We asked Tess Gerritsen, physician and internationally bestselling author of Ice Cold, The Keepsake, The Bone Garden, and many more, to review J.A. Konrath's latest thriller, Shaken (available today as a Kindle ebook, and releasing in paperback in February). Read Gerritsen's exclusive guest review:
J.A. Konrath achieves the stupendous feat of blending both a prequel and a sequel in this timeline-hopping thriller, expertly making the pieces click together like an intricate Swiss watch.
Over the course of her decades-long career, Detective Jacqueline "Jack" Daniels has pursued her own great white whale: a sickeningly twisted serial killer named Mr. K. Years ago, Jack came heartbreakingly close to catching him, but he managed to slip away. Now Mr. K is back from her nightmares, and she's his captive, in a secret place where she's beyond rescue. Bound and gagged, the clock ticking down till zero, Jack faces a death more excruciating than anyone's worst imaginings. She has seen Mr. K.'s other victims, so she knows how terrible her end will be.
In flashback, we see just how Jack ended up at this moment in her life. From her first exposure as a rookie to Mr. K.'s handiwork, through her career-long pursuit of her nemesis, we watch Jack grow as a cop, as a woman, and as a friend to her two eccentric colleagues, Harry and Herb. That journey is both terrifying and wildly hilarious, a wacky combination that only a writer as good as Konrath can pull off. Throw in a deeply moving denouement, and you have a story that hits every single mark.
The pace is frantic, the horrors truly horrifying, and the dialogue will have you laughing out loud even as you're gripping the pages in terror. Konrath is so good, he makes other novelists jealous--and count me as one of them.
Five very enthusiastic stars out of five. --Tess Gerritsen