.M. Annechino
GENRE: Fiction / Mystery Thriller
NUMBER OF PAGES: 305
SERIES / STANDALONE: Sami Rizzo series Book 3
HOW I GOT THIS BOOK: I thank Laura Fabiani of iRead book tours for this review copy.
Homicide Detective Sami Rizzo is at it again! She never dreamed “America’s Finest City,” would be tormented by yet another serial killer, but for the third time in the last five years a depraved maniac is stalking the streets of San Diego. Based on her qualifications and prior successes dealing with multiple murders, who else would Captain Davison assign to head the investigation?
Different from Sami’s past experiences, this fanatic is like no other. His methods of killing defy everything profilers think they know about serial killers. As an intense investigation begins and bits and pieces of evidence emerge, no one can understand his motivation. He’s merciful, yet brutal. And just to make things even more confusing, all of his victims are blood-related. Is he settling a vendetta? Did he randomly pick a name out of the phone book and begin a rampage? Or is there a deeper story? Based on very little evidence and a lot of gut instincts, Detective Rizzo pieces together a complex puzzle and narrows the field of possible suspects. She learns that the killings may connect in some way to powerful people within the judicial system and doesn’t know who to trust. Ultimately, she comes face to face with the killer for a battle of brain and brawn. Can she outwit the shrewd killer, or will she be his next victim?
First Impressions are kind of moot point for a book belonging to a series because you have certain pre conceived notions about at least some of the characters involved in the story. But then, every installment of a series offers yet another carefully crafted story, and the author takes up the challenge to keep the same characters and give an entirely different story. Some books succeed in it. I have already read two books in this series and therefore, knew a little of what to expect in this one.
But to comment on the impression this particular book made on me, the first and foremost thing I noticed was the cover (well, of course) and it was alluring in a strange way. It is simple, striking and achieves what it sets out to do - shock the reader. But only after reading the story would I get to know the deeper significance of the piece missing from the whole jigsaw. The summary is crisp and offers a mild shade of intrigue.
Thrillers - especially mystery thrillers that talk about serial killers and police procedures (probably featuring a detective from the force) have a certain formula to be followed. It is only with this base that the author is expected to work and bring up a masterpiece story that intrigues, excites, exhilarates and finally stuns a reader. A Piece of You does the first half of this well. It follows the template required for police thrillers and cooks up an interesting tale based on that.
Detective Sami Rizzo is now married to Al, who was, incidentally forgiven for his cheating excursion. Sami could not believe that the city might yet again be in the grip of a horrific serial killer. This time around, the killer follows a different modus operandi. He kills people and takes away... souvenirs. Sami, with her previous experiences in handling a few cases successfully, is called in to this case too. But what Sami does not bargain for is a conundrum of a killer. He is soft, yet harsh. His motives are unclear (yes, like many other serial killers, we get to know the story only almost near the end of the book). Sami finds it hard to classify him under any category.
While it is not new for a serial killer to justify all that he does with excuses that sound plausible and even sometimes justifiable - this killer takes the cake. His reasons, motive and thought process attract the reader and appeal to a twisted part of the readers brain. It takes a lot of clear brain to say no matter what the reason, a gruesome murder is a heinous act that steals a life. It does not help when the killer takes down members in a clan, making the reader wonder whether it was the case of family vendetta or a random act of chance.
Sami Rizzo goes about detecting in her usual style. No matter how disconnected the pieces seem, she tries to solve it with the sparse clues and her gut instinct. Of all the books I have read featuring Sami, I liked this one best. The serial killer is a brainy psycho and Sami barely misses falling in his hit list. The story has a few twists and turns, some of them predictable for a person who has read a few books from this genre. But overall, except for a few gory details, the story focuses more on the events rather than each killing in excruciating detail.
No matter what excuse is given, a serial killer has only a misguided motive and delusional attitude about revenge and payment for sins. To sum up best, the author himself writes beautifully about the killer's mindset.
Today I feel particularly overwhelmed with self-pity and grief. I think about what once was. What is no more. What can never be. The mere thought of vengeance excites me and fills me with great exhilaration. I can only conclude that the sweetness of revenge has a far greater impact on one’s soul than the burden of guilt or the consequence of judgment day.
If this does not say much about the book and the way he writes them, I don't know what else does. The language is engaging. There are a few editing errors - mostly those that can be overlooked. The plot and the build up to the climax are not very elaborate. With a few predictable twists and some rather unpleasant, shocking unpredictable turns, this story is one that will manage to hold your interest for a few hours together - hours you could use to finish this at a go.
WHAT I LIKED:
- The hidden meaning so beautifully portrayed by the cover image.
- The character of Sami finally managing to attract the reader in me
WHAT COULD HAVE BEEN BETTER:
- The story could have veered a bit farther away from protocol to make it more thrilling
A book that will interest you if you are new to this genre. Overall a good, well thought out and well written thriller.
Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this book free from IRead Book Tours. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Daniel M. Annechino, a former book editor specializing in full-length fiction, wrote his first book, How to Buy the Most Car for the Least Money, in 1992 while working as a General Manager in the automobile business. But his passion had always been fiction, particularly thrillers. He spent two years researching serial killers before finally penning his gripping and memorable debut novel They Never Die Quietly. His second book, Resuscitation (Thomas & Mercer 2011), a follow-up to his first novel, hit #1 in Kindle sales in the UK and reached #26 in the USA. He is also the author of I Do Solemnly Swear (Thomas & Mercer 2012) and Hypocrisy. A Piece of You is his fifth novel, the third in the Detective Sami Rizzo series.
A native of New York, Annechino now lives in San Diego with his wife, Jennifer. He loves to cook, enjoys a glass of vintage wine, and spends lots of leisure time on the warm beaches of Southern California.
EDITIONS AVAILABLE: Paperback, Kindle
PRICE $2.96 for Kindle, $10.94 for Paperback