Wednesday, August 6, 2008

Lisa Jackson: Lost Souls

Lost Souls: C+
Kristi Bentz & Jay McKnight

New Orleans

Twenty-seven year old Kristi Bentz is lucky to be alive. Not many people her age have nearly died twice at the hands of a serial killer, and lived to tell about it. Her dad, New Orleans detective, Rick Bentz, wants Kristi to stay in New Orleans and out of danger. But, if anything, Kristi’s experiences have made her even more fascinated by the mind of the serial killer. She hasn’t given up exploring the darkest recesses of evil – and now she just may get her chance.

Four girls have disappeared at All Saints College in less than two years. All four were “lost souls” – troubled, vulnerable girls with no one to care about them, no one to come looking if they disappeared. The police think they’re runaways, but Kristi senses there’s something that links them, something terrifying. She decides to enroll, following their steps… there are whispers of a dark cult on campus whose members wear vials of blood around their necks and meet in secret chambers – rituals to which only the elite have access. To find the truth, Kristi will need to become part of the cult’s inner circle, to learn their secrets, and play the part of lost soul without losing herself in the process. It’s a dangerous path and Kristi is skating on knife-thin edge.

And comes another romantic suspense (romantic thriller?) from Lisa Jackson. Though I think that she is a great storyteller, her stories are often outta the world outrageous. I tried reading the first to her New Orleans series Hot Blooded, only to find the heroine doing some idiotic things (oh, fine, since you’re curious, I’ll vent write about it later. J)

I also read Twice Kissed and Final Scream, both intriguing reads but was a bit incestuous for my liking.

So… I don’t know what possessed me to pick up this novel. I guess it was done out of boredom, and I figured, oh why the hell not? I was, afterall, in a library.

Lost Souls is Jackson’s latest installment to her New Orleans series. Apparently, a bunch of shady murders have been happening down there because Jackson has written seven books about it, all probably being about psychopathic anti-social killers. (Oh wait, that’s what all these suspense books are about, huh?)

Kristi Bentz is the daughter to a homicide police detective, Rick Bentz (hero of Cold Blooded, book numero dos). She has, apparently, lived through multiple life-traumatizing experiences. She feels stifled living with her father, so she decides to move out, go back and finish her undergraduate degree at All Saints College. And whaddya know, there have been four missing girls at the college in the past year. The local police have shrugged off on the case, thinking that the troubled girls most likely ran away from college with a floozy boy. However, Kristi’s gut feeling tells her that these girls have met a very fatal end. She is on a mission to track down their ‘killer.’

Meanwhile, she is shocked when her high-school sweetheart is teaching a class… her class on forensics. Jay McKnight has come a long way from the boy Kristi used to know. He works for a police department as a crime lab detective and agrees to sub for a class when his friend has an emergency come up.

It is when Kristi goes to Jay for help that they are faced with each other, and both try to hold their feelings at bay. Meanwhile, there are more girls disappearing from the college – all freakishly interested in a vampirism class…

In all honesty, the read was better than I expected: no weird sisters going after the same boy, unexpected pregnancies from nowhere, and all that jazz. Instead it was just a somewhat decent, kind of rushed story that didn’t really focus on the romance aspect, as these thrillers usually don’t. The outcome of the story was predictable and the vampirism cult aspect was mildly interesting.

Skip this one unless you’re trapped on an unchartered island with only this to keep you company.

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