Image of Before Cain Strikes (An Esme Stuart Novel)


Image of Before Cain Strikes (An Esme Stuart Novel)

This follow-up to While Galileo Preys can be read on its own. While there is backstory, it isn’t hard to follow the events of the first book. The ending, where almost all the characters end up at the same B&B killing each other or trying not to be killed, feels like a Three Stooges meets a serial killer movie, but the villains are genuinely chilling. The combination of a realistic picture of a serial killer in the making, humor and unbelievable characters weaken the story. It is a quick read, however, and it’ll keep your interest up to the train wreck of an ending.

Esme Stuart gave up a promising FBI career when she married, but rejoined when her former boss was badly injured. At the end of the first book her husband and daughter were taken prisoner by the serial killer she was hunting. Her husband didn’t take that well and holds it against Esme. A friend of Esme’s husband is killed and he asks her to help find the killer. Then it is revealed that a serial killer has set up a training site online for would-be serial killers. (MIRA, Apr., 400 pp., $7.99)
Reviewed by: 
Page Traynor