By: Pamela Proehl
Publication Date: April 2013
Reviewed by: Ellen Feld
Review Date: November 2013
A thriller about a serial killer who believes he is a 'good man,' a woman who is haunted by dreams of being his next victim, a psychic who thinks the dreams do not foretell the woman's murder, and a cop who thinks psychic visions are a lot of hooey, make The Heartbreak Killer a book that you can't put down.
Rachel Carter is a young woman who works as a teacher in Seattle, Washington. While she is busy every day with her students, her nights are filled with horror. She has repeatedly dreamt that she is the next victim of the 'Heartbreak Killer,' a vicious serial killer of young woman who the police have been unable to catch. Rachel might simply ignore the dreams except that she once dreamed of a plane crash, a plane that she was originally supposed to be on. Could the dreams about the killer be another warning?
At the suggestion of her friend Heather, Rachel makes an appointment with Monica Rupert, a psychic who even the police have used to solve crimes. Rachel is skeptical about Monica's ability but without any other options, she agrees to meet.
At the meeting, Monica asks Rachel to think about her dream and as the schoolteacher does, Monica is able to see what Rachel sees. Because Rachel watches the victim get murdered in her dream, rather than experiencing it as if she is the victim, Monica believes it is not a premonition, just a bad dream. Rachel, however, is not convinced and as the story unfolds, she, Monica and Ted Parchelli, Seattle's head of homicide, get drawn into a terrifying nightmare as they try to find the killer.
The Heartbreak Killer is a murder mystery that starts out fast. The first chapter is a dream sequence, one of many horrifying dreams that Rachel has had to endure. It is graphic and will, no doubt, make your heart skip a beat. From there the story kicks into high gear. Rachel slowly learns more and more about the killer, but not before more murders are committed. The police doubt her and she is terrified that her time is running out. The mystery moves quickly although when new characters are introduced, the story slowed as the reader is given bit more background information on that person than needed. Beyond that, however, the mystery was a lot of fun, a handsome man/romance came from an unexpected source, and the twists at the end are not ones you'll be able to see coming.
Quill says: Not for the faint of heart, but if you like some real 'horror' in your crime novels, spun with several unexpected twists, then check out The Heartbreak Killer.