Some books suck you in from the first page and you know you'll enjoy reading them. The time you spend with their plots, in their settings, spying on their characters, eavesdropping to their conversations and witnessing their dramas is just too short, no matter how long the book is you are reading, how many pages you still have left before you reach the end.
This is the case with Innocence Taken: Pray He Kills You Quickly by Victoria M. Patton. This police procedure—detective—crime thriller signed by an author with BS in Forensic Chemistry and a former Coast Guard doing Search and Rescue/Law Enforcement, was a promise from the start and remained a great read until the end.
No spoilers except for the mention of Lieutenant Damien Kaine, Detective Joe Hagan and Special Agent Dillon McGrath with the FBI on their frantic hunt for a handsome serial killer, a psycho and a sexual sadist who takes slow and great pleasure in abusing and punishing his young female victims. The bright lights showed every drop of blood, every piece of skin, and every other horror. The walls had more space covered with blood than without. Pieces of flesh and bone draped almost every surface.
Patton balances gruesome scenes of pain, torture and suffering with the scenes of infatuation, fatal attraction and passionate lovemaking; criminal and forensic investigation and psychological profiling with the scenes of common and undisturbed everyday life of rural farming in Illinois.
My biggest kudos, though, go to the protagonists' characterization whose strong, fluent, entertaining and real dialogues I consumed with gusto. I didn't miss a single word, I couldn't, because I was there with them all the time!
We are lucky Innocence Taken: Pray He Kills You Quickly is just the first book in The Damien Kaine Series; Patton signed us up for good crime stories in its sequels as well!