Ace of Hearts by Jean Holloway
Ace of Hearts by Jean Holloway
Reviewed by Leslie Matthews
“We Read It All” Rating: 4.5
Amazon Rating: 4
A self-proclaimed student of legends Dean Koontz, Stephen King, and Jean Auel, Jean Holloway pens a complicated web of a story that pushes the envelope on love and pure evil while still managing to project a style all her own.
Reminiscent of a female version of James Patterson’s Alex Cross, thirty-one year old homocide detective Shevaughn Robinson gets her first case the first day on the job and is in for a tough one to crack. A serial killer is on the loose in the small town of Portsborough. His routine of killing women and mutulating them has the women of the town on edge, not to mention Shevaughn and the police department chasing after the one signature clue he leaves behind: the Ace of Hearts. To complicate things Shevaughn has fallen for the one guy who seems to be connected to the victims. Tony O’Brien is an outstanding reporter for NBS News whose career has been tarnished by a previous run-in with the PPD. Things quickly heat up between the two as they race against time to find the killer and put an end to his twisted new hobby.
The plot starts out moving very fast, as it does not take long to get into the depth of the story and become attached to it. Right from the prologue Mrs. Holloway pulls you in with her knack for detailed description and true-to-life dialogue between the characters and within their minds. The multi-dimensional aspect of the characters allows us to understand them and become intimately familiar with Shevaughn, Tony, the killer, and each one of the victims. This added glimpse into the minds of the victims creates suspense for what is to come and evokes empathy once they reach their demise. It is truly a story of love conquers all as we get to experience how Shevaughn and Tony overcome the challenges of interracial dating, and how Shevaughn deals with self-doubt and external criticism in her new position due to her minority status. As for the killer, his psychotic state of mind gets progressively worse as he recklessly and arrogantly pushes the boundaries of his blood sport, and as the source of his mental issues is revealed. The plot continues on at an accelerated pace and ends in the expected climax, but with many unexpected twists that cause you to thirst for a sequel.
What makes this story unique is how the characters are interwoven and connected by the common threat of the serial killings. It is non-stop suspense! Also of note is the fact that Mrs. Holloway writes her “About the Author” paragraph in first person, something you don’t see often. It gives an interesting perspective on how the story came about and accomplishes the tasks of bringing us closer to her. In her first literary success Jean Holloway has truly captured the essence of her chosen genre. Ace of Hearts is a macabre tale injected with yearning romance that I highly recommend as a must read for anyone who shares the author’s love of a thrilling story.