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Scream for Me is the second book in the trilogy of stories surrounding the murders committed by Simon Vartanian. This book immediately starts when Die for Me finishes and there is a lot of overlap between the characters and the storylines.
Daniel Vartanian is left realing after discovering his long dead brother Simon was actually alive and was responsible for a lot of murders including those of his parents. With this newfound knowledge Daniel is determined to discover all of the other family secrets centred around a range of photographs and drawings that he discovered years previously. Daniel believes more than just his family members are responsible for these previous brutal murders.
Daniel's quest brings him in contact with Alex Fallon who is inexplicably linked to the current case and the murders committed years previously. Alex is in town to discover who is responsible for the disappearance of her step sister. With every turn blocked by the authorities Daniel maybe the only one who can help her. Alex's quest doesn't go unnoticed and soon Daniel and Alex are battling to get answers as more questions appear. Just when things start to get answered the killer targets Alex.
There are a lot of crossovers between the first book in the series and this one.
Daniel is troubled. He comes from family which is so disjointed they might as well be strangers and he has recently discovered that his brother has killed his parents. Daniel's struggle comes from not really caring that they're gone and the guilt that this envokes. His sister doesn't care for him and he's now alone. His feelings for Alex startle him and he's just realised that he could have something and someone to hold on to for the first time in a long time.
Alex is a nurse. She's caring, compassionate and good at her job. With a settled life she has started to come to terms with her sisters murder and her mother's suicide and is moving on until she's dragged back to her home town in search of her step sister who's gone missing. Painful and long supressed memories start to be brought back and Alex needs Daniel's support to get through it all.
The satalite characters in this book are very important to this book as many become major players for the next one. Simon and Daniel's sister Susanna is very central as is Daniel's best friend Luke. Alex has a cousin who is a big part of her life and she's searching for Bailey her step sister.
There are a number of sub plots in this book including small town politics, child trafficking and complex family dynamics.
This is a good book but it is best read in conjunction with the other stories. It's would be easy ish to read this and then the next one without the Die for Me beginning but I think you're better off starting at the beginning. I like this book and it's well written. It's good when you get to the end and realise you've got another book to read to finish it off. The characters are well developed and feel quite equal. Sometimes Rose's female characters are very broken but these two are quite equal and I liked that. Again, suspense and timing is excellent and images are easily created in your mind due to the detail in the story.
Alicia and Alex are identical twins. Bailey is their stepsister. One night, Alicia is murdered and when she's found, she's been heavily beaten and wrapped in a brown woollen blanket. Alicia's mum identifies the body and then kills herself.
Fast forward thirteen years and Bailey is missing. Her daughter, Hope, is found cowering in a closet and won't speak. Alex, who hasn't spoken to her stepsister for over five years, flies in to care for Hope whilst her mum is missing. Once Alex arrives, the bodies of female victims start to be found, each wrapped in a brown blanket. Agent Daniel Vartanian is investigating, but will he solve the mystery in time to save Bailey's life?
(I can't really give any more of the plot or it will spoil the book for you!)
This is the second of Karen Rose's books that I've read and so far, it's the best. I didn't actually realise that it's the second title in a trilogy but that didn't matter, as the things that are mentioned in the book that relate to the first book are fairly easy to follow, although it has spoiled the first book for me, should I wish to read that.
'Scream For Me' is a crime thriller of the highest order. It keeps the reader intrigued all the way through, with so many characters and interwoven stories that it's sometimes hard to keep up. A lot of the characters are kept hidden from the reader, so distinguishing them from each other is sometimes a task that requires flicking back a few pages. Each section is separated by a place, date and time bar, which gives the reader clues about what's happening, or more specifically, who's not doing what. It is very much a brain teaser book, and, although I usually tend to guess things quite early in this sort of novel, even I was kept guessing up until the last few pages. So much so that when I was getting close to the end, I knew that I wasn't going to get to sleep without finding out what was happening and stayed up until 2:30am on a Sunday night/Monday morning so that I could get to sleep in peace!
