Series: Chasing Evil Trilogy

Midnight Fear by Leslie Tentler

Midnight Fear by Leslie TentlerMidnight Fear by Leslie Tentler
Series: Chasing Evil Trilogy, #2
Published by Mira on July 19th 2011
Pages: 432
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five-stars

"I trusted you, Caity"
The still of the night is once again shattered by Caitlyn Cahill's recurring nightmare—her brother standing before her, gripping a butcher knife, his eyes black with hatred. Two years ago, the former Washington, D.C., socialite defied her powerful senator father and risked the ruin of her family by helping the FBI link her troubled brother to a string of horrific murders. "The Capital Killer" was sent to prison for life…and Caitlyn's entire world fell apart.
Now, FBI agent Reid Novak is forced to rend the peace Caitlyn has found on a rural Virginia horse farm. A copycat killer is on the loose and slowly toying with Caitlyn—his ultimate target—in a terrorizing cat–and–mouse game. Almost destroyed two years ago by Caitlyn's family, not to mention the Capital Killer's haunting final murder, Reid vows to save the woman he's never forgotten or die trying.

I’m once again amazed by what Leslie Tentler can achieve. Midnight Fear is a thrilling, suspenseful story of a copycat killer – the stunning revelation of whom at the end really left me shocked – and how 2 people, brought together by extenuating circumstances, find each other again.

Reid Novak first met Caitlyn Cahill under less than ideal circumstances but dropped out of her life soon after the case against her brother closed. Just as he is about to return to active duty following a long convalescence, the copycat strikes, with the intention of getting to Caitlyn.

I’ve always loved Ms Tentler’s sophisticated storytelling and maturity of characterisation – so exquisitely written given the required gravitas of this genre as well as how adults should be behaving in fiction without TSTL moments – and Reid and Caitlyn are no different. It’s beyond refreshing to read about characters who recognise the difficulty in maintaining a relationship forged out of the darkest moments of a murder yet struggle with their intense attraction to each other without the usual dramatics that I tend to see in many other books. Reid is as atypical a hero as one can get and Caitlyn isn’t the usual spoiled socialite who magically evolves into a caring person by the end of the book; instead, I’ve only gotten to see more and more, how well-matched they are for each other by the time the last page came around.

Like always, Ms Tentler’s bittersweet but hopeful (and not quite resolved) endings have me long wondering into the night if they truly get their HEA.

five-stars

Edge of Midnight by Leslie Tentler

Edge of Midnight by Leslie TentlerEdge of Midnight by Leslie Tentler
Series: Chasing Evil Trilogy, #3
Published by Mira on January 24th 2012
Pages: 432
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five-stars

The writer becomes the story when crime reporter Mia Hale is discovered on a Jacksonville beach, bloodied and disoriented, but alive. She remembers nothing, but her wounds bear the signature of a sadistic serial killer. After years lying dormant, The Collector has resumed his grim hobby: abducting women and taking gruesome souvenirs before dumping their bodies. But none of his victims has ever escaped and he wants Mia back, more than he ever wanted any of the others.
FBI agent Eric MacFarlane has pursued The Collector for a long time. The case runs deep in his veins, bordering on obsession and Mia holds the key. She'll risk everything to recover her memory and bring the madman to justice, and Eric swears to protect this fierce, fragile survivor. But The Collector will not be denied. In his mind, he knows just how their story ends.

Such an enthralling and riveting read. I’m not too ashamed to admit that my admiration for Leslie Tentler is growing exponentially despite having only read ‘Fallen’.

Mia Hale’s abduction and subsequent escape pulls the Feds into the case and Special Agent Eric Macfarlane, who has a personal interest in this. Together, they need to unravel who is after her before other women succumb to the Collector’s wiles. From the very start, we’re made to know who the killer is (something that really surprised me) but that in no way detracts from the atmospheric conditions that are detailed in the story.

Apart form Ms Tentler’s ability to carve out a solid crime thriller plot, I particularly loved how she handles her characters. They are broken, determined and yet never crossing the fine line into too stupid to live territory as they battle the simmering the tension and attraction. Mia and Eric are such prime examples of how a mature pairing like this should work and the happy-ever-after is always bittersweet, with the lingering hope of a future rather than a cut and dried one.

I’m pretty sure I’ll be suffering a book hangover after this. The inability to move on to another novel because I’m still lost in the world of this one after turning the last page is a sensation that doesn’t occur too often and when it does, I’d be a damn idiot not to seize it with both hands.

five-stars