Dr. Iris Ballard’s glory days are behind her, so when Luke Hudson, her former FBI partner and onetime lover, asks for help constructing a psychological profile of an elusive serial killer who murders single mothers and dumps their bodies in the woods, Iris turns him away. She just wants to be left alone with her infomercials, her German Shepherd, and her vodka. That is, until she gets a peek at the case files.
The media has dubbed him “the Woodsman.” But after Iris learns the sickening details held back from the press, and as she sets foot onto the scene of his latest crime, she assembles a portrait of a more complicated, enigmatic, meticulous man. Control is his motivation. He thrives on it. Soon he even tries to manipulate the investigation by contacting Iris, hoping to rattle the woman he considers an intellectual equal.
The game is on. Iris thinks she has a read on her target, enough to push his buttons, to make him lose control. But when the Woodsman gains the upper hand, Iris faces the most painful reckoning of all—with her own violent past.
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Even with all of her issues brought on by the murder of her husband, Dr. Iris Ballard is the best at profiling serial killers. So when her ex-partner keeps running into brick walls, he turns to Iris for help. And the game is on.
I really enjoyed the characters in this book. The dynamic between Iris and Luke is filled with tension, regrets, friendship and attraction. Both characters are fully developed with both strengths and weaknesses on display. With so many of our returning soldier having PSTD, I enjoyed reading about a heroine with that issue.
I found the villain in this book to be particularly chilling. He knew just what buttons to push and with whom to be able to continue his gory games. But it does only take one mistake.
I really enjoy BEAUTIFUL MAIDS IN A ROW and am crossing my fingers that Ms. Harlow continues this series. I do recommend it to any of my readers who enjoy thrillers with strong female leads.
*** I received this book at no charge from NetGalley in exchange for a fair and honest review. All opinions expressed within are my own.