3 out of 4 stars
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What do you get when you combine murder and a psychological radio show that incorporates Rock 'n Roll? Apparently, you get the book The One by Ira Kalina. This book is the second in the Psych 'n' Roll mystery series. The first is entitled Final Shot and is available on Amazon.
Aja Connolly is an FBI agent currently stationed at Quantico to recover from her last assignment. Her superiors now think she's ready to be back in the field, though. They are sending her back to New York; a serial killer is on the loose. His target? Rich, influential members of society often termed "one percenters." She's spent so much time recovering from her stint in New York that she's warned to stay clear of anyone who might get in the way of her objectives - namely, Ike Miller.
Ike is the host of a radio show called "Psych 'n' Roll." As a psychologist, he tries to help people with their problems. He then plays music to match the theme of the show. For example, if the theme is betrayal, he might play "Cry Me A River" by Justin Timberlake. He was previously involved with Aja. Whether he knows it or not, he's about to find himself right in the middle of her life again when the killer starts calling his radio show.
Will Aja find the killer? Will she be able to stay away from her past? Will Ike be willing to help capture the killer or will their relationship get in the way again?
When I read the summary of this book, I was (as usual) a bit apprehensive about the fact that this was the second in a series. Oftentimes, you miss out on so much by coming in at the middle. In this particular case, the story stood alone. Having said that, though, there was definitely another, deeper layer missing because I did not read the first book. Ike and Aja's relationship started in the first book; I couldn't really get a sense of them as a couple because of this. Also, there were events I missed that shaped agent Connolly's character. I would have liked to have read these events firsthand; I believe that would have given me a better idea of her personality.
The plot is fast-paced and exciting. The story starts off in third person from the killer's perspective. We aren't told who he is, but we witness him murdering a woman. The perspective then shifts back and forth from those trying to catch him to his own thoughts and struggles. This gives us a unique perspective on why the murderer is on a killing spree and how he chooses his victims.
I will say that this book is not for the faint of heart. There is some gore, violence, language and sexual situations. I would only recommend this book to adults for that reason.
I also feel it necessary to point out that we discover the murderer's identity about halfway through the book. However, I didn't feel that this took anything away from the book. At that point, the reader is left to discover not only how (and if) they catch the criminal but who his last victim is as well. Those who like a true whodunit where the killer isn't revealed until the very end will be disappointed in this story.
Overall, I give The One a rating of 3 out of 4 stars. The writing was good, the book was well-edited, and the plot was original and kept me on the edge of my seat. It just wasn't quite as good without seeing the big picture that would have been provided by reading the first in the series. Therefore, I'm unable to give this the full rating. I do recommend this to those who enjoy a good thriller, but I would recommend reading the first book in the series to begin with.
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