The main characters are all very likeable, although I feel that I missed out on some character development through not reading the first book in the series. One slight issue I had was the two main characters falling in love so quickly, especially whilst a mass murder investigation was going on, with the possible murder of Alex's stepsister on the horizon. On the whole though, that situation was believable, just, although I wouldn't be surprised if the two main characters in the third book of the series fell in love too. That would perhaps be pushing the boundaries of believability for me a little.
The writing style's very good and increases the excitement that the reader feels. I was constantly having to stop myself glancing at the end of the opposite page as soon as I'd turned the page over, just to get a sneak preview. This generally doesn't help, simply because each section that's broken up by the time and date usually focuses on a different character, so there's really no point in cheating!
In all, this book was great and I'd certainly read it again. I have already borrowed the third book in the trilogy from a friend and I'm about t make a start on that. So yes, I'd definitely recommend this book, but I would also recommend that you read the first in the trilogy before you do.
All three books in the trilogy are available from Amazon from £4.50 and the correct order is 'Die For Me', 'Scream For Me' and then 'Kill For Me'
Scream For Me is the next book in Karen Rose's trilogy after Die For Me. It continues with lots of the same characters and is connected but isn't a direct continuation of the storyline from the first book. I borrowed all 3 from a friend and have now read the first two.
Scream For Me has Special Agent Daniel Vartanian as the lead character along with Alex Fallon who we didn't meet in the first book and follows on from the point of 2 weeks after the conclusion of the first book. If you haven't read the first one it doesn't matter as this book works fine as a stand alone but it is better if you have as lots of the first book is referred to in this one.
Daniel Vartanian has some photographs his brother Simon took years ago of a bunch of teenage girls being raped by unknown men and he is determined to find out who the girls are and who the rapists were and bring them to justice. Alex Fallon's twin sister was murdered in Daniel's home town thirteen years previously and now her stepsister Bailey is missing and it's starting to look like whoever killed Alex's sister may be behind her disappearance. Bailey Crighton, Alex's stepsister, is being held captive by a monster who wants to know where she put something given to her by her brother. Meanwhile more women are turning up dead in exact copies of the murder thirteen years ago. Can Alex and Daniel find Bailey before it's too late? And can Daniel solve the current spate of murders?
This book has even more complicated twists and turns than the first one and I actually didn't put it all together until the end. Right from the start we know who's behind some of it as we are privy to the killer's name and thoughts but we are not told why he is doing this or who else is involved. There are alot of characters in this book and keeping up with them all is again difficult, just like the first one.
Karen Rose seems to like her main characters to fall in love and this book again follows that pattern which I would have preferred not to happen if I'm honest, it seems too easy and twee for the main characters to always fall for each other but at least this time she didn't have problems writing about the relationship and it flowed better than the first book in that respect.
The dark secrets from everyone's past seem to tumble out at a rate of knots in this book and make for fascinating reading, with murders and conspiracies all over the place. The character of Alex Fallon is actually a very intriguing one with real depth and a past you can believe but Bailey's character isn't so lucky in the way she's portrayed. Even though we should feel sorry for Bailey because of her murky, troubled past and because she is being held and tortured it just doesn't quite work that way and I ended up not really caring if she was found or not.
There's an element of psychology to this book and some scenes of regression under hypnosis which make for interesting reading. Neither of these aspects is written in much depth but enough to keep most readers interested I suspect.
The conclusion ties up loose ends well but was quite predictable to be honest but I'm not sure each thread of the story could have gone any other way so I didn't mind this.
Overall it was another good read from Karen Rose with the small sections divided by time and written from the viewpoint of various characters that mean you can read a little bit more each time without losing a whole day! It held my interest from start to finish with just those minor gripes about Bailey's character and the main characters falling in love again but those aspects didn't ruin the book for me and I thoroughly enjoyed it. I recommend it to thriller fans but I would recommend reading Die For Me first so you know who some of the characters are and what has gone before.
Available from Amazon for £4.02 or used from Amazon Marketplace for 35p.