02 August, 2016

#BookReview :: Death Unmasked by Rick Sulik

A reincarnated evil is stalking the women of Houston. With each murder, the madman quotes an excerpt from the Oscar Wilde poem, “The Ballad of Reading Gaol.” A huge smokestack belching smoke, a ragged flea market double-breasted wool coat, and an old antique picture frame, bring the distant past back to haunt Houston Homicide Detective, Sean Jamison. With those catalysts, Jamison knows who he was in a past life and that he lost the only woman he could ever love. Searching for his reincarnated mate becomes Jamison’s raison d’être as he and fellow detectives scour Houston for a brutal serial killer. The memory of timeless love drives Jamison’s dogged search for a serial killer, determined to finish what he started decades earlier.
Each clue brings Jamison closer to unmasking his old nemesis. Tenacious police work, lessons learned in the past, and intuition may be the only weapons he has in preventing history from repeating itself.

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For some reason, when the author approached me for a review, the book gave me a ‘Phantom of the Opera’ feeling to me. I have no idea why though… The blurb tells an entirely different story and it is not the cover art either – I simply have no idea why. 

Homicide Detective, Sean Jamison, is good at his job but his job seems to be taking a toll on him. There is a serial killer loose out in the city and it is up to Sean and his team to pin down and catch the perpetrator. Then something triggers and Sean starts getting headaches which bring back memories – memories that can only be of his previous life. Slowly as he starts to put together the memories, he realizes that he is not the only one who is living a reincarnated life. The serial killer he is hunting is the person responsible for a lot of trouble and mayhem in his previous life as well. The complexity doesn’t end there – Sean’s wife in previous life is back too and is quite possibly the target of the killer. In a race to find the woman before the killer, Sean has an edge over the others - he had known this killer in a previous lifetime.

Let’s talk about the antagonist first. A well-developed antagonist usually takes a book to a whole different level. The perpetrator in this case is swift, unpredictable (for most people) and someone who inspires fear and hatred. As a result, the readers would automatically find themselves cheering on the protagonist to find the killer. The concept that the killer quotes from an Oscar Wilde poem only adds to the air of mystery about him - A killer with a soft spot for poetry? Or does the particular poem have something to do with him? Sean, the protagonist, on the other hand has to do very little to gain the sympathies of the readers. I wish that the experience that triggers Sean’s memories from past life coming back to him was explored a bit more. However, I did like the way the author has handled the subject of reincarnation. I also liked the particular plot treatment and the narrative that compliments both the characters and the plot settings. 

For some of the readers who do not believe in reincarnation, this book might test the boundaries. But when read with an open mind – its fiction after all, this book is quite enjoyable.

Review Copy received from the Author

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