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"For someone not named Patterson, Harris or Lindsay, Sue Coletta has reinvented the serial killer genre without stepping over the tropes for which we flock to it. In "Wings of Mayhem," she gives us a "Silence of the Lambs" style yarn that takes us into not one, but two criminal minds: one a twisted psychopathic genius hell-bent on sending sickly cryptic messages through the flesh of his victims (the plot recalls the latest season of "The Following" starring Kevin Bacon, which gave new meaning to "twisted" while being something you could not look away from), the other being our protagonist, who moonlights from her day job (I won't rat that out here) as a cat-burglar who stumbles into the wrong crib, stealing the aforementioned serial killer's fetishized "precious." There is hell to pay for them both as a result.
The story spins ahead with escalating velocity and well-rendered literary layers, always leaving the reader pleading for more information while delivering just enough with exquisite timing, always nailing a clear and rationale dissection of what seemed in the moment like insanity or illogic. The craft of the writer is on display from page one, with intense pacing, deeply drawn characters and a matrix of plot elements that never lets you see the big picture as completely as you think you do, thus setting up an ending that demands you stick with it until the final, unexpected twist.
You think you get it, but you don't. And when you do, you're delighted that you didn't.
Sue Coletta is on a path. She earned her ticket into the crowded arena of dark thriller contenders with her previous novel ("Marred"), and in "Wings of Mayhem" she announces her arrival with the wail of approaching sirens and the quiet horror of a blade swinging at your throat in the dark. Don't miss this one. A star is born." ~ Critically Acclaimed author, Larry Brooks
From the Author
I write what I love to read, what fascinates me and the things I fear the most. As a reader, I love to be kept in suspense while at the same time matching wits against the main character. Fast-paced, lots of action, endearing characters, and a vicarious experience I can't find anywhere else.
As such, I offer the same thrill-ride to you. I spend countless hours of research before I write one word. Read the acknowledgements in my books and you'll see it takes a village to create a world worth spending time in. Chatting with experts and living the scenes myself in order to feel my characters' terror, sadness, pain, is one of my favorite parts of the process. Forensics, criminal investigations, witnessing what happens to the body after death, and delving into the mind of serial killers is what intrigues me most.
My focus, however, is always on you. I hope you'll enjoy reading my stories as much as I've enjoyed writing them. Because if it weren't for you, dear reader, I wouldn't get to live my dream. Thank you for your interest in my work.
All books in Mayhems Series can stand alone, but if you prefer to read in order, they're numbered this way, with the crossover novellas at the half mark:
From the first page to the last you are captivated from one page to the next as the story unfolds with a cat burglar on the prowl breaking into a home of a man that steals money. She plans on steal from him selling what she takes and giving it back to those innocent people. What takes place next will leave you spellbound, shock, horrified, screaming for her to put it all back and run, run as fast as you can. She thinks she is safe, making it out alive with no one the wiser but she is very wrong. He knows who she is and he is on the hunt to get back what she took playing a game of cat and mouse this is one cat burglar who is scared out of her wits. Those she loves and hold dear are now in the sights of a very evil man. It is anyone’s guesses who will be left standing when he gets done what he is doing.
Ms. Emmes narration was great, I loved her northern accent it really fit Shawnee. I have listened to other audios of hers but I think this one is the best so far. She really knows how to pull you in making you buy into the story, leaving you hanging on the edge, making you feel the danger, leaving you with her heart in your throat, yelling at the characters demanding they get their act together. I love her character voice, you always know who is talking and what they are feeling. I love the emotion you can hear in her voice as she pulls you in holding you spellbound waiting for the next shoe to drop. The volume never changes, if any breaks were taken I could not tell. There were no repeating of words, no background noises just a very clean and clear audio that I got lost in. I do not think I would have felt the same way had I read it because the narrator really pulls out all the stops given you an emotional listen, making you feel the excitement, pain, sorrow, scared that each character is going through.
The author really gives a wonderful read with a very well thought out story covering everything. When that camera flashed I could picture each thing she saw in my mind. I set there with my mouth wide open asking myself what in the heck she had gotten herself into now. There was no way for her to come clean and lord my heart went out to his victims. There is one that I wanted to grab and pull right out of the book. I kept saying no no no you can’t do that no no no go back oh lord that poor women. The suspense, danger, and excitement just about killed me. I couldn’t put this book down I had to know what was happening. Oh those poor bodies oh the things he did what a mess. I really liked the ending how it all played out. I loved the mystery and thought when it was over why didn’t I think of that. I felt the killer deserved it and so much more. This is one story that will keep you spellbound until the end. I know I will not forget it for some time to come. It is also one I most likely will listen to again.
I was looking forward to reading this book: Wings of Mayhem came well recommended and Sue Coletta has a great recommendation. Perhaps because of my expectations, the reality was disappointing.
While the book is definitely action-packed, moves at a good pace and has distinct characters, the thesaurus-influenced writing and occasional implausibilities in the plot let it down.
It is published by Crossroad Press so I wasn't expecting editorial errors but they there were. Early on, seagulls were "flying in entropy" - entropy seems to be shifting in meaning in popular usage but this usage jarred even when considering this shift. A minor point but a good editor would have caught it. Later, we have "the last couple of days didn't exactly glean me restful sleep". The verb 'glean' simply doesn't make sense in this sentence and, other than perhaps showing that the author has a wide vocabulary, doesn't add value for the reader. A couple of pages later, "her voice raised ten octaves to decimals that could crack glass". Apart from the hyperbole (humans generally have a range of no more than three octaves), a good editor should have caught this. Did the author mean 'decibels'? But ten decibels don't crack glass. Far simpler to have said, "her voice rose to an octave that could crack glass". By the time I got to the pages of anatomy lessons that added zero value to both reader and character being lectured to, I was beginning to fade. It read as if Coletta had simply googled 'human anatomy' and then listed what she found in the hope that it sounded technical and expert enough to impress readers. And well it might, but not this one.
As for plot, there were enough jarring moments to prompt the loss of a star rating: - A forensic investigator hired by the police is working on the police file of a major character. This character is a millionaire and CEO of a large company. Yet the only way the investigator knows of getting any information on the man (e.g. a photograph) is to break into his house... no looking at the police file or using Google. - A character is a morbid bystander at the site of a gruesome and horrific murder, the victim still visible. Her reaction? To assess the sexiness of one of the investigators. - 24 hours after his wife is the victim of that horrific murder, the husband is called in for questioning by the police. No sympathy given, he is treated poorly in the hopes that he would entrap himself. He complies, writing a long essay on his whereabouts and actions for the past few days. But... he's a lawyer. He knows better than to do this and only thinks to call his own lawyer after he has given the police all the answers they want. No, he's not in shock. - A character is being stalked by a psychopathic killer who preys on women. He knows where she lives and what she is doing. He likes to send sadistic killings as messages. He calls her at her own home. The character's best friend - female - is staying with her. Does she tell her best friend what's going on? Warn her a psycho is outside the house and that she could be the killer's next message? No. She runs out of the house, leaving her best friend unaware of any dangers.
I need realism and credibility in a book. I prefer believable action over fast action. And I really don't like poor English. But that's just me. Coletta obviously has many fans and readers who are looking for a little exciting escapism, a quick read on a Saturday afternoon and aren't worried about a few incorrect details here and there will probably find this fits the bill. It just wasn't for me.