The desire for revenge can never be sated . . .
When her beloved high school teacher appears on her doorstep, Deputy Chief Jess Harris is flooded with fond memories-until the woman says she’s about to be charged with murder. Called to the scene of the crime, Jess learns the victim of the bizarre and brutal slaying was a member of Birmingham’s famed “Five.”
Twelve years ago, the Five were rich, popular high school seniors who threw one wild last party. Two social outcasts were invited to play in the “loser games.” The next morning, one player killed himself. Now Jess fears that an invitation to an upcoming class reunion may have forced the Five to play a new deadly game. As Jess fights to keep her former teacher from suspicion-and her relationship with Chief Dan Burnett separate from her work life-she knows she is caught in a vicious cycle of vengeance. And the killer is far from finished . . .
Review: Jess is back in her hometown of Birmingham after a stint in the FBI didn’t work out. She is in a relationship with her boss, Dan. She and Dan had a romance a long time ago and find they still have feelings for each other, but they are keeping that on the down low. When an elderly woman is the prime suspect in a murder, Jess and Dan investigate , but before they get too far in, another death occurs. Their inquiries lead them to a long ago suicide and to some of the town’s most prominent and affluent citizens. Meanwhile, Jess gets on Dan’s bad side when she joins forces with an old enemy of his to uncover what looks like a revenge killing. Not only that, Jess is keeping Dan in the dark about some communications via text message she has been getting from her old nemesis, Wesley.
This romantic suspense novel is the fifth in the Faces of Evil series. While it is always beneficial to read a series in order, this one can be read as a stand alone. I love this style of romantic suspense. This is a really creepy story about a group of popular kids picking on the genius nerd until he evidently commits suicide. Someone outside of “The Five” knows what really happened that night and is now back in town looking for his own brand of justice, or so it appears. Guilt, fear of exposure, and paying the consequences of their actions has the five back in communication with each other trying to decide how to handle the situation.
But, the heart pounding suspense came from Jess’s communications with Wesley. This is the stuff that will give you nightmares. The combination of this story and the case Jess is working on had me riveted. This is an outstanding series and perhaps just a tad underrated. Even if you do not enjoy romantic elements in your novels, you could easily enjoy this series. The truth is the romance is very low key and the sexual situations are not explicit. Technically, this series does fall into the romantic suspense genre, but could just as easily be listed in the mystery or thriller genres and probably should be if it’s not already.
Jess and Dan are both complicated characters, each with their own baggage trying to find some stability in their lives, but it always seems elusive. Jess is certain she will never have peace until Wesley is dead and she has foolishly kept the communications with Wesley a secret thinking she could handle it all herself. The secondary characters are also complex and dealing with good and bad areas in their personal lives. I highly recommend this series!!