Summary from Goodreads:
"Dr. Iris Ballard’s glory days are behind her, so when Luke Hudson, her former FBI partner and onetime lover, asks for help constructing a psychological profile of an elusive serial killer who murders single mothers and dumps their bodies in the woods, Iris turns him away. She just wants to be left alone with her infomercials, her German Shepherd, and her vodka. That is, until she gets a peek at the case files.
The media has dubbed him “the Woodsman.” But after Iris learns the sickening details held back from the press, and as she sets foot onto the scene of his latest crime, she assembles a portrait of a more complicated, enigmatic, meticulous man. Control is his motivation. He thrives on it. Soon he even tries to manipulate the investigation by contacting Iris, hoping to rattle the woman he considers an intellectual equal.
The game is on. Iris thinks she has a read on her target, enough to push his buttons, to make him lose control. But when the Woodsman gains the upper hand, Iris faces the most painful reckoning of all—with her own violent past."
I requested this book from NetGalley based off of the cover alone because I just thought it was great. Then I read the above description and this book shot to the top of my TBR list that easily. As we are slowly getting closer to fall weather, I am constantly in the mood for dark and creepy thrillers. This book was exactly what I was looking for and is a perfect read for this time of year! It spooked me a few times and I found myself unable to put this book down because of it. It was just the perfect combination of mystery and thriller where as the reader, I couldn't stop reading just so I could see what would happen next. Talk about a page turner! The intensity level was high from the very beginning and didn't let up until the very end. If this was this author's first book ever written (which she is just now publishing), well I just cannot wait to read more by her!
One of the things that I liked most about this book was the main character Iris Ballard. I love a book with a strong female lead and she was one of those characters I enjoy the most. She isn't perfect and is in fact really struggling when the book begins. I don't want to share why though as it is an important part of this book in the sense that it really shapes Iris and the woman that she has become. I loved her character and am really hoping that we get to see more of her in future books. I can definitely see this being a series and I would be first in line to get my hands on book two- this book was just that good. I've forgotten how hard it is to share my thoughts on a book like this without giving anything away. Suffice it to say that if you are looking for an intense, heart-pounding read then look no further. This was just as good as I had hoped it would be when I first heard about it (if not better).
Final thoughts: I need more of Iris Ballard in my life! Please, please, please tell me that this is going to be a series because I really want it to be. I feel like I didn't say much about this book but I didn't want to spoil any of it. I'm going to be recommending this one to everyone I know because I enjoyed it that much. I'm also planning on checking into some of Jennifer Harlow's other books to see what else she has written. This book was very good, dark and thrilling, and I want more. Highly recommended!
Bottom Line: A thriller that shouldn't be missed!
Disclosure: I received a copy of this book thanks to the publisher and NetGalley.
Just a side note but if you enjoyed The Body Reader by Anne Frasier then I really think that you will enjoy this book as well. Or if you enjoy this one try The Body Reader as it features another strong female lead and is quite thrilling as well!