This is a Kindle Unlimited novel. Having read a previous Susan May book, I like being able to read more of her work at such a low cost.
Kendall is a freelance writer with no ambitions to be a “writer,” she just wanted to get paid and meet the daily/weekly/monthly financial obligations. Despite her distaste for all things violent, she is assigned by a reliably paying client to do an interview with a survivor of a mass murder attack that occurred in a nearby restaurant. The newspaper accounts of the death of several staff and customers by an ax wielding madman were enough to trigger memories Kendall had of her own mother being murdered. In pursuit of the dollar, off she goes to do an interview and becomes entangled with a series of grotesque murders.
Toby was a bank clerk and had no idea why he carried an axe into the restaurant and began killing people. He didn’t dwell on what he was doing except to keep count of how many he killed. For some reason, he needed to kill four. More was better, but after four dead the pressure inside his head to do more decreased. No one would know the reason because responding police killed Toby.
Benito worked as a cleaner in a senior citizen center. We do not know whether he liked to play with matches as a child, but they are his chosen instrument for lighting fires during the night in several places of the center. Given that many of the residents were not ambulatory or had disabilities such as blindness, Benito was fairly sure he could make his quota of four; more would be better but four was enough. He wasn’t sure why he was doing it and he didn’t plan on being consumed by the flames as well, but the mission was important.
Tripp and O’Grady are two detectives with two mass murders that have no connecting dots. It seems cliché that police hate the media. So when Kendall feels that she has to interview police investigators in order to balance her assigned article, the first big conflict plays out. They refuse to give information (expected), she continues her attempts (expected), and she even sees possibilities of a relationship with O’Grady that goes beyond the case (maybe expected). Things get more complicated when one of the people interviewed by Kendall gives her a report critical of the drug industry that suggests drug interactions may have triggered the violent crimes. She would like to explore this with the unhelpful detectives (expected).
As with other novels I have read by May, it is easy to identify some logical suspects. Readers are allowed to connect the dots faster than the police. But there are surprises. It is logical for readers to ask who or what the messengers are. This will probably surprise most readers. Others will be surprised by deaths that occur outside of the mass mayhem.