Grim - Joseph Spencer
In a gritty town rife with organized crime, dirty cops and corrupt politicians, Detective Adam White stands alone as the people's symbol of justice and hope for a brighter future. He's cracked the biggest cases, and stood up to the crime families who've torn apart Prairieville with their power struggles. He's gorgeous, humble and incorruptible; a crime fighter so pure that the locals nicknamed him the White Knight.
What the people don't know is their reluctant hero is cracking before their eyes. Ten years have passed since a pack of bank robbers gunned down his wife in the street. He's relentlessly worked every case he could get his hands on since that night with the hopes of finding some link to her killer, but every lead always winds up a dead end. He made a vow on her death bed that he wouldn't stop looking or move on with his life, personal or otherwise, until her killer was either dead or behind bars.
His obsession is starting to affect his work, including a new set of murders which are eerily similar to cold cases in which a gangland legend called The Reaper is the main suspect. A routine canvas of the area in which the bodies were found led Detective White to Heath Grim, a reclusive millionaire with grisly facial scars and a past which doesn't quite add up. There's something about his story which makes Detective White curious to dig deeper into his background.
Just as Detective White closes in on his killer, the mob hatches an elaborate scheme which could cost him everything. In his moment of need, an unlikely ally presents a way out of the plot against him and information on his wife's killer. However, it leaves Prairieville's paragon of justice with a moral dilemma. Can he abandon all of the heroic ideals upon which he's based his life and become the type of man he's hunted for so long to settle a score with his wife's killer?I
So first of all, lots of gore in here. To the point where I actually had nightmares and envisioning the character of Grim is not something I would recommend. Aside from that, this story has all kinds of twists and turns, and while you think you know what's going on you really don't until you get towards the end. Grim's character actually reminded me a lot of Heath Ledger's portrayal of the Joker in Batman, but you almost feel bad for the guy who clearly has a slew of mental health issues.
Then on the flip side you have Detective White who is seemingly this straight laced, all American, blue collar guy fighting crime. But then you find out a little more about him and I was never really sure what I thought about him, but his character was a really good fit for this role. If that makes any sense.
What I really enjoyed about this book? Is that you literally could not put it down. Things happened really quickly and you almost feel as if you are in the middle of it. The description of the crime scene makes you feel like you are right there looking at it, and then everything from start to finish is go, go, go. The best part is that it really makes you question morality. Do you do things by the book because it's the law, or do you look at the rationale and let it go? It's really not a black or white issue and this book challenges you all the way to the end. You absolutely would never know this was Joseph Spencer's debut novel- the writing was fantastic and nothing felt forced throughout the whole book. There were some parts of the book that are familiar in other books in the thriller/crime/suspense genre, but honestly I felt like he put his own twist on it.
I really enjoyed this book and I think if you really like crime/suspense/thriller and anything to do about death- you're going to really like this one. But I really did have a couple nights of nightmares and so that was not awesome.