When attorney Toni Barston is assigned an easy case from the Prosecuting Attorney’s Office, she knows it’s just because she is the new kid on the block. The case is basically pushing paperwork. A serial killer who has confessed to his crimes and is pleading guilty just has to show up in court to wrap up the legal proceedings. Toni’s job is to show up and make the appropriate motions. But a mistake happens at the local jail and the killer walks out a free man.
Victoria “Boggs” Boggsworth is one of the department’s best investigators. When the serial killer escapes, the entire department is on edge. Boggs is assigned to work with Toni and they share an instant attraction. But when the killing of prominent women in the city begins again, Toni’s supervisor assigns Boggs to be Toni’s personal body guard. As Toni and Boggs try to determine the actual identity of the killer they struggle to remain professional. Can they catch the killer before Toni becomes his next victim?
I’ve said it before in reviews, but it demands repeating. I love main characters who are smart and extremely capable at what they do.
Even though Toni is new to the Prosecuting Attorney’s Office, she brings with her the added experience from having worked as a psychiatrist specializing in phobias. She’s a wonderful mix of confidence and humility. She knows she’s an asset to the office, but she doesn’t mind being assigned the easier cases knowing that she has to pay her dues before she can get the bigger, flashier cases. Although her attraction for Boggs is practically instantaneous, she understands that her job comes first, especially when she assumes that Boggs has a boyfriend. Besides, at work, she is completely in the closet. I was very impressed with how Toni managed to keep her wits about her once she realizes that she might be the killer’s next victim.
Boggs is delightful from the moment she is introduced. She commands a lot of respect around the Metro Department. She’s earned it from years of being one of their top investigators. Having spent seven years in the Air Force as a military intelligence officer, she’s got the skills to back up her swagger. She can’t help but notice the beautiful new attorney. She also feels sparks when she is around Toni, but if Boggs knows anything, she knows that pursuing a straight woman is a waste of time. However, when the killer is on the loose, she is laser focused on finding him and protecting the woman who has captured her heart. Boy howdy! I was rooting for Boggs and Toni.
The Writing Style
I loved how Breneman slowly built up the tension in the plot. The book starts out with everything as it should be leaving the narrative to concentrate on the initial attraction between Boggs and Toni. Once we realize that the killer is planning his next murder, Breneman amps up the tension little by little until the strain is palpable.
The story is told in the third person from both Boggs and Toni’s points of view which is perfect. It not only shows what their individual jobs entail, but it also works well for the romantic subplot. But wait, there’s more! We also get to be privy to the psychotic ramblings of the killer and they are beyond creepy. Hearing his perspective and justifications for what he is doing kept me on edge throughout the entire book.
Breneman throws out enough red herrings that I ping-ponged all over the place thinking I knew the killer’s identity. There were times that it seemed so obvious, but then another clue would get thrown into the mix and it was back to step one for me. This is one of my favorite things about this genre. Even when I wasn’t actively reading, I found myself trying to arrange and make sense of the clues.
The romantic subplot between Boggs and Toni is absolutely adorable. They spend a fair amount of time trying to figure out if the other is a lesbian. There’s quite a bit of bashful and flat-out, awkward flirting which is pretty cute seeing that both women are at the absolute top of their games professionally.
This isn’t really a con, more like a heads up. This book is about a serial killer and serial killers are going to kill, so be prepared for some graphic and violent scenes.
I absolutely flew though this book. For me it’s the perfect balance of a thriller and a romance. Boggs and Toni are both completely relatable because the crimes have them just as on edge as I was while I was reading. There were more than a few times when I heard myself saying, “Oh no, oh no,” out loud. I’ve also got to be honest and say that this romantic subplot is the sweetest pairing between an investigator and a lawyer I’ve ever read. If you are a fan of serial killers and suspense, with a large side of romance, then Anticipation might be right up your alley.
Excerpt from Anticipation by Terri Breneman
Inside the darkened room, a tormented man sat in silence with his eyes tightly closed. His body rocked back and forth at a steady pace, as if it were keeping time with an unheard song. His hands were damp and clammy, and he continually wiped them on his pants. He rocked faster. A bead of sweat formed on his upper lip.
Although the room was quiet, the sounds inside his head were deafening. The voices were beginning again. They had been silent for almost two weeks, but now they were screaming at him. “You idiot. How could you be so stupid? Don’t you know how to do anything right?”
The man rocked harder and faster. He had to gain control. Some nights it was much harder than others. He took a deep breath and focused on his hands. Slowly the sound of the voices faded and his own voice filled his head. He smiled. He was back in control. This had happened before, of course. A lot. It seemed to be happening a little more often now, and a little more intensely, but it had always been this way. It was who he was. It made him brilliant. He could now concentrate on the next step of his plan. And the next woman destined to die.
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Bits and Bobs
- ISBN number: 9781594930553
- Publisher: Bella Books
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