By Lisa Jackson
#1 New York Times bestseller Lisa Jackson started with a number of rejections before she embarked on her new career of killing people. Dear Author has a wonderful article about her first sale. Her personal story made me predisposed to like LOST SOULS – it makes a large difference to me in how I approach the book if I know something about the author. And yes, I did enjoy LOST SOULS.
As a thriller the book serves its purpose. The killer might not be a unique spin on the serial killer archetype, but the passages through his point of view are decidedly creepy and create tension. The reader becomes quite eager to see him and his partner stopped. However, it seems only police not assigned the case and Kristi Benz are eager to catch him.
Four girls have gone missing at All Saints College, but none of their bodies have been found so the police can’t call foul play. So instead we get Kristi Benz, two-time almost-victim and wannabe true crime writer, playing detective. I’m sorry to say this, but Kristi is TSTL (too stupid to live). Seriously, her motive for getting near a serial killer, even though she knows the danger, is so she can write about it. Doesn’t she know the best true crime novel, IN COLD BLOOD, was written after the killers were behind bars? Plenty of material is available from a safe distance.
While Kristi’s motive may be dumb, it’s straightforward. Unfortunately, Vlad’s interest in Kristi is inexplicable. He seems to have a history with her, but she certainly doesn’t recognize him. (Perhaps I’m missing something from an earlier book – I’ve never read any of Jackson’s work before.) Also, his victims are all “lost souls,” girls without close friends or family. Serial killers tend to be picky. So why would Vlad be interested in a woman with a loving father (who happens to be a famous detective) and a close boyfriend?
On the close boyfriend note, Jay McKnight serves his purpose fairly well. He tries in vain to keep Kristi from trouble and seems to have decent chemistry with her. I just have trouble with the separated high school sweethearts meet again and fall in love trope. Jay, a successful man in his prime, never managed to devote his full self to any relationships after Kristi because he never fell out of love with her. Still, he thinks she’s too stubborn and has a terrible temper. It’s kind of pathetic and not what I want in a romantic hero.
I cannot condemn the book though. Even with my dislike of the protagonist, Jackson kept me turning the pages. LOST SOULS is a serviceable thriller, but it could be much better. You can find out more at Lisa Jackson’s personal site.
My review copy was provided by Pump Up Your Book Promotion.