My Rating: 3.5/5
Author: Tina Glasneck
Title: Thou Shall Not
Bodies are piling up in Richmond, Virginia, mutilated and tagged. A serial killer metes out justice to those who have escaped it, killing according to the Ten Commandments, and Alexandria “Xandy” Caras is on the list. Two years have passed since the workplace massacre; six months since the day her charge of murder was dismissed.
When innocent “fan” letters become aggressive acts, Xandy finds herself seeking help from Police Captain Victor Hawthorne. He doesn’t believe in coincidences. Can he keep her safe when all signs point to her as being the killer’s ultimate target?
Only Xandy’s death can make it all stop, silencing the deranged killer who wants more than revenge, but true repentance.
A serial killer is on the loose; bodies are found mutilated with a “thou shall not” tag left somewhere in their bodies; and the police are having a hard time figuring out who is behind the killing. However, we do know one thing: the killer is targeting women who had their charges dismissed. Xandy, one of the main characters, had her murder charges dismissed over a year ago. Now she is being stalked and possibly the next victim on the thou-shall-not killer’s list. I’ll try to keep this posting as spoiler-free as possible since this is a mystery novel. Please excuse any vagueness because of this.
The story is written in third person following multiple characters. Xandy had been accused but dismissed of all charges for her fiancé murder. Now she is trying to put her life back together, but it is not so easy. A stalker starts getting too close and certain postcards are making their way in her mail. Xandy is a little hard to figure out at times. She has obviously been through a lot in past few years, but her personality is sometimes scattered throughout the book. One example is with her love life. I won’t go into details but I never really “understood” her relationship, or rather the pursuit of it. Victor, captain of the police, helped get Xandy’s charges dismissed. He is one of the people Xandy trusts with her information and ideas linked to the serial killings. He has some shady actions concerning Xandy’s predicament. Lazarus was Xandy’s arresting officer. He feels that there is something Xandy is hiding from her past case and goes about finding out what that is. To make things short, this book has a lot of characters, and I had a hard time keeping up with them – especially at the beginning. Multiple characters can help keep the killer a secret in novels, but it can also be confusing for the reader.
The plot is a little slow to start, but it picks up as the book progresses. If you are into lots of murders in a book, then this one should make you happy. I wouldn’t say the descriptions of the murder were detailed-oriented to make you vomit, but there are some bizarre ways in which the killer did the job. The book ends at a sort of cliffhanger. Do you find out who was the killer? Yes. Was I surprised? Yes. Does the killer get caught? Can’t say. There are side stories (an affair, divorce, pregnancy, a safe, money, etc.) in the novel. Some of these could have been tied up better– as well as a few characters that were just forgotten or not tied into the end of the book. I think this would have helped solidify the ending.
The Bottom Line:
Overall it was a good read. If you like murder mysteries, then you might enjoy this book.