I received this book in exchange for an honest review.
Ryker Townsend #1
SYNOPSIS: When he sleeps, the hunt begins
When a young hunting guide from a remote island in Alaska is found brutally murdered, his naked body is discovered in the Cascade Mountains outside Seattle—the shocking pinnacle to a grisly Totem of body parts. Nathan Applewhite is the fourteenth victim of a cunning serial killer who targets and stalks young men.
With the body count escalating, FBI profiler Ryker Townsend and his specialized team investigate the gruesome crime scene. They find no reason for Nate to have mysteriously vanished from his isolated home in Alaska before he ended up in the hands of a sadist, who has been taunting Ryker and his team in a sinister game of ‘catch me if you can.’
But Townsend has a secret he won’t share with anyone—not even his own team—that sets him on the trail of a ruthless psychopath, alone. The intuitive FBI profiler is plagued by recurring nightmares—seen through Nate’s dead eyes—that slowly chips away at his mental stability. Is he burning out and losing his mind—becoming unfit for duty—or is the last victim reaching out to him from the grave?
Townsend sees horrific flashes of memory, imprinted on the retinas of a dead man, the last image Applewhite saw when he died. Ryker must piece together the fragments. Each nightmarish clue brings him closer to a killer who knows how to hide in plain sight and will see him coming, but when the dead man has the skills of a hunting guide, he has the perfect ally to track down a killer—the last victim. – via Goodreads
I decided to give this a read when I saw the cover and read the write up, I thought this could be interesting, and I was right. I always love reading about profilers and hunting terrifying killers, so this seemed like something that was right up my alley, and I was right – blood, guts, and gore is so my thing. Dane presents us with a new character, a little different, and Ryker is quite engaging. He is a character that has so much potential, that could bring us so many great stories, and I really hope we get some of those from him. The story is a little different, and I really liked how Ryker Townsend had some different ability or gift, and even though it is out there, Dane handles the telling of it very well. The characters, too, are quite interesting and they carry the story well, I just wish that they were fleshed out more as opposed to just presented as a few clichés. Some things that did irritate me, though, were how some things were repeated unnecessarily throughout the book, as though it had been written a few times and never been polished up, or not noticed how it was the same and rather annoying. I also wish that there had actually been more profiling in the novel, but it isn’t a dealbreaker as the story is engaging and keeps you interested. I did think, however, that the villain was totally predictable from the off, it was pretty obvious, but SPOILER: I did not like the fact that a partner was added in at the last possible moment. It absolutely did not fit with anything that had happened so far in the book, and felt like Dane was going for a forced twist.A lot of Ryker’s past is continually alluded to but I think it took way too much time to spill the beans, but it came together quite well either way. Some events that transpired were too neat and smooth for me to buy into, even with the psychic aspect to the novel, it was just too convenient. The Last Victim is a fast, fun read, has introduced me to a new author I think I will enjoy, and I will certainly be reading more books in this series.