Book Review, Last Summer’s Evil: The Last Cold Case, Book #1 by MJ LaBeff

 

Last Summer’s Evil: The Last Cold Case, Book #1

A fearful city lies in wait. Summer is here. The solstice is near. Each time the serial killer strikes there are two more victims. One woman has already disappeared. It’s only a matter of time before another woman is murdered.

Homicide Detective Rachel Hood, a psychic empath, feels every ounce of a victim’s pain but is powerless to save her.

Psychic FBI Agent Nick Draven is a skilled profiler, specializing in occult crimes. Together, they must race against the clock to capture the psychopath terrorizing Snug Harbor, Ohio. Only one victim has escaped, but she can’t ID her attacker. What they do know is the sick signature the killer leaves behind. A handmade ragdoll crafted out of the previous victim’s clothes is found in the clutches of the deceased women.

Rachel’s obsession with the case deepens, and she devises a rogue plan to outsmart the killer. The risky plot puts her life in jeopardy. The serial killer has had years to master the crime. Nick only has hours to track down the killer and rescue Rachel before she dies in a ritualistic sacrifice at the hand of a knife wielding, blood thirsty murderer.

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MY REVIEW

Homicide Detective Rachel Hood desperately wants to find the serial killer haunting Snug Harbor, Ohio, for personal as well as professional reasons. In addition to this, she has psychic powers which means that when the killer strikes, she physically feels the torturous pain that the victims are subjected to.

It’s approaching mid-summer and Rachel knows the killer will be striking again on the day of the Summer Solstice, so the clock is ticking. She is joined by Nick Draven, a skilled profiler, who specialises in occult crimes, with a psychic secret of his own. The striking chemistry between the pair is obvious, but Rachel needs to keep her head clear to hunt down the killer.

This isn’t a stereotypical serial killer… on the same date each year a woman is killed, another disappears. The murdered bodies are found with pins placed strategically on their bodies, with a chilling and sinister calling card tucked under their arm. The abducted women are still missing.

Now the killer may have made a mistake. One of the victims has survived, but only just. Will she be able to help Rachel and Nick work out what all these women have in common and stop another loss of life?

This psychological thriller literally took my breath away. M J LaBeff has created interesting main characters, with a backstory which keeps you sitting on the edge of your seat. The approaching date when the murders happen adds tension and excitement, you can literally hear the seconds tick away. The plot keeps you gripped from the very first page, and the different dimensions slot together effortlessly so the story is believable and flows seamlessly. The clever script gave a unique and refreshing feel that you don’t often find in books of this genre. I found myself invested heavily in the welfare of Rachel, not just professionally, but in her personal life too.

One of the best crime thrillers I have read, it would make an excellent film adaptation.

 

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About the Author

MJ LaBeff is an American author best described as the girl-next-door with a dark side. MJ grew up in northeastern Ohio but traded snow for sunshine and moved to southern Arizona over a decade ago. She’s drawn to writing suspense novels, featuring complicated characters and twisted plot lines that will keep readers turning page after page. When she’s not writing or plotting her next novel, MJ enjoys reading, running, lifting weights, and volunteering for the American Cancer Society. She lives in Arizona with her husband, Jeff, and their three big dogs Buddy, Sammy, and Samson.
  MJ is on FB, Twitter, and Instagram for links to follow visit .
Other Books in the Series

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Last Fall’s Hunted, The Last Cold Case Book#2

Homicide Detective Rachel Hood and FBI Agent Nick Draven hunt for a serial killer harvesting kidneys from his victims’ corpses during the fall equinox.

A dismembered body is found in Kill Buck Wildlife area in Snug Harbor, Ohio, andthe discovery of two more victims within a twelve mile radius suggests a sadistic killer’s return. Homicide Detective Rachel Hood, a psychic empath, joins forces with psychic FBI Agent Nick Draven to hunt for a killer who harvests kidneys from his victims’ corpses. But, why strike twenty years later? They draw a parallel between his first crime and the recent murders. His first victim was murdered in 1991 during the rare occurrence of the super harvest moon, an event that will happen this year and fuel his blood lust to kill again.

Time is not on their side. Hood and Draven have five days to find the killer before the next full moon rises and another teenage girl is found murdered and missing her kidneys.

Drawn into a hunt for a serial killer, more deranged and dangerous than any other she’s tracked and captured before, Hood finds herself unable to control her psychic empathy, and Draven must work fast to help her catch this human hunter before she becomes his next casualty.

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Last Winter’s Taken, The Last Cold Case Book#3

The murder of Willow Danby, a married woman and expectant mother, thrusts Homicide Detective Rachel Hood into a murder investigation and missing person’s case as she searches for the baby ripped from Willow’s body. The mysterious undertone surrounding the current investigation forces Rachel to reopen a cold case from the previous year. Yvonne Johnson and Willow Danby couldn’t have been more different. Wrong side of the tracks meets white picket fence. The only thing the two women have in common: they’re both dead and their infants are missing.

Also by MJ LaBeff

MIND GAMES

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Mind Games

Sparrow Von Langley had a childhood that was anything but typical. Born into the privilege of wealth in Crystal Cove, California, her father is Dr. Theodore Von Langley, a well respected, nationally known behavioral therapist. Tormented by frightening visions brought on by a series of mysterious deaths, Sparrow is determined to search for the truth behind the tragedies and reconnects with Dr. Derrick Sloan.

Derrick has been searching for his missing sister, Kathlyn “Kat” Sloan since her disappearance ten years ago. A hypnotherapist helps Sparrow pull together the pieces of her traumatic past, and her repressed memories reveal the twisted truth behind the mysterious deaths and Kat’s disappearance. She is shocked to discover her father’s possible involvement, and when her hunt collides with Derrick’s search for Kat, she must decide if she can trust him enough to follow the evidence trail together or risk losing the man she loves.

Will the only daughter of the respected doctor prove his guilt or innocence in his quest to change lives?

Product Links

All the books can be found on MJ’s Amazon author page.

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