American Woman by Robert Pobi (Thomas & Mercer, May 20th)-Young boys are disappearing on the heat soaked streets of New York City, and Alexandra “Hemi” Hemingway of the NYPD catches the case. The murder of a child is always horrible, but these killings are particularly distressing. Not only are the boys seemingly disappearing into thin air, but the killer takes a trophy each time, and the first boy found is missing his feet. This is the start of a horrifying pattern, and the killer isn’t leaving much downtime between attacks. Alexandra is feeling pressure from all sides to catch the killer, and the city is in a panic. Soon, she and her partner, Phelps, realize that the boys have more in common than just their ages, and that’s when things get really interesting.
Oh Hemi, where have you been? I’ve been waiting for a new female thriller lead to root for, and she’s here. Yes, of course, Alexandra kicks serious ass. For example, the book opens with an attempt to carjack her on her way to work. Big mistake for the carjackers. It’s terrifying and hilarious at the same time. Although she’s tough, and rarely flinches, underneath all that is a lot of pain, and even though she’s with a man that makes her happy, she still mourns the death of her former partner and lover. She also just found out she’s pregnant. Imagine that you find out you’re pregnant and you simultaneously start to investigate the crimes of a rapidly escalating child killer. This sicko makes Hannibal Lector look like a pussycat, and the whole thing makes Alexandra question whether or not she wants to bring a child into the world,especially a world in which something like this can happen. The killer always seems two steps ahead of Hemi and Phelps, and even though you’re given a glimpse into the psyche of the killer, Pobi doesn’t really clue you in to the killer’s identity until the end. I had quite a bit of fun trying to figure out who it was, and this was a two sitting read for me. I had to pause for sleep, unfortunately. This is a terrifying book, and although there’s nothing gratuitous, there is some gore, so if you’re faint of heart, you may find yourself peering between your fingers during some scenes. This was the perfect mix of procedural and thriller for me, and frankly, just about perfect all the way around. This one is a nail-biter, and if you haven’t discovered this talented author yet, now is definitely the time.