I obtained a copy of Tortured Dreams from the author. This review contains no spoilers.
Tortured Dreams is a mystery thriller by Hadena James. It tells the story of a self-professed sociopath, a magnet for violence prone to attracting the attention of serial killers. She's recruited by a US Marshal Serial Crimes Tracking Unit to pursue a murderer who kills using medieval torture methods.
I like the premise of the book, and in parts Hadena's prose brings to mind Jeff Lindsay's Dexter series, particularly with the thought patterns of the book's first-person narrator.
Unfortunately this cadence is pervasive throughout the course of the book, seldom varying, and the uniform short and punchy sentence structure grows tiring upon prolonged reading. I found myself taking frequent breaks, not because of the gruesome subject matter, just because the way the prose plodded along.
It reads very matter of fact, even in the way the characters speak, and the dialog doesn't entirely ring true. This is especially the case considering the varied extreme personalities presented. They all end up speaking with the same "voice".
I also found it somewhat difficult to connect to the characters, to the point where I was ambivalent regarding their fates. It wasn't that the protagonist is a sociopath, but rather that she didn't quite ring true as genuine. She seemed to me as a vehicle for the movement of the plot, rather than a character in her own right.
Despite these flaws Tortured Dreams isn't a terrible book, and if you're a big fan of sociopathic protagonists or serial killer thrillers you'll enjoy it.