Conquill Press (2014)
Reviewed by Jennifer Hass for Reader Views (2/14)
Article first published as Book Review: ‘Death’s Way’ by Christopher Valen on Blogcritics.
“Death’s Way” by Christopher Valen is a fast-paced, thrilling ride inside the investigation of a prostitute’s murder. After a member of housekeeping in a downtown hotel finds Catalina Diaz naked with a plastic bag wrapped around her head, Detective John Santana is called in to begin the investigation of a possible murder. Santana and his partner Kacie Hawkins begin to dig for answers buried deep within sex, drugs and lies, as the story takes off quickly in this heart racing mystery to find the truth.
From page one, the descriptions leave nothing to the imagination with in-your-face details surrounding the condition of Catalina’s body. Very disturbing for sure and right from the beginning I knew my heart would pound in my chest until the very end. This is one of the reasons that I love to read a mystery/thriller. I love to be freaked out and scared and experience the thrill of the ride. If my heart rate does not increase, the book has not done its job. Valen has surely targeted the reader’s heartbeat for reaction in this novel.
Twists and turns continued to surprise me and until I reached the very end, I was desperately trying to get to the next page to figure out “who dunnit.” I couldn’t find one moment where I wanted to stop and take a break. I was consumed with this murder mystery and captivated by the well constructed plot. “Death’s Way” pulled me and did not let go until I was finished.
Characters were developed at just the right pace, fitting each one into their part of the mystery. As well, there are surprise elements dealing with the Hindu and their beliefs. I found it rather interesting how this was mixed in, along with other details I would not dare to disclose in my review.
It is no wonder that Christopher Valen is an award winning author! “Death’s Way” is the first John Santana novel that I have had to pleasure to read and rest assured I will be picking up the others that I have missed. Five stars, no doubt!