Matt Forney
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Bloody Mary by J.A. Konrath

Bloody-MaryThis is another book of Konrath’s I picked up on one of his giveaway days, and while I won’t claim that it’s mindblowing, it’s far better than The List, the previous book of his I reviewed. While its appeal is still limited outside of those who already like thriller novels, Bloody Mary is worth a shot as an introduction to Konrath’s work.

Bloody Mary is part of Konrath’s Jack Daniels’ series, the irascible lady cop (yeah, it surprised even me) with a heart of gold. The book concerns a mysterious serial killer who murders women to quell recurring headaches, all the while hatching a plan to pin his crimes on a certain Chicago cop. The book is a considerable improvement over The List because it lacks the gory ultraviolence of that book, instead relying on subtlety and imagination to fill in the gaps:

He smiles in the darkness, knuckles white on the knife handle, ready to finally give in to the nightly temptation. But as he readies the blade, he notes that the pain in his head has begun to subside. Gradually, the sharp throbbing melts away into a dull ache.


For now.

“I’ll kill you tomorrow.” He kisses her on the scalp.

The knife goes back under the mattress. He holds her tight and she makes a happy sighing sound.

When he finally falls asleep, it’s to the image of cutting her open and bathing his face with her blood.

Additionally, the story actually breaks thriller convention by introducing a very un-thriller-like twist about two-thirds of the way in. I was so intrigued I practically inhaled the rest of the book after the bombshell was dropped.

Overall, Bloody Mary is an entertaining thriller, though those who aren’t already fans of the genre probably don’t need to bother with it.

Click here to buy Bloody Mary.

Read Next: The List by J.A. Konrath