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Monday 25 May 2015

✍ Perfectly Twisted: C.O.R.E. Above the Law [1] - Kristine Mason

Genre: Romantic Suspense
Published by Amazon Publishing
Number of pages: 422
My rating: ★ ★ ★ ☆ I liked it a lot 

Book Review | About the author | Synopsis | Teaser | Giveaway & Tour Stops | Perfectly Toxic: C.O.R.E. ATL [2] |

"What do you get when you mix a snake-handling reverend, a necrophiliac, a cop and an ex-con? Something perfectly twisted…

Sounds like the start of a bad joke? Not to Shane Monahan. The ex-con and newest recruit to the underground criminal investigation group, A.T.L. or Above the Law, has it bad for Collier County Deputy Beth Price. But ex-cons and cops don’t mix, especially when this particular ex-con is looking at going back to prison for his involvement with A.T.L.

All Beth wants is a fun distraction from the stress of her job and law school. She thinks she's found that when she meets Shane during an airboat tour through the Florida Everglades. But Shane’s a felon, a man who could destroy her career as a deputy, and jeopardize her future as an attorney. She doesn’t know what to do—until dead bodies start showing up around the county.

When three abused corpses are found with snake remains inside them, the discovery brings a murderer out of retirement. The Reverend, as he calls himself, doesn’t like his kills being mimicked, especially by a man who abuses the dead—after all, the Reverend does have a reputation to uphold and a congregation to scam. Now it’s time to teach his copycat a deadly lesson…"

"Perfectly Twisted is the first part of Kristine Mason's new series "C.O.R.E. Above the Law", a well thought out suspense, in the vein of the Justice League meets the A Team, but with a pronounced romantic/erotic sub-current and dealing with the most controversial and unsavoury ('twisted') subjects. Be prepared for religious fanaticism, matricide and necrophilia.

The story is narrated from a third person point of view, which switches very effectively between the main characters Shane, Beth and Lola, and the two sinister figures of the necrophiliac and of the Reverend.

The writing style is very effective in conveying accents and cadence of the spoken language, and I could hear them clearly in all of the various dialogues.

The characters were developed in such a way as to allow the reader to make up their own minds about their actions, morality and possible justifications / mitigating circumstances.

Although the premise, laid out in the first two sections, was very powerful, disturbing and vividly presented, I found myself temporarily lost and confused around chapters 3 and 4, with the introduction of a mysterious male and his love interest, Gabriela, as I could not see how these were fitting into the story that had been developing thus far. Don't fear: all did become clear in later chapters.

The plot was generally very good, however I was not completely convinced by the Reverend's motivation and actions in relation to the necrophiliac, as I did not feel that they were wholly consistent with what had been previously presented about this character, but simply set out that way to fit the required storyline.

At 422 pages, this work felt rather repetitive at times, especially when describing the inner thoughts of a character or specific events. For me this was particularly pronounced in the last three chapters and in the epilogue. A bit more streamlining would have improved the overall pace of the book.

Overall, Perfectly Twisted is an engaging, well presented, thought provoking and worthwhile read.

[ARC received from the Author]

About the Author

Kristine Mason is the bestselling author of the popular romantic suspense trilogies, C.O.R.E. Shadow and Ultimate C.O.R.E. She is currently working on her next trilogy, C.O.R.E. Above the Law, along with a series of Psychic C.O.R.E. novellas.

Although Kristine has published a few contemporary romance novels, she focuses most of her energy on her romantic suspense stories, which she loves for their blend of dark mystery/suspense and sexy romance. She is fascinated with what makes people afraid, and is famous for her depraved villains whose crimes present massive obstacles for her heroes and heroines to overcome.

Kristine has a degree in journalism from Ohio State University and lives in Northeast Ohio with her husband, four kids, and two dogs. If she’s not writing, she’s chauffeuring kids, gardening, or collecting gnomes. Oh, and she makes a mean chocolate chip cookie!

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