Blog Tour Review: Watching You by J.A. Schneider

Having taken part in the cover reveal for this book I am thrilled to now be taking part in the blog tour.  I love strong female detectives and have a soft spot for New York despite never having actually visited it, so when this book popped up in my emails I just couldn’t say no.  So, read on and find out what it’s about and, equally important, what I thought of it…….

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Synopsis:  A serial killer texts his victims first. A detective vows revenge. He comes after her.

In the chill of an October night, Detective Kerri Blasco is called to a bizarre murder scene. Leda Winfield, a young volunteer for the homeless, has been shot. Her cell phone displays the frightening text, WATCHING YOU, and into her back, hideously pushed with a hat pin, is a note with the same awful message. Leda’s socialite family and friends insist that no one would have wanted to harm her, but Kerri isn’t convinced.

Until another random young woman is killed in exactly the same way. Kerri and her team profile a monstrous killer who enjoys terrifying his victims before stalking and killing them. But how does he get their phone numbers?

Kerri soon finds that the killer is after her, too, and that the key to finding him may just be in the homeless shelter. When the body count rises, she vows to stop the madman – even if it means battling her own personal trauma, risking her job, her love relationship with her boss Alex Brand, and her life.

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My Rating: 4/5

Review:  Although this is the third book in the Kerri Blasco series it is the first one that I have read.  We begin with the unusual and perplexing murder of a young woman who volunteered for the homeless and who everybody loved, apparently.  It is then that we get our first glimpse of Kerri during this book and it is obvious from her reaction that she is on the side of the victim and appalled at what has happened, but more so how it happened and the fact that the victim was young and female.

While it may have been helpful to have read the first two books before this one I don’t think not having read them put me at much of a disadvantage.  This book moves along at an interesting pace, probably not unlike a real police investigation.  At times it whizzes along because they have a lead or a clue or are racing through the streets because something significant has just happened and at other times the pace is more sedate, not slow, but at a speed which means that you can see the conversations happening between the characters, get different perspectives on the investigation and find out what the witnesses and victims friends and family thought.

The main character in this story is clearly Kerri and though we do get to follow some of the others when relevant most of the story is spent with her, hearing her thoughts and witnessing her actions to try and bring this killer to justice.  Her empathy for various characters is very clear and it is obvious that it is a desire to catch the killer that drives her through the investigation despite a lack of leads at one point.

The writing is good and you get a clear sense of tension in the fast-paced scenes and the frustration of the detectives when they are making little progress also comes across well. I didn’t get as much of a sense of location as I would have liked.  I know how tricky it is to get just the right amount of description and I felt it was done well but perhaps just needed a little more detail at times.

Overall I really enjoyed this book, the good plot, characters and writing made it a pleasure to read.  It’s clear that Kerri is developing over the series, as many characters do and I look forward to seeing her development continue and getting to know her better as the series progresses. 
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Author bio: J.A. (Joyce Anne) Schneider is a former staffer at Newsweek Magazine. She is the author of the Embryo medical thriller series, and of the Detective Kerri Blasco Police/Psychological Thrillers Fear Dreams, Her Last Breath, and Watching You. She loves to hear from her readers. Her email address is joyce@jaschneiderauthor.net, her website is http://jaschneiderauthor.net, and come say hi on Facebook http://tinyurl.com/7fm44mk. She lives with her family in Connecticut, loves gardening, and is working on her next Detective Kerri Blasco thriller.

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