“Killers” – by Shaun Jeffrey

Cover ImageA serial killer on the loose, a government agency covering-up the murders and Propser Snow’s dark secret isn’t so secret anymore. Only a deal with the devil will reveal the truth.

Killers is Shaun Jeffrey’s second Prosper Snow thriller. The first, The Kult, was reviewed by me back in April, 2012. (Review: here)

The story starts with a serial killer much like the last novel, but this time Snow is being kept from the investigation by an arm of MI5. As the body count rises, Snow becomes more intent on finding out why these murders are being buried. Soon enough, he is dabbling in unlawful behaviour again, until he figuratively sells his soul to find the answers.

With shady intelligence organisations and cover-ups, it’s no surprise that a conspiracy or two is uncovered along the way. However, what was finally revealