Bitter Moon – Alexandra Sokoloff [Review]

Bitter Moon is the fourth book in the Huntress/FBI Thrillers series by Alexandra Sokoloff. Thomas & Mercer published this novel on November 1, 2016.

Bitter Moon coverBlurb for BITTER MOON

FBI agent Matthew Roarke has been on leave, and in seclusion, since the capture of mass killer Cara Lindstrom—the victim turned avenger who preys on predators. Torn between devotion to the law and a powerful attraction to Cara and her lethal brand of justice, Roarke has retreated from both to search his soul. But Cara’s escape from custody and a police detective’s cryptic challenge soon draw him out of exile—into the California desert and deep into Cara’s past—to probe an unsolved murder that could be the key to her long and deadly career.

Following young Cara’s trail, Roarke uncovers a horrifying attack on a schoolgirl, the shocking suicide of another, and a human monster stalking Cara’s old high school. Separated by sixteen years, crossing paths in the present and past, Roarke and fourteen-year-old Cara must race to find and stop the sadistic sexual predator before more young women are brutalized.

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Jen’s Review of BITTER MOON

I read Bitter Moon because I loved the first three books in this series. Although I received a free copy for review consideration, my opinions are my own.

This review was originally posted on my old blog Books That Hook. I am updating it and expanding on many of my points for this new blog.

Quick Review: a respectful examination of sensitive social issues, merged with a solid mystery and an in-depth analysis of the characters’ minds

The Story

Roarke, an FBI agent on leave, finds himself in the middle of several cold cases that are tied to Cara’s past. Cara is a female serial killer.

Roarke investigates the crimes, while trying to decide what he feels about Cara.

The story is also told from Cara’s point of view in the past, when she was fourteen years old. She believes It (evil) is trying to get a girl at her school. When the girl kills herself, Cara believes It is responsible and becomes determined to stop It from hurting anyone else.

Roarke, in the present, learns of Cara’s involvement with the victims. He tries to piece together why the girl killed herself and how that relates to another girl who was raped and burned in the same year.

I thought the book would be boring because so much of it was something that had happened in the past. I wanted to see what Cara was doing now. As I got further into the book, I realized that the author’s choice to tell the story from both the past and present point of views was excellent. Seeing things how Cara saw them at the time that they occurred really brought everything to life for me.

Alexandra Sokoloff did an awesome job of putting all the details together in a way that made sense and meshed in both the past and the present.

The subject matter of rape in Bitter Moon was handled with respect and caution. The story was told in a way that made it obvious how the author felt about the horrible crimes and the system’s problem of backlogged, unprocessed, rape kits. At the same time, the author made it possible for the reader to imagine what had happened without being overly graphic.

The Characters

I enjoyed seeing things from Cara’s point of view as a teenager. I think it helped me understand her mind and actions. Although it isn’t clear if Cara is crazy or has some supernatural ability, the reader can appreciate that she believes what she sees, which makes it a little easier to accept that she is a murderess. She’s growing on me.

Roarke is still a likeable guy. I could sympathize with his internal conflicts. I’m looking forward for when he finally makes up his mind about what to about Cara and his feelings for her.

The Writing

The book started off strange. I have to admit I didn’t think I was going to like it. One of the things that threw me off was the writing style. I thought it was weird that the author chose to write the past in present tense and the present in past tense. Because it was the opposite of what made sense, it was very obvious and awkward for me at first. After a while, though, I stopped noticing it.

I thought the author excelled at writing clear sentences with sufficient details. The settings were easy to visualize.

Do I Recommend?

Bitter Moon was a great book! Once I got about halfway in, I couldn’t put it down.

If you like books about cold cases, evil, or FBI agents going off on their own to solve crimes, then you should read Bitter Moon.

The investigation is solid and the characters are fascinating.

You can read it for in-depth examination of the mind of a burned-out FBI agent with an unprofessional interest in a serial killer, for the psychology of a fourteen-year-old girl who believes she can see evil and must stop it by any means necessary, or for the mystery to figure out who was responsible for many terrible crimes. Either way, you win!

My Rating: 5 out of 5 stars (A)

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About jpschaper

In addition to being a book blogger, I am a mother of three children, a retail backroom coordinator, and a wannabe writer (when I make time to do it).

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