Although it’s fourth in a series, I hadn’t read any of the others and felt this worked OK as a standalone. Hero Ash is a former police detective now teaching criminal law, brought back to Chicago in a big hurry when the body of his ex-girlfriend is found slain. Only it’s not Remi, but a girl who looks just like her. Uncannily, artificially unlike her, and the case has all the hallmarks of The Butcher, the serial killer who killed Remi’s father and caused Ash to retire from his job.
With Ash’s brother on the case inside the police department, Ash teams up with Remi who’s just as eager to find out why a girl who looks just like her is dead… and maybe find the murderer who killed her father. As suspects were eliminated, I realized who the killer had to be, unlikely though it was, and the author did a reasonable job of making it sound plausible when the big reveal happened. The romance, however, I didn’t quite buy. Ash just walking away from a traumatized Remi years earlier very much made me side-eye his reactions now; it almost seemed like he didn’t want to bother until she’d ‘fixed herself’, which really doesn’t fit my definition of deep and abiding true love. So she pushed him away; she was grieving, terrified and hurt, and at the time they had no idea whether the Butcher would come back to finish her off. Ash gave up on her and left, which just left her more vulnerable, and I really didn’t like it.
Overall, I’m giving this three stars. A decent suspense plot, but the romance didn’t really cut it for me.
Disclaimer: I received a review copy of this book via NetGalley.