Title: Splintered (Hunting Evil: Book One)
Author: SJD Peterson
Publisher: DSP Publications
Length: 220 Pages
At a Glance: I read this book in 2014, and it’s just as exciting now as it was then.
Reviewed By: Maryann
Blurb: 2nd Edition
A string of murders targeting effeminate gay men has the GLBTQ community of Chicago on alert, but budget cuts have left many precincts understaffed and overworked, and homophobia is alive and well within the law enforcement community so little has been done to solve the mystery. When the FBI calls in Special Agent Todd Hutchinson and his team, the locals are glad to hand the case off. But Hutch finds a bigger mystery than anyone originally realized—seventeen linked murders committed in several different jurisdictions. Hutch’s clues lead him to Noah Walker.
Working on his PhD in forensic psychology, Noah has been obsessed with serial murders since he was a child. Noah finds himself hunted, striking him off Hutch’s suspect list, but not off his radar. To catch the killer before anyone else falls victim, they’ll have to work together to bring him to justice.
Review: Splintered is a very good, serial murder mystery, a little gory, focusing on religion and homophobia. The story is suspenseful and has just the right amount of humor to cut the tension. Investigative techniques, profiling skills and getting inside the killer’s mind lend to a well written plot by SJD Peterson.
Todd “Hutch” Hutchinson is an FBI special agent: professional, hard around the edges, and a profiler extraordinaire. When Hutch starts to revisit the crime scenes and makes a connection to the killer, he feels like he’s crossing a line. Are the vibes that he gets really himself, or those of the killer? Does Hutch have the capability to be psychic? Stress and guilt frustrate him, and sometimes he gets gruff with the team and has to be made aware of his faults.
Then there’s the nervous Noah Walker, college student, working on his PhD in forensic profiling. Can the tragedy that took place in his young life fit the profile of a murderer? Hutch seems to think the nervous young man may fit that profile.
Hutch’s team consists of Travis “Granite” Green, goth boy and geographical profiler, and Andrew “Byte” Caswell, the IT geek with an amazing sense of style. All three are diverse, but there is great banter between the team and they really get down to business and have each other’s backs.
Besides the maniacal serial killer, they have to deal with a Chicago police force that doesn’t seem to care about gay men being murdered. When the number of dead starts to increase, Hutch enlists the help of Sergeant Struk to try and get better insight into the police force and solve these horrific crimes.
Splintered was first published in October of 2014, but there are some added scenes this second time around. I read this book then, and it is just as exciting now as it was then—and I was still surprised when the murderer was revealed.
The characters are great and I’m looking forward to the sequel. There’s not exactly a HEA between Hutch and Noah, but there’s definitely a lot of ideas to build on. I could see a sequel on how Noah fits in with the team, and more on the relationship between him and Hutch. Granite’s and Byte’s characters could warrant a sequel too. I think SJD Peterson certainly delivered on what I wanted: a well-constructed plot and some really solid characters who interacted well with each other. Because I’m an avid fan of gory murder mysteries, I’m begging for book two soon.
You can buy Splintered here:
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