Cover Image: Crimson Lake Road

Crimson Lake Road

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Crimson Lake Road is the second book in the Desert Plains series by Victor Methos.  Federal prosecutor Jessica Yardley has decided to retire but she feels compelled to take part in one final investigation.  A series of murders have occurred that are seemingly tied to a set of macabre paintings. 

This book is a solid police procedural as well as a courtroom drama.  However, I’m sure it wouldn’t appeal to everyone.  There are some rather graphic descriptions of torture and murder, as well as indications of child abuse. It can be uncomfortable to read.  On the other hand, the plot is well-done and there are enough twists to keep a reader interested.  Nevertheless, I didn’t find myself very invested in the characters and that made the book a little less appealing to me. 

Victor Methos is a very good author and I will continue to read his stories.  I’m just not sure if the Desert Plains books are the right ones for me.

Many thanks to NetGalley and the publisher for providing a copy of this book for review.
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Book two of the Desert Plains series didn't disappoint, however it's pretty important to read book one first. Super enjoyed this one, though the pacing is slower than I'd like for a thriller, the depth of the investigation + the remarkable genius and slightly frightening thought processes of her daughter make up for that. Enjoyed this one.
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I love a good mystery/thriller series and this one is so good. I enjoyed this first but I think I enjoyed this one even more. I continued to connect with characters, the story line and can't wait for the next book to read.
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I’ve previously enjoyed a number of Victor Methos’ books, but this one just didn’t keep my attention. I got about 30% through before deciding not to finish it. I admit, I’m not an art buff, and the analysis of the works of art which were apparently the motive for this serial killer droned on too long for me. I regret not finishing because I really liked the last Jessica Yardley story, and was looking forward to this book for months, but sometimes it just doesn’t work.

Cross-posted to Goodreads.
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One last case and it's a big one- involving a person known merely as, "The Executioner."
Not quite, the legal case one would hope to become involved with seeing that the prosecutor-Jessica Yardley-is all set for retirement with a new location and all.
However, the body count rises and the ladies are being mutilated with nothing more than a portrait left as a calling card.
Ironically, all this happens at a cabin on Crimson Lake Road-ergo the title for this second in the series by Victor Methos.
In fact, it's a re-enactment from these paintings that the killer is conducting and nobody wants to wait until all scenes have been completed because a second kill has just been found.
Luckily, the second victim survives as Jessica visits her in the hospital to find answers and eventually the friendship turns sour upon noting the gal's boyfriend may be our killer.
Talk about bizarre but as we venture further out we learn there's more than one possible suspect with a possible motive here.
This just meandered around and lost its way too many times for me and I couldn't catch it and bring it back.
While at times it was rock solid there was simply too many other times when it just totally fell apart and I lost interest.
Thank you to Victor, the pub, NetGalley, and Amazon Kindle for this ARC in exchange for this honest review.
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Fair warning this book is not for everyone. There are some pretty gruesome depictions of murders and there is a sub-plot happening at the same time which deals with the abduction and torture of teenage girls.  

One of the big issues I have with this author is their constant switch between a character's first name and their last name. In some passages our main character is Yardley (her last name), in others, she is Jessica (her first name). This is the same for every single character in this story it seems except for her daughter Tara. It bogs things down because it becomes confusing. When I read about a victim named Angela for pages, only to then suddenly read about a victim named River, I start to wonder if I have an incomplete copy of a story. But no, that is just the way it is written.

Another glaring issue is that at times these characters acted completely out of character. (For arguments sake I'm going to call her Yardley) does some things at various points that really just seem unlike her. I also found it completely inconceivable that the "villain" of this piece would just leave one of their victims not only unrestrained, but alone so that they might have the chance of escaping. 

However, from the looks of things this is going to be a three part series, and considering I've read both books one and two? I will read the third just to see how the author chooses to wrap this all up. 

DISCLAIMER: I received a complimentary copy of this novel from the publisher. This has not affected my review in any way. All thoughts and opinions expressed in this review are 100% my own.
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I love police procedurals, and this book did not disappoint. The setting, the characters, and the interaction between the two entities make this book very aesthetically pleasing to imagine and enjoy. A new favorite by Methos.
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Written by a former criminal lawyer, this is a solid legal thriller and, though it’s the second in a series, I didn’t have any particular difficulty picking up the background of the major characters, specifically Jessica Yardley, the US Attorney who is the central protagonist here.

The action kicks off straight away with the discovery of a gruesome murder scene - except, shockingly, the victim has survived what appears to be a serial killer. Jessica quickly befriends Angela River, the survivor, as she looks into the case, involving herself not only to be sure the investigators follow necessary procedure for a ‘clean’ conviction once they find the perpetrator, but out of concern for Angela, who she very much likes.

