Author: SJD Peterson
Publisher: Dreamspinner Press
Pages/Word Count: 220 Pages
At a Glance: An excellent psycho-thriller mystery story, with a bit of romance thrown in.
Reviewed By: Angel
Blurb: A string of murders targeting effeminate gay men has the GLBTQ community of Chicago on alert, but budget cuts have left many precincts understaffed and overworked. Not to mention, homophobia is alive and well within the law enforcement community and little has been done to solve the mystery. When the FBI calls in Special Agent Todd Hutchinson and his team, the locals are glad to hand the case off. But Hutch finds a bigger mystery than anyone originally realized—seventeen linked murders committed in several different jurisdictions. Hutch’s clues lead him to Noah Walker.
Working on his PhD in forensic psychology, Noah has been obsessed with serial murders since he was a child. But coming to Hutch’s attention as a suspect isn’t a good way to start a relationship. Noah finds himself hunted, striking him off Hutch’s suspect list, but not off his radar. To catch the killer before anyone else falls victim, they’ll have to work together, and quickly, to bring him to justice
Review: Just when I thought I was left to Nora Roberts’ Eve Dallas to provide me with a good and sexy mystery, especially after Josh Lanyon decided to end Mr. English’s career, I find SJD Peterson. And yes, I am ranking this new-to-me author right up there with two on my all time favorites list. I really enjoyed this mystery and hope the clues the author left indicate there will be more from this series, and soon.
As the blurb says, Hutch and his team are out to find a killer. And it was one I didn’t even expect. The clues to the killer were almost nonexistent, which was a change. Normally I get some inkling about the bad guy but when he was revealed, I was like, oh… wow, okay, and I went with it.
The details of both the mystery and the police work felt real to me, down to the homophobia of the police departments working the murders, and the fear of the gay community. Hutch is jaded and intense, and I love how he saw into the mind of the killer, though he never actually saw him. Noah was just too cute for words, and intelligent to boot. I love that his past is what pushed him into his chosen field. His backstory makes me wonder if the mystery will be solved, and I hope for further sequels in this series.
Granite and Byte round out the team of investigators, and I would also enjoy more from them and their stories in the future. All the characters worked well together and once I began reading, it was hard to put the book down. I finished Splintered in just one night.
SJD Peterson focuses on the mystery here, and the romance between the protagonists is secondary. I liked that, and creepily, the reasons behind it made sense in context despite there being few clues to the mystery and murders. I also enjoyed the chemistry Hutch and Noah had. There isn’t much shown about their relationship, though, other than a one-night stand before Hutch’s guilt forces him to refocus on the case.
I found out, after reading, there are some outtakes from the book, and I would love to read them as well. Definitely looking forward to more of this series, and I will be on the lookout for more of the author’s works.
You can buy Splintered here: