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Review: When the Tiger Kills by Vanessa Prelatte

When the Tiger KillsCan a Serial Killer Be Stopped Before It Is Too Late?

Detective Dawn Cimarron and her partner, Sergeant Rafe Melbourne, are hard at work trying to close not one, but two major cases in their hometown of Mountpelier, Colorado.

In the first case, a college student has been found lying at the foot of a cliff, and his girlfriend has disappeared, the apparent victim of a kidnapping plot. And all indications point to one inevitable conclusion: a serial killer is on the loose – a clever and resourceful killer who seems to be equally obsessed with visions of an ancient goddess and young girls with long, pale blonde hair.

The second case involves a young man who has been stabbed to death, his body left under a tree. At first it looks like a simple drug deal gone wrong. However, after encounters with the victim’s angry, bitter stepsister and his self-absorbed, histrionic mother, the two detectives begin to suspect that there is more to this case than meets the eye.

With the help of Dawn’s husband Ty, a retired Air Force major now in charge of the local unit of the Civil Air Patrol, Dawn and Rafe work to bring a murderer to justice, even as they race against the clock to find the missing girl – before her time runs out.

The great thing about mystery books is the fact that you never know where the story is going to take you. A fantastic mystery writer can take you on a roller coaster ride full of deception, misdirection and red herrings. Not all writers can achieve this kind of suspense, but it’s clear that Vanessa Prelatte has a masterful mind that can take two seemingly unconnected events and turn them into a terrific story of crime and passion.

Normally I would find myself enjoying one of the cases more than the other. However with this book, I felt both held enough weight and presence that any difference in my interest between the two, would be minuet at best. The first case about the young man who was stabbed and left for dead in a local park was interesting because of the unfolding story of who did it. Like a Shakespearean play, the truth unfolds that even those closest to us, our family, cannot be trusted when it comes to matters of money and power. Those characters involved in the investigation really enhance the case to a new level with their outbursts, wild tall tales and overall outrageous behavior.

As for the second case, I’ll admit I was a little disinterested in the case initially. Guy and girl go out into the woods and meet some strange man, whom the girl begins to flirt with and the guy acts all pissy about. It’s not until you realize the first scene in the book is related to this case that things begin to become interesting. Obsessed with the idea that a Norse goddess is watching over him, the perpetrator is dedicated to releases the lost pieces of her being, in hopes of bringing her back to reality. Fueled with a delusional obsession, he’s been traveling around the country and finding young women of a very specific type in order to help assist him in his quest.

As for the lead character, Dawn, I thought I wouldn’t like her character, especially upon hearing she’s got a “perfect” rich husband. But as the details of their relationship unfold, it was really easy to enjoy the couple and see that there was nothing perfect about the life they’re leading. After all, nothing can be too perfect when a couple has to share a duplex disguised as a single house. I’ll admit her husband’s involvement in randomly flying her around for the case was a little off putting. I’m fairly sure this kind of involvement could jeopardize the case when it goes to court. But other things make up for this one little thing, such as Dawn removing herself from a case when she discovers there may possibly be a personal connection to it.

Overall this was a great book and for fans of detective stories, I think most will enjoy it as much as I did. I look forward to reading the next installment in this series.


Gold StarGold StarGold StarGold Star


Pick up your copy on Amazon: When the Tiger Kills by Vanessa Prelatte

About Kristine

As an aspiring author, avid bookworm, fitness fanatic and dedicated mother, there just aren't enough hours in the day. I write or post about things I'm passionate about and spend my time trying to make the most of every day. Life may be a tough journey, but I have my ruby red slippers and am content on skipping along this yellow brick road until the end of the line.

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