Unfortunately, Jessica has terrible taste in people, as evidenced by her ex-husband (a serial killer) and her last boyfriend (a copycat killer). Even her daughter Tara, a math savant, is beginning to show worryingly sociopathic tendencies, and in fact we the readers discover some things about Tara which would destroy Jessica if she knew. Tara’s character arc and eventual fate are surely going to be a strong theme throughout this series.

The courtroom scenes are probably the strongest part of this book; there were some other bits I was thrown by early on - like the two experienced detectives finding a woman lying on a table and not checking her pulse, just assuming she was dead. Literally the first thing first responders are taught to do is check for a pulse. I just didn’t buy that they wouldn’t do it, and this was in the first couple of pages, so my suspension of disbelief was damaged from early on.

There was a lot to like here: I liked the twists and turns and the complicated motives that were slowly revealed as the story went on. I’m not at all sure I liked the way things ended, because as Jake Peralta would say “Cool story. Still murder” and Jessica knew very well that mitigating circumstances would play a big role in how the perpetrator was sentenced. I have the feeling her choices could definitely come back to bite her at a later date. 

Readers should be aware that this is a story with triggers for child sexual abuse as well as the gory adult violence described on-page. This was a plot development which rather took me by surprise, as it’s not hinted at in the blurb. Jessica, contemplating retiring from her post at the beginning of the book, takes a sidestep into prosecuting child-related crimes by the end, so it seems that’s the direction the series may be taking.

I enjoyed the read, but it felt a little disjointed at times, especially once defence attorney Dylan Aster came on the scene, around the midpoint of the book. It felt like the author was having a lot more fun writing Aster than Yardley from that point on. Maybe Aster is getting his own books, I don’t know, but I thought he got too much focus here. This needed tightening up to keep the focus of the story where it needed to be.

I’ll give this four stars, because it did keep my attention and the mystery had enough twists and turns to keep me guessing, but I could see a lot of places where it could have been improved.
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A few months ago I was scrolling through Amazon for some new thriller books to read and that’s how I come across Victor Methos ‘ books. When the opportunity arises to read his newest story, I couldn’t pass it and here I am. 
Crimson Lake Road is available now and I, for one, enjoyed it immensely. 
It’s darker and goes more towards the psychological side of the characters and what motivates both the killer and the main character in this race against each other. 
I’ve always found art-themed books intriguing because there seems to be a veil covering the artists and their world.
Fast-paced, challenging and full of unexpected twists, this is another must-read thriller that many readers will enjoy.
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Wow oh wow what a story!  It was superb and that twist at the end was a total surprise.  I liked the characters.  I also liked that the characters had personal lives so the book at several sub plots.  This author blew me away.  He has caught my interest for sure.
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Ok so thanks NetGalley publishers and author for this advance readers copy! 
So first off I wished I had known this was the second book to a series! But hey its cool! 
This book kind of lagged for me! I had high hopes for this one and was so excited when I got this one! 
It truly wasn't what I had expected it to be!
But now alot of it makes sense because I didn't read the first book! 
Overall the story was good! I didn't really care For the writing! It wasn't there for me!
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This is the first book I have read by this author and I enjoyed it.  I figured out what was going on about half way through but there were still some surprises even after that.  Why things were occurring was a surprise and not something I realized until later.  The ending was not what I expected.

This book follows a federal prosecutor during the investigation and trial of a serial killer.  She was married to a serial killer herself and more of that situation was apparently explained in an earlier book in the series.  I didn’t find this book difficult to follow without having read that one, however.  I liked the characters but did find a couple situations a touch unrealistic.  That may be due to the fact that I was a career prosecutor myself.  I found the book enjoyable and an easy reader. The characters were interesting and likeable.  The  unlikeable ones were merely insignificant, not evil enough to hate…until the end. 

It was one that stayed in my mind through the days it took me to read it.  It is highly recommended.  I will be reading other books by this author soon.


I received an ARC from Thomas & Mercer through NetGalley.  This in no way affects my opinion or rating of this book.  I am voluntarily submitting this review and am under no obligation to do so.
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Jessica is on the trail of a serial killer and there is more than one suspect.  This was a very well written Thriller with plenty of clues and suspense.  I enjoyed the ride. 
Many thanks to Thomas & Mercer and to NetGalley for providing me with a galley in exchange for my honest opinion.
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The local sheriff department and an FBI agent conduct a raid of a cabin on Crimson Road. A serial killer’s second victim is spread out and the coroner is called but a shock awaits. Thus begins this psychological thriller that unfolds as a joint crime investigation with appealing characters, many suspects and various clues. An interesting enough read in the hunt for the murderer as the interrelation between past and present merge into a dramatic finale. Only a three-star rating due to a somewhat obvious likely perpetrator. As an independent viewer, my thanks to the author for a copy gratis prior to publication. All opinions expressed herein are freely given and totally my own.
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This is the second book in the series.

Jessica Yardley is retiring shortly but can't turn down one last investigation. Someone is killing people using grisly paintings called The Night Thing as inspiration. Jessica won't give up on catching the killer. The case gets more murky and Jessica has to consult her serial killer ex husband to help with the case. 

I haven't read the first book I admit so I felt like a missed quite a bit regarding Jessica and the people round her. 

I found the story drag quite a bit and didn't hold my overall attention. Certain aspects of the book came across as a bit unbelieveable. I found I was more interested in Jessica's daughter storyline than the main one. 

Overall the book didn't work for me but I would try another book by Vitcor Methos in the future.
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This mystery/thriller novel follows a retiring prosecutor, Jessica Yardley, as she rushes to identify a serial killer that is posing his victims off of a gruesome series of paintings. As the stakes become higher and higher, Jessica realizes that there’s so much she doesn’t know about the case. Finally, she has to speak with her divorced husband- who is in jail for serial killings as well.

This book is the second in Desert Plains series, but I jumped straight into this one and I wasn’t lost and will still perfectly enjoyable. It started off a little slow for me- there wasn’t a lot of fast-paced action until about halfway to three-quarters of the way through. Once it picked up, it was really exciting. I called many of the twists early on, but there were still moments in the book where I smiled and realized the twist that just was pulled out in front of me.

A lot of this novel focused on the proceedings in the courtroom which I found very interesting. I’ve always been a fan of courtroom dramas and hearing how things happen. Overall, I’d recommend this book to anyone who enjoys courtroom proceedings, reading about serial killers, and mysteries. I will warn of potential triggers, however- there are mentions of abuse, rape, murder, and possibly others. If there is a specific one in mind, please contact me and I’ll let you know!

Thank you to NetGalley and Thomas & Mercer for giving me the opportunity to read and review this ARC in exchange for an honest review!
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I received the book from NetGalley for my unbiased review.

Always enjoy reading a book by Victor Methos.  Crimson Lake Road did not disappoint.  While I had a bit of a handle on the culprit about half way through the book, there were still a lot of twists and turns and it still ended with a surprise.

Good book!
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I received a free copy of this book in exchange for an honest review. 
This book is the second in a series and I haven’t read the first one so I can’t comment on the evolution of the characters from one book to the other. 
Overall, the story was good but a bit long winded without bringing much to the story. 
The main character, Jessica Yardley is interesting but her daughter isn’t one bit endearing nor are the investigators and Jessica’s replacement at the DA’s office. The perpetrators were a bit obvious to me and I couldn’t believe the predictability of whom the culpable parties were. 
Overall, it was a good read but would deserve a little editing to shorten it.
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CRIMSON LAKE ROAD is Book Two in the Desert Plains Series; A KILLER’S WIFE is the first and scheduled for release in August of this year, Book Three, THE UNRELIABLE TRUTH. 

Getting ready to retire as a prosecutor, her office already packed up, Jessica Yardley is asked to stay on for one last investigation—a set of murders depicted like the grisly scenes in a series of paintings called The Night Things.

‘[T]he more Jessica finds out, the less clear her case becomes. Out of options, she’s forced to consult her serial killer ex-husband—to gain additional insight into the crimes and the killer’s motivations.’

Having not read the first book in the Desert Plains Series, as I dove into book two, I knew right away that would need to be remedied, not due to something lacking in CRIMSON LAKE ROAD (easily read as a standalone), but a growing need to learn more about Tara and Jessica Yardley and Jessica’s serial killer ex-husband and Tara’s father, Eddie Cal. 

As I made my way through book two, I couldn’t help but wonder if the narrative plays out similar to the film Mr. Brooks, wherein his daughter may or may not be just like him—a killer? 

Will Jessica catch the killer or become the final addition to the killer's masterpiece?

You will have to read the book and find out! ;)

Thank you, NetGalley and Thomas & Mercer, for loaning me an eGalley of CRIMSON LAKE ROAD with a request for an honest review. 

Scheduled To Release – February 9, 2021 (Subject To Change).
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Jessica Yardley had a lot to deal with in her life.  Most importantly, she's an assistant US Attorney and  her ex-husband is currently in prison, convicted of being a serial killer.  So she's concerned when she learns that someone has killed women and posed them to resemble figures in paintings- and against her better judgment takes on the case.  Thanks to Netgalley for the ARC. Fans of the genre will enjoy this for the twisty plot and Jessica's character.  A page turner.
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