Newest Review: ... of this one. Count To Ten sounded all too familiar... two investigators who don't really want to work together, one of them being a woman w... more
1... 2... I'm coming for you...
Count to Ten - Karen Rose
Member Name: jeffjen
Count to Ten - Karen Rose
Advantages: An engaging read, with a few good twists
Chicago Fire Department Lieutenant, Reed Solliday, is left sickened after finding that a young girl found in the wreckage of an explosion was brutally raped and murdered before the fire ripped through the house caused by the planned explosion.
Reed is assigned to join forces with brash detective Mia Mitchell, to find the killer. Mia has only just returned to duty herself after being shot, an incident which saw her regular partner Abe injured too and unable to return to work just yet. Mia feels guilty about the events which left Abe injured and isn't too happy about finding herself partnered with Reed in the meantime. Reed meanwhile, has a few concerns of his own, the main one being that he doubts Mia is ready to return to work.
Mia however, is determined to bury herself in her work and along with Reed, has to work on her most challenging case yet - an arsonist who appears to have escalated from starting fires to rape and murder.
'Count To Ten' is only the second book I have read by Karen Rose. I enjoyed the previous book I read a while back, but wasn't exactly intrigued by the blurb on the cover of this one. Count To Ten sounded all too familiar... two investigators who don't really want to work together, one of them being a woman who has dedicated her life to the job, determined to prove herself in a predominantly male environment and sacrificing personal relationships and family along the way.
Bearing this in mind, I didn't expect too much from this book as I thought it wouldn't offer much different from many other books I've read before. Also at 661 pages, I found myself wondering if I would actually finish it, as this is one lengthy novel to get through which could prove to be a turn-off if it turned out to be a mediocre read.
However, I found I was quite surprised at how good this book was and I certainly found it much more interesting than the cover first suggested to me.
Apparently Mia Mitchell has featured in other books by the author, but I didn't feel that I was missing anything here to confuse my understanding of her character.
The story begins in Indiana, late one Saturday evening in November and from the first page the reader is plunged right into the story as the killer strikes. The tension is there right away, setting the scene for what is to follow, which is a thriller full of suspense as one person sets out to seek revenge on those who have 'wronged' him and caused the death of his brother.
Mia and Reed have no easy task ahead as they try to find out who is responsible and put an end to the horrific killings. They have no idea of the killer's identity or motives and even though the reader has an inkling of the motives, it is certainly not enough to understand exactly why the killer is carrying out these revenge attacks, or why he has chosen these particular people. Therefore, the story remains a mystery to the reader and I quickly became intrigued by the possible reasoning behind the killer's crimes.
Karen Rose has delivered a lengthy, but gripping story of revenge with a few twists along the way. I suspected a couple of people of being the killer before being surprised at who it turned out to be and this is something I particularly enjoyed, as I prefer to read a thriller which leaves me guessing until the end.
There is also an undercurrent of tension between Reed and Mia, which creates a diversion from the main plot as they find themselves attracted to each other but don't want to admit to it. Mia 'doesn't do relationships' and Reed is still mourning the loss of his perfect wife whilst bringing up his teenage daughter. He thinks he could never love anyone the way he loved his wife and therefore only looks for 'no-strings' relationships, a fact which suits Mia just fine... or does it? As Mia and Reed inevitably become closer, both of them find themselves in denial and having to reassess the rules they have lived their lives by in recent years. Mia is tough, but is also vulnerable and Reed is just the same. As their vulnerable sides are slowly exposed, I found their characters became more appealing, as the "I'm tough and don't need a personal life" characters do become irritating after a while, so I was pleased the author actually does develop their characters here.
And so where I thought I would find the developing relationship between Mia and Reed a big turn-off, I actually found it wasn't irritating me like I thought it would and although it is somewhat predictable and cheesy in places, it didn't spoil my overall enjoyment of the book. I think the fact it is interspersed with chapters featuring the killer, ensured that the suspense didn't fall away at all. Indeed Mia finds herself becoming a target for the killer which just adds to the suspense a little more.
The subplots, engaging secondary characters and a good few twists are what kept me riveted to this book. So good are the red herrings that around two thirds of the way through, I felt that the story was winding up and began to wonder why there was still a third of the book left. This was a clever twist and I give praise to Karen Rose for how well she carries this off.
Count To Ten is a long tale, but at no time does it become boring and the fact that Rose keeps the reader hooked until the end should be applauded.
This book has left me eager to read more of this author's work.
Summary: A lengthy, but suspense-filled thriller which was much better than I expected it to be!