Author : Kerry Wilkinson
Pages : 300
Publisher : Pan
Publication date : February 14, 2013
A killer behind bars is still killing…
Dead bodies are piling up for Detective Sergeant Jessica Daniel.
Usually when a serial killer is on the loose, the pressure would be building to find the perpetrator but the victims are all hardened criminals themselves.
The national media can’t believe their luck with an apparent vigilante on the streets, while Jessica’s new boss seems grateful someone else is doing their job for them.
But things aren’t so straightforward when forensics matches blood from the apparent killer to a man already behind bars.
Wow, I’ve found myself another wonderful go-to author! This is the fourth Kerry Wilkinson book I’ve read in the last couple of months, and I am thrilled to have discovered him and his works. I wonder what took me so long to find him?
In this, the second installment of the Jessica Daniel series, we are dealing with a serial killer who appears to be picking victims who are, shall we say, members of society not known for their altruism and community service. Hence the moniker Vigilante. Though I enjoyed book one of the series, this one is definitely a step up. Mr. Wilkinson has crafted a very clever story that will keep readers guessing to the very end. I have to say my fingers were dizzy from pointing in so many directions. I finally got to the stage where I was confident how this was going to all work out. In fact I was so confident, I told my book buddy I was going to keep my thoughts to myself in order not to spoil it for her. Look who has egg on her face now! I was dead wrong. And I love it that way! Nice work, Mr. Wilkinson.
The story is fast paced and well written. The POV is a refreshing 3rd person narrative with a few intriguing peeks inside the Vigilante’s head. There is minimal time shift. We get suspense, some interpersonal relationships (no way can I call this romance), and comic relief.
The author has also stepped up his character development in this installment. Jessica is evolving and it’s really fun to see that. I would like to know more about her past—I think that info would enlighten us about certain aspects of her personality. In this story, Jessica comes across as extremely driven, almost to a fault. She is often brash and “in your face.” She can be unkind, very unkind, but we see the reasons for that. She also has a heart of gold buried in there, especially towards very good people who are being victimized through no fault of their own. Mr. Wilkinson also introduces new members to the team. If he continues with this in future books, I think it will go far in helping keep things fresh. I do see lots of potential in this author and hope his writing continues to grow as the series progresses.
There are a couple of instances where the believability factor is raised in this novel, but I elected to just roll with it, and those events did not tarnish the story for me.
If I had to compare Kerry Wilkinson to someone, I would pick Mel Sherratt, another favorite of mine. Both can clearly can write in different genres and do it well. Like Ms. Sherratt’s, Mr. Wilkinson’s crime fiction/thrillers are gritty, though not terribly gory. Mr. Wilkinson also puts a lot of emphasis on his characters’ lives, which is again similar to Ms. Sherratt’s MO.
I highly recommend Kerry Wilkinson’s Jessica Daniel series based on the first two books that I have read. I advise they be read in order to fully appreciate the ongoing character development, though the plots are stand-alones. This is a series I definitely plan to read all the way through.
Vigilante is available now!