Sinner by Christopher Graves
It does take a while for the book to settle and reveal its protagonists. That’s no bad thing, as it gives you a solid foundation in which you meet your two main players; Zeke and Dani.
Dani is a brilliant character to be ‘trapped’ with; she’s the strong willed trainee you would normally expect to find in these novels. You see enough of her relationships outside of the main section of the narrative to empathise with her and will her success.
Zeke is scary. Petrifyingly so. Even though you perhaps get more of his inner thinking than you would perhaps in another novel, it doesn’t detract from the chilling fear you feel. In fact, it increases it and he’ll haunt you long after the book has finished.
The plot is a refreshing change to what could have easily been a detective crime thriller. Instead we’re taken behind enemy lines and look at the lives of the predator and prey; a man from what can only be described as a tormented cult-like upbringing, turned into a serial killer and justifying his actions through scripture.
Then we have a woman who has uprooted her life after a relationship breakdown, trapped inside a house with little or no chance of escape. Your heart will be in your mouth during those chapters. I will never read detective novels in the same way again.
The writing is good, clear and able to present two distinct voices. There’s sections that are little rough; there’s a flashback sequence that to some might feel a little choppy and too simplistic. However, the rough and rawness of the sequence is actually what makes it so realistic.
The writing brings the tone of fear down heavy on you; I felt it creep up on me slowly, then all at once you know you can’t put the book down. I raced to the finish, my breath catching as I knew the battery was going to die and I didn’t want to leave Dani alone.