Crime, Female Detectives
Mackenzie White, Book # 1
May 18th 2016
October 13, 2021 October 15, 2021
Beat the Backlist, Cloak and Dagger, Mount TBR, The Backlist Reader
In the cornfields of Nebraska a woman is found murdered, strung up on a pole, the victim of a deranged killer. It doesn’t take long for the police to realize a serial killer is on the loose—and that his spree has just begun.
Detective Mackenzie White, young, tough, smarter than the aging, chauvinistic men on her local force, finds herself called in grudgingly to help solve it. As much as the other officers hate to admit it, they need her young, brilliant mind, which has already helped crack cold cases that had left them stumped. Yet even for Mackenzie this new case proves an impossible riddle, something the likes of which she—and the local force—have ever seen.
With the FBI called in, together, an intense manhunt ensues. Mackenzie, reeling from her own dark past, her failed relationships, and her undeniable attraction to the new FBI agent, finds herself battling her own demons as her hunt for the killer takes her to the darkest places of her mind. As she delves into the killer’s mind, obsessing over his twisted psychology, she finds that evil truly does exist. She only hopes it will not be too late to extricate herself from it, as her entire life collapses around her.
As more bodies turn up dead and a frantic race against time ensues, there is no way out but to find him before he kills again.
A dark psychological thriller with heart-pounding suspense, Before He Kills marks the debut of a riveting new series—and a beloved new character—that will leave you turning pages late into the night.
About the book
Second book that I “read” by the author, I didn’t like the first one that much, because I listened to it instead of reading it, but I liked this a little more even if I found some defects (or rather things that I didn’t like). A woman’s body is found in a cornfield tied to a pole and, of course, the police investigate. Among the policemen there is also the young Mackenzie White who because of her youth, especially because she is a woman, isn’t weel seen by her colleagues. Will she still be able to solve the case despite all this? And not only that, the FBI arrives to lend a hand and perhaps only the agent in charge understands her value.
What I think
As I said, I liked the book, but some things bothered me: the author continues to point out the fact that Mackenzie is a woman and her colleagues despise her because she is a woman. He says nothing new, this scheme is the same as many other books on the subject and does not bring anything new.
Then, he points out that she’s discriminated by everyone and what does he, male author, do? He writes about a female detective and about an FBI agent and what does he do? Make them attract each other (or rather only Mackenzie has a crush on him, he is married!). Why a woman is never able to do her job without saying “Oh how attractive he is”? As mentioned, the case is interesting, but the detective who falls in love with the handsome agent after 2 seconds of meeting, makes the book trivial.
What is missing, then, is the absence of the point of view of the subsequent victims and the one of the murderer. Because putting that first chapter with the victim’s POV if there are no others, or many others makes no sense. And the same with the murderer, if I remember correctly the killer has a chapter dedicated at the beginning but then it gets lost, maybe it comes back only at the end.
Is the detective 22 or 25? It seems to me that on the one hand it is said that she is 25 and a few chapters later she is 22.
Now, without spoilers, maybe it’s because I have read many detective books, maybe I have seen many TV series, but that those numbers were part of that book, was evident and I don’t even know why they hadn’t taken it into consideration before. I understand that “male” detectives are stupid macho as the author defines them but that Mackenzie doesn’t get the meaning right away seems rather ridiculous (given how smart she is).
The Italian edition must be revised, not only there are words missing but also the words are written wrong. even in the prologue, there are errors. Missing articles and double verbs, the translation needs to be revised. I don’t know why but this author is always mistranslated. (But apparently even the English version has grammatical mistake. What do they use to translate? Google translate?)
As said, I liked the book or rather the case is interesting, but the ending is mediocre and nothing is explained. Who the killer is, why he did this, you can guess, of course, because there is a mini flash back, but I would have spent a little more on the end. In my humble opinion, this book is too short. Missing a lot. Furthermore, at the beginning, there is talk of a case from 1987 that could have something to do with “our case”, but then it’s no longer mentioned and it’s unknown if it really had something to do with the case today. It was put there just to tell us that the protagonist has no social life and she prefers to study old cases rather than go out with her boyfriend and that’s why they don’t get along. Oh let’s not talk about the fact that she has / had a boyfriend, because I get angry. Because cops don’t have a social life (especially if they are women) and can’t have a family right?
The book and the idea above all had a lot of potential but hasn’t been fully exploited. It’s missing a lot. And it’s full of clichés and old-fashioned sayings and doings. But when was this book written? (I know when, but it seems a 1900 book, not a 2016 book)
So do I recommend it? Yes, it can be read in less than two days and it’s free, but don’t expect a beautiful book. Indeed, now that I have written this review I think I have given too many stars…