Friday, October 5, 2018

Virtual Book Tour: Skin | Deep by Michelle Hanson (Review, Excerpt + Giveaway)

This post is part of a virtual book tour organized by Goddess Fish Promotions. Michelle Hanson will be awarding a $20 Amazon or B/N GC to a randomly drawn winner via rafflecopter during the tour. Click on the tour banner to see the other stops on the tour.

Detective Sergeant Lena Evans gets recognized on the streets of her hometown of West Joseph, Ohio. She’s a reluctant local celebrity, having defeated serial killer Lathan Collins.

Now, as the one-year anniversary of the Collins case nears, four more women have been brutally murdered—and the killer is sending video footage of their deaths directly to Lena’s inbox.

The investigation brings Lena face-to-face with her past: the Collins case, her celebrity status, her lingering PTSD—and the first woman she ever loved, Special Agent Cait Porter, who’s just been assigned to the case.

The killer gives Lena five days to figure out who he is. But the closer she gets to finding him, the more likely it is that she’ll become his fifth victim.

Read an excerpt

The rattle of the restraint echoed within the room as I dragged my leg closer to my chest. The long chain scraped against the cement ground as I brought my knee under my chin. I gripped the sturdy cuff and squeezed at the hinge. The dim light reflected off the metal cuff, sending streams of light rays against the wall. I placed my thumb over the keyhole and pressed down. The small groove imprinted in my thumb, and I ran my index finger over the impression.

It was a standard cuff, the kind my department used when transporting convicts. It wasn’t easy to pick the lock, but it was certainly possible. All I needed was something to pry the lock with. A Bobby pin or a pair of tweezers. Anything flat and slender.

Instinctually, I reached for my gun—but it, along with the holster, was gone. My badge and cell phone were missing from my back pockets too.

I checked my pockets knowing it was pointless. If he took my badge and gun, then he took anything else I had on me. I slid my hand inside the breast pocket of my black blazer. Then in my pants pockets. I frisked myself in the hope that maybe there was something viable I could use. But nothing. I had nothing.

**Copy provided to Bayou Book Junkie by Goddess Fish Promotions for my reading pleasure in hopes of an unbiased opinion, a review was not a requirement.**

I have never read author Michelle Hanson before and her book Skin | Deep sounded like something right up my alley, plus it’s a serial killer book set in Ohio, how could I not want to read it?

This book is written in first person, which at times felt a little overwhelming considering the mindset of the main character, Lena Evans. But, before I get into that, let’s start at the beginning. The prologue of this book, a must read… do people not read prologues? Anyway, the prologue was absolutely crazy! You are thrown right into the story from the very first page. It’s fast-paced, gory, heart-stopping action. I realized when I got to the end of the prologue I’d been holding my breath. I stopped to immediately post about the book on social media. Seriously, that’s how much just the prologue caught me by surprise.

I read a lot of serial killer books, murder mysteries, etc. These books range in goriness from nothing to whoa. This is a whoa book. Sometimes in other books of this genre, it feels like the author is taking the easy way out, or maybe just making the story more mainstream by leaving out the truly horrible parts about a serial killer. Not Michelle Hanson. She put every detail, no matter how shocking, on page and I respect her for that. There was no taking the easy way out for her, she put it all out there. And that became obvious in the prologue when I about jumped out of my skin when Evans came face to face with the serial killer for the first time.

The character of Detective Sergeant Lena Evans was a difficult one. She was smart, strong, weak, reckless and all over the place. Because this story is told in first person, the reader gets to know Lena. We experience everything with her, we’re inside her mind A LOT and it’s not a comfortable place to be. Evans is struggling in her personal life, in her mind, and at work. She’s struggling to live in a town that worships her and acts like she’s a hero for her actions against a serial killer. She’s struggling as that story just continues to grow and won’t die. She is not a perfect female lead. I liked her but at times I didn’t. She was very self-centered and didn’t pay attention to how her actions affected others. But my biggest complaint was she didn’t learn from past mistakes. Her actions put others at risk and that just pissed me off.

At times there was just too much detail in the writing, I know, weird, right? But, when you go through every step of a character brushing their teeth, for me it just distracts from the story. Reading that she brushed her teeth would have sufficed. Instead, it was every minute detail. Evans was in a relationship that was crumbling, due to her actions and inactions. I spent too much time worrying that she was going to cheat on her partner and really tank the book for me. That did not happen, but it really distracted me from the story. I’ll reread this book again, knowing that cheating doesn’t happen, so I can focus on the other parts of the story that were overshadowed for me.

There is a lot of relationship drama in this book, and Evans falls out of love with one woman and in love with another in just a few pages. Based on the danger she put her love in, I don’t know if I really believe that she’s in love, but for me, the relationship aspects are not the important parts of this story!

The serial killer and everything that happens along that storyline was very well done, but I absolutely knew who the serial killer was. Frankly, if Evans wasn’t having all her personal drama, she’d probably have seen the signs earlier of who the killer was. It was obvious. And the same could be said about the retired police detective. I don’t want to say more because I don’t want to give anything away, but there was nothing shocking for me in this storyline.

Overall this is a terrific serial killer book. The story is well-written for the most part, fast-paced, action-packed and brutal. If you enjoy serial killer, murder mystery books this is definitely one you’re going to want to read immediately! If you’re picking this book up for a romance book, you may be a little disappointed. I wasn’t, so it was perfect for me! If you’re looking for strong, imperfect female leads this is perfect for you. I highly recommend this one!

Rating: 4.5 stars!!

About the Author: MICHELLE HANSON is a writer, director, producer, and photographer. She writes detective novels so her degree in Criminology can be put to good use. Michelle is an avid fan of the horror genre, and spends most of her free time volunteering at a local theatre. Her photography has been published in newspapers and online magazines/blogs.

Michelle is the creator, director and writer of the supernatural lesbian web series, Red Rue. She also wrote and directed Gül Girl, and the upcoming psychological thriller, Veho (Fearopoly Films).

Michelle is married, and has two dogs and three cats. She hopes to see her novels turn into a movie or television show one day (Netflix, are you listening?).

Follow Michelle on:
Instagram: MLRED219

Follow her projects on:
Twitter: Fearopoly
Instagram: Fearopoly

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