Posted By LambChop
Book Review of Heron Park by C.K Raggio
Somerset Maugham said there are three rules for writing a novel, but unfortunately no one knows what they are. But suffices to say that a sadistic killer with a canine accomplice (straight out of Arthur Conan Doyle’s The House of the Baskervilles) who hunts and tortures unsuspecting women, choosing a popular hiking path in a small Long Island town as the killing field all make for an unforgettable story.
Smart stunner, Detective Cassie Logan, is joined by her sexy FBI agent love interest Rick Sanders in a battle against a serial set of murders that terrorize the peaceful Long Island town. One woman after the other is brutally tortured and killed while you ride along with Detective Logan collecting evidence from the despicable crimes. The author skillfully weaves the intricate who dunnit plot with chilling first person asides from the killer that offer deep insight into the shattered mind and debauched character of a murderer who derives sexual pleasure from torturing his victims.
The ins and outs of forensics are reminiscent of Patricia Cornwell and the psychological presentation of the mind of the killer could be straight from the pages of a James Patterson novel. The difference in Raggio’s novel and others is the racing, dread-filled demanding plot where time is actually running out. Raggio simultaneously offers the “inside- the- head -cam” of the killer at interspersed intervals to increase the horrific tension. The icing on the cake is not just the fast-paced action, but the killer’s accomplice: a terrible rare breed of dog trained to torture and attack at his master’s command.
Raggio’s bio includes her expertise as a canine behaviorist and her knowledge shows in the compelling descriptions of the dog, the dog’s prey drive and the interaction with his master and trainer. For animal lovers who may be desensitized to the serial killer motif, the crime against unsuspecting pets is equally gruesome and you find yourself not just wanting the killer to be caught and punished, but cheering for harm to come to him.
Raggio has created a bestselling protagonist with Detective Cassie Logan, but the twist of including canine characters will have those of us who love thrillers and dogs coming back for more.