Copy received from e-Kensington through NetGalley.
It starts with the very brutal murder and mutilation of a local business man and is soon followed by the identical murder of a young woman. Detective Tom Hanson and his partner John Giggs have nothing to go on. No evidence, no clues and no links between the victims and no clear motive. Until they discover that both victims where members of the local BDSM scene. This, more adventurous form of sexual activity, is something Hanson has tasted from in the past. Even after three years he still thinks with longing about the beautiful redhead who showed him sensations and pleasures he never knew existed, giving him experiences he won’t ever forget. Until the moment she asked him for something he couldn’t give and he walked away, leaving a piece of himself behind. Back then Gina Larsen was his partner both in private and in his professional life. Until she had to resign from the police force after her kinkier side became public knowledge. Now Hanson has to turn to the woman who still strongly affects him for assistance. He needs her inside knowledge of the local and very secret BDSM scene if he wants to have any chance of solving the crimes. And with the body-count rising, stopping the killer becomes more urgent by the day.
Gina is as beautiful and sexy as she ever was and working with her again reawakens all the feelings and lust Hanson has been suppressing for so long. And watching Gina in action, as a professional dominatrix, stirs up needs and emotions Hanson didn’t know he had, as well as the thought that maybe he can be what she needs him to be after all. And meanwhile a murderer is still at large, looking for his next victim and if they don’t catch him soon he will bring his killings very close to home.
I’ve read tons of mysteries over the years. And in the recent past I’ve enjoyed quite a few erotic novels. This was the first time I’ve combined the two and I have to say I thoroughly enjoyed the experience, especially since Kate Kinsey never sacrificed one genre in favour of the other. This book brings the reader a fascinating and well plotted murder mystery. The murders are gruesome, the investigation is described in enough detail to allow the reader to participate in it and the solution is credible. We even get the slightly obnoxious detective partner and irritating superior that we encounter in a lot of mysteries. And there is no shortage of twists and turns or shocking revelations either.At the same time we are treated to graphic and varied scenes of sexual activity. There is nothing repetitive about the descriptions though. Each scene is unique and either moves the story forward or illustrates a point that needs to be made. The scenes are also potentially shocking for those who do not enjoy the kinkier side of eroticism. But we get more than that. As Gina explains the world of BDSM to the police officers she is assisting, the reader is informed as well. And because the explanations are given as part of the story it never feels like the narrative is being interrupted. The reader is given an insight into a world they may not be familiar with, without ever feeling as if they are being lectured or preached to.
Kate Kinsey obviously knows how to tell a story well. Her writing flows, the story is gripping and original and the characters become real. In fact, that is one of the things I really liked about this book; the characters are real people. No supermodels or billionaires in this story. These are people like you and me who just happen to share a specific sexual appetite. According to her biography the author lives the BDSM life-style herself and therefore knows what she is writing about. Which makes it all the more remarkable and honest that she has written this book, and especially the ending, in such a way that it is just as easy for a reader to walk away from the book loathing the scene as it is to come to a better understanding or even appreciation of it.
Overall I can only say that I enjoyed this book. I enjoyed the mystery and I enjoyed the eroticism. In fact I would call this a very satisfying reading experience.