Fuzzy Navel by J.A. Konrath


SuspenseFuzzy Navel by J.A. Konrath

Fuzzy NavelJ.A. Konrath; Hyperion 2008WorldCat

One November evening three vigilantes decide to shoot three convicted and released rapists in their Chicago homes. Lt. Jacqueline “Jack” Daniels and her partner Sgt. Herb Benedict are called out to one of them, then discover two other men were killed at the same time. They go over to the second home. While starting their investigation there, a sniper open fires on them, wounding and killing many of the police that are on the scene, including Herb. Once the sniper takes off and the situation is under control, Jack gets a call from her mother. She is needed at home immediately.

Jack’s mother lives in a secluded house in the suburbs on a large, wooded lot. What Jack doesn’t know until too late is that she is walking into a trap. One of the murderers Jack put in prison is out and holding her mother, Mary, and her fiance, Latham. By the time she realizes what is happening, Jack is cuffed and subdued. Alex has plans to torture, then kill them all. But a couple more people are needed. Under threat of watching her mother’s arthritic fingers get broken, Jack is forced to call her ex-partner who had helped arrest Alex and another friend, Phin, who helped in the capture. Alex is going to give them all “their due”.

Alex starts meting out the torture and pain – both physical and mental – while Jack is helpless to do anything to stop the killer. Her old partner is cuffed to the refrigerator, Jack is handcuffed and duct taped, Latham is duct taped and has his head covered by a plastic bag. Just as Alex is shooting one of the group, snipers start shooting at the house. Jack had seen the face of the sniper at the second homicide earlier. Now they’re planning to kill her and everyone else in the house.

A friend recommended this series to me and gave me this one although she hadn’t read it yet. Jack is supposed to be funny, with comparisons to a more serious Stephanie Plum type humor. If that’s true, it doesn’t show up in Fuzzy Navel. From the first pages when Alex breaks in Mary’s home this book is tense and scary. Alex is one of the most chilling serial murderers I have encountered in all my reading. I can only think of one or two others to match. Then there are the snipers. Those three have different agendas and different levels of sanity. Yuck.

But J.A. Konrath kept me glued to the book. I didn’t like the story, the antagonists, the torture, etc., yet I had to finish the book. At time Jack threw out a smart remark or two, and I had to chuckle at her ex-partner when I wasn’t being appalled. Perhaps the earlier books in the series have more humor to them. This one is just chilling.

But now I have to at least check out the next one in the series, Cherry Bomb. I feel I must know who was killed at the end. (Mumble, I hate cliffhangers…) I know I won’t be recommending this book to others. It’s too gut wrenching for me.

Notice:  Graphic violence, Suggestive dialogue or situations

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