A Life Removed by Jason Parent, 284 pages, Red Adept Publishing LLC, May 23rd 2017, Genre: Mystery/Suspense/Police Procedurals. Warning: Contains Spoilers.
Review by Leigh Holland.
I was drawn to this story as it takes place in Fall River, Massachusetts, location of the infamous Lizzie Borden murders. I was hoping there might be some connection between the killings in this story and the ones before, but there weren’t. The story takes place there coincidentally.
There are three main point of view characters: Detectives and partners Marklin and Beaudette, and Officer Aaron Pimental. The chapters shift between these characters. It becomes clear by halfway in who is responsible for the murders, how they’re doing it, and why. The villain and his motives are similar to many killers with his modus operandi. What’s different about this novel is that it takes a supernatural turn, with the ritual killings actually imparting improvements to those who perform them. The remainder of the book focuses on Aaron Pimental’s struggle with the killer and his struggle within himself.
I enjoyed the scenes with the detectives far more than the scenes with Pimental. Their characters were more likable and relatable. Aaron isn’t grateful his girlfriend landed him his job, he’s resentful as it makes him feel like less of a man. He compromises the investigation by telling everyone while drunk at a party about what the police know about the murders, all to get to feel important and big. Aaron hates himself, believes he’s a weak failure, and has no self confidence. His one redeeming moment is undone later in the book when his darker nature overrides everything else.
People who are lost, injured, hurting, or low on self-esteem are targeted and easily led astray. Wicked people claim they’re leading their followers to righteousness and use perverted logic to keep them on board. But their schemes lead to death and suffering. Wicked men often go unpunished, free to move on and start the cycle over again. It’s a hopeless circle repeated in every town the killer travels to. Aaron Pimental was a victim of such a villain, in the end becoming a villain himself. This book takes the reader to dark places in the human psyche.
Overall, I liked this novel. If you’re looking for a hero or a happy ending, this is not the book for you. If you enjoy a mixture of horror, thriller, and police procedural, you’ll like A Life Removed.
You can find this book at A Life Removed.
Detectives Bruce Marklin and Jocelyn Beaudette have put plenty of criminals behind bars. But a new terror is stalking their city. The killer’s violent crimes are ritualistic but seemingly indiscriminate. As the death toll rises, the detectives must track a murderer without motive. The next kill could be anyone… maybe even one of their own.
Officer Aaron Pimental sees no hope for himself or humanity. His girlfriend is pulling away, and his best friend has found religion. When Aaron is thrust into the heart of the investigation, he must choose who he will become, the hero or the villain.
If Aaron doesn’t decide soon, the choice will be made for him.
About the Author:
In his head, Jason Parent lives in many places, but in the real world, he calls New England his home. The region offers an abundance of settings for his writing and many wonderful places in which to write them. He currently resides in Rhode Island.
In a prior life, Jason spent most of his time in front of a judge . . . as a civil litigator. When he wanted a change, he traded in his cheap suits for flip flops and designer stubble. The flops got repossessed the next day, and he’s back in the legal field . . . sorta. But that’s another story.
When he’s not working, Jason likes to kayak, catch a movie, and travel any place that will let him enter. And read and write, of course–he does that too sometimes.