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Bitter Moon (The Huntress/FBI Thrillers) Paperback – November 1, 2016
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"Warlight" by Michael Ondaatje
A dramatic coming-of-age story set in the decade after World War II, "Warlight" is the mesmerizing new novel from the best-selling author of "The English Patient." Pre-order today
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About the Author
Alexandra Sokoloff has won the Thriller Award and been nominated for the Bram Stoker, Anthony, and Black Quill Awards for her supernatural thrillers The Harrowing, The Price, The Unseen, Book of Shadows, The Shifters, and The Space Between. She has also earned a second Thriller Award nomination for her Huntress/FBI Thrillers series (Huntress Moon, Blood Moon, Cold Moon, and Bitter Moon). The New York Times Book Review has called her a “daughter of Mary Shelley” and declared her books “some of the most original and freshly unnerving work in the genre.”
As a screenwriter, she has written original screenplays and novel adaptations for numerous Hollywood studios, and is the author of three nonfiction writing workbooks: Stealing Hollywood, Screenwriting Tricks for Authors, and Writing Love. She also writes the acclaimed blog www.ScreenwritingTricks.com, based on her writing workshops and books, and has penned erotic paranormal fiction, including The Shifters, Book 2 of The Keepers trilogy, and Keeper of the Shadows, from The Keepers L.A. She lives in Los Angeles and in Scotland with crime author Craig Robertson.
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This fourth book of the series is told in alternating voices between Cara Lindstrom in the Past at age 14 and FBI Agent Matthew Roarke in the Present. In the past, Cara is sent to a group home after release from juvenile prison and as she begins to attend the local high school, she is once again confronted by her visualization and/or conception of evil she calls “It”. In the present, Roarke is on leave from his job and is trying to decide who he is and what he wants for his future. A cryptic call from a detective with unknown motives drags Roarke into Cara’s past and the still unsolved present day mystery of a sexual predator preying on young girls.
The two plot lines intertwine past and present without being confusing in any way. This in depth look at Cara’s past was extremely interesting. It was the turning point in her short life when she decides to no longer be a victim, but to actively seek out and destroy “It” in all its manifestations. Cara is one of my favorite characters. Victim, psychotic, seer, killer, predator. Every scene and situation makes me reconsider my feelings for her.
I recommend this series highly! I also feel this series should be read in order. The character evolution in both main and secondary characters grows with the series. There is graphic violence throughout the series, but I don’t feel it is ever gratuitous. Once again, waiting for the next book!
But the book does have other good qualities. It's well written, of course, as we expect from Sokoloff. Her pacing, always good, is outstanding here, especially in how she handles the transitions between Cara's and Roarke's individual threads. I thought her character development was especially strong; I feel I got to know Cara, and especially Roarke, much better through this novel than through any of the others.
If you aren't familiar with this series, I strongly urge you to get to know it by starting at the beginning with "Huntress Moon." If you're already a fan and follower, you're going to love this one. Happy reading!
If you are new to this series, I really recommend you start with Huntress Moon and read them in order. The story of the relationship between our heroine (the huntress Cara) and our hero (FBI Agent Roarke, in pursuit) builds over the sequence. I suppose you could read them in any order as the books have enough action and clever plotting to stand on their own, but you would be missing the intricacies of the complex Cara that Sokoloff has so carefully ramped up over time.
Now on to Bitter Moon: Sokoloff has done something in this novel I have never seen before and it’s very effective. She runs two event-connected timelines in parallel, 16 years apart and told in alternating chapters.
Cara’s timeline begins 16 years ago following her release from “The Yard” (essentially a state prison for teenagers) at 14, and follows Cara as she lives through the short period (two weeks) where she commits herself to becoming the captivating predator who is the primary focus of all the Moon books.
Roarke’s timeline runs in present time as he tries to learn what happened with Cara 16 years ago that turned her into the predator she is today. In investigating her past, he discovers there was more to what happened back then than he could have imagined. So as Cara experiences those events in her timeline from 16 years ago, Roarke is connecting the dots from those events in present time 16 years later.
These are wonderful characters, Cara and Roarke. Both highly intelligent. Both highly skilled. And Alexandra Sokoloff is a gifted storyteller weaving a complex plot with imaginative twists. The supporting cast of characters is also very well done.
Alexandra, I want you to know I have high expectations for book 5. I know there will be a fifth book because you introduced a new nasty character left unresolved in Bitter Moon. And while I know better than to try to guess the fate of a nasty character unlucky enough to share a novel with Cara, I know it will be interesting.
This is one of the most engaging series I have ever read.
Good work, Alexandra Sokoloff.