At only 81 pages, Kill Game Part 1 by Adam Nicholls and Jennifer May almost filled the downtime while I was waiting for visa processing at the local immigration office. Almost, because I had time to start Part 2. This is a serial killer story published as a serial with three parts. All sell for USD 0.99 on Amazon or free through Kindle Unlimited. I was attracted to the story by an author newsletter and also because it is worth keeping a stock of short reads for annoying bureaucratic wait times. Care should be taken in choosing what to include in a short read collection. This series evoked mental images of how best to deal with uncooperative civil servants.
Detective Bella Cruz is not one of the more attractive female detectives I have ever read about. Throughout this Part One story she seems to sweat constantly. Some of it is from working out at the health club, part is from traumatic dreams of a weird childhood but altogether it seems she is always sweating. As a detective, all her calls seem to be emergency calls which she must respond to immediately. No time for showers or laundry, she dons whatever smells the least offensive. This occurs throughout Part One. The story is interesting enough for me to read Parts Two and Three to see if she ever gets to the laundry or showers more frequently.
This immediate response to emergency calls reveals something I feel is illogical in the story. When she turns up at whichever place she has been summoned to, some colleague or superior immediately mentions that she should go home and get some sleep. They inform her she can’t be part of the case because she is too close to it as a result of childhood trauma. Couldn’t this have been done by phone while she is at home, perhaps while she is doing the laundry?
At any rate, her partner called her because of the age of the victim, a female of approximately the same age as Bella was when she was abducted. DNA evidence also revealed the name of the killer, the same person who abducted Bella. It seems Salem Ross has reappeared and is killing people as an invitation to Bella to play a game. Salem wants to establish the same close relationship he had with the eight-year-old Bella before she escaped. Since Bella’s colleagues don’t want her to take part in the case and they want her shielded from publicity, Bella does not appear in the news about the killing of a young hitchhiker whose body was dumped at the front door of the police station where Bella worked. Salem would have to try something new.
The next body found, another gift from Salem, was a man who looked so much like Bella’s partner, Kyle, that family and friends were beginning to mourn Kyle. Even Kyle was shocked to see the picture of his supposed body.
Part One then continues to reveal more of Bella’s past. Because this is part One of three parts, there is not a conclusion but Salem has a few more surprises in Part One. But those would be spoilers. This first part does exactly what was planned. It makes me want to read Part Two. I gave this four Amazon stars for keeping my interest in a very busy (hundreds of people) waiting room.
When I returned home after reading a few pages of Part Two, I checked my laundry supply for the rest of the work week. This is a quick, distracting read which I recommend for the Go Bag that many carry around to manage the stress imposed by time wasters.