Pros: Great mystery and characters, wonderful relationship, fascinating subplots
Cons: So many people and names that I got a bit confused!
Rating: 5 out of 5
Review book courtesy of Penguin Group
Special Agent Jaid Marlowe of the FBI has a long and storied history with Adam Raiker of Raiker Forensics. It was all a long time ago, and they’ve tried to forget each other, but somehow neither of them has ever been able to quite let go. Now, a case has thrown them back together again. A killer is stalking DC, leaving slips of paper at each scene pointing to one of the seven deadly sins. At first none of the victims seem to have anything in common—a judge, a financier, a religious leader. The far-flung list of suspects is even flimsier—a US senator, a priest, an Iranian professor, and perhaps even someone within the FBI itself.
As Jaid and Adam dive into the case, they start to fear that the only link between the victims might be Adam himself. And when he becomes a suspect, Jaid has to risk everything to prove him innocent. No one is safe—not Jaid, not Adam, and not even Jaid’s son, Royce. To make things just that much harder, Adam, who always preached the philosophy that love and sex complicate and cloud a person’s judgement, may be forced to realize that giving up Jaid was the worst mistake he ever made.
Kylie Brant’s Deadly Sins is book six in her Mindhunters series. Each installment follows a different pair of main characters, so they can be read separately, but enough characters have accrued over the course of the series that having read the other books definitely helps in keeping all of Adam’s employees straight—especially since they all show up in this one! Also, there’s an arc plot regarding Adam that has been touched on in the various books, so it helps to have that background before reading the novel that centers on him. There are a lot of characters in Deadly Sins, and it helps to have every edge possible in keeping track of them.
I’ve been a bit up and down in my ratings on this series, although overall I’ve quite liked them. Part of that stems from the fact that the women in most of the books are just too similar in their situations—all traumatized women who just happen to be brilliant forensics experts working for Raiker who all happen to fall for the men they end up partnered with on various cases. After a while it stretched even my willingly suspended disbelief. This time, however, she mixed it up. Adam is emotionally closed off, and certainly had a difficult childhood, but he didn’t have the specific trauma/phobia pattern of earlier books. Jaid has become very reserved as well, partly because of her past with Adam and partly because of her job, but it isn’t on the same level as earlier books.
One of the other issues earlier books had was a problem in the art of foreshadowing the villain. In several the villain wasn’t adequately foreshadowed, so you didn’t get that feeling of “aha!” when he was exposed. Admittedly this is an extremely fine line to find and ride, so I didn’t exactly dock much for that. Brant did a much better job of finding that line in this one, throwing in plenty of twists, red herrings, possible suspects, and hints.
I love the dynamics between Jaid and Adam. There’s chemistry, there are old hurts, but things don’t get drawn out artificially between them. The intimate moments between them are fulfilling, sweet, and hot. They’re both somewhat older people who’ve been around the block a little, have the scars to show for it, have responsibilities, and yet are discovering something important to them. So many romances (and rom/suspenses) are aimed at a much younger audience; it’s nice to have some that appeal to greater age ranges. I think there’s still plenty here to appeal to that younger audience, though.
All in all, this is one of my favorites of Ms. Brant’s books so far, and I look forward to seeing more!