My rating: 3 of 5 stars
A decent crime novel, my only criticism is a standing one of most crime fiction: Why is violence towards women ALWAYS sexual violence? Men *just* get killed (with exceptions, of course), women get killed, raped, and tortured in hideously graphic ways – pretty much every time. This does, I suppose, reflect reality up to a point, particularly in reinforcing the fact that rape is a crime of anger and NOT attraction. So it works both ways.
Jacqueline “Jack” Daniels is a police Lieutenant in Chicago. A string of (sexually) brutal murders of women by the self-proclaimed “Gingerbread man” are the focus of Jack’s and her partner Herb’s investigation. The FBI in this novel are portrayed as incompetent, coming up with off-the-wall criminal profile details, which (if you read my review of Mindhunter by John E Douglas, and the book itself) shouldn’t be how a profile is generated; but it serves the purpose of this story. Jack and Herb follow the evidence, as an investigator should. Jack, being a “woman” ends up becoming the focus of the Gingerbread man’s rage, and is therefore taken off her own investigation (officially). Which does lead to the men in the story essentially being awarded all the credit, despite Jack being both lead investigator and target. She saves her own life more than once!
The details of the crimes are quite jarring as described, and the pace of the novel is quite fast, keeping the reader moving forwards at a steady rate. Jack is a competent investigator, and deserves more credit for the work she put in! Hopefully, when I read further novels in this series, she gets the accolades that should be coming her way.
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