Title: Empathy for a Killer
Author: Sarah Masters
Publisher: Pride Publishing
Length: 202 Pages
Category: Contemporary, Mystery/Suspense
At a Glance: Empathy for A Killer is one of the finest psychological thrillers I have ever read. This novel takes you on a journey that will absolutely rock your world in all the best ways.
Reviewed By: Sammy
Blurb: Detective Burgess Varley is called out to view a dead body. It isn’t one of the best things about his job—but putting killers away for the rest of their lives? Now that’s one of the best. Problem is, the victim has something in her mouth that has always scared Burgess—something that links him to the killer without him even knowing it. And that link is more than Burgess might be able to handle.
Detective Shaw Peters, Burgess’ partner for several years, loves Burgess in ways he perhaps shouldn’t. Or ways that Burgess won’t accept, anyway. But Shaw isn’t one to back down from a challenge, and as well as being by Burgess’ side on the hunt for a killer, he has his own mission to accomplish—getting Burgess to admit they’re meant for each other. It won’t be easy, but by God, he’s going to give it a try.
With Burgess and the killer learning things about themselves, their lives, and each other that they previously hadn’t known, life—and death—is about to become serious.
Review: Author Sarah Masters has written, perhaps, one of the most compelling psychological thrillers with her new release, Empathy for A Killer. Featuring a tightly wound detective who avoids emotional attachment like the plague, Masters uses both Burgess Varley and his partner, Shaw, to track down a twisted killer who is recreating a crime he committed nearly sixteen years previously. As the two go after their suspect, they come to terms with their long suffering attraction for each other, and we get the chance to watch as Burgess begins to thaw emotionally, and embrace both the truth of his deep affections for Shaw and his past, which includes the impact his father’s death had on him and his mother.
With a slow building pace and a rather horrifying window into the criminal’s psyche, we watch as this incredible author describes how a serial killer emerges, and the impact his upbringing had on damaging him far beyond comprehension. We are taken inside the minds of each key player in this story while learning how deeply Shaw loves Burgess and will look beyond just about anything in order to be with him. Step by step we watch Burgess unfold, his phobias, his fears and his passion all surging to the surface the nearer he gets to discovering who the killer actually is, and how they are connected. But it is the interactions we experience with the killer himself that leave us both horrified and, yes, devastated that the man had suffered so much as a child. By carefully weaving the lives of these three men together, Sarah Masters reveals just how one can truly empathize with a stone cold killer.
I was swept up into this story from the very first page. These men defied that almost stereotypical cop romance trope we often read, where hard-bitten cops fall for each other. Instead, there were phenomenal moments of genuine gratitude and love between Burgess and Shaw—raw moments in the story when their true feelings emerged and left the reader breathless with the utter honesty revealed. These two men had fought hard against their attraction only to finally understand that they would do anything to keep the other in their lives just one second more. But it was the ending of this novel, the realization by Burgess of just how intricately his life was woven with the killer, that was absolutely stunning to read. It was poignant and desperate and oh so well done.
Empathy for A Killer is one of the finest psychological thrillers I have ever read. This novel takes you on a journey that will absolutely rock your world in all the best ways.
You can buy Empathy for a Killer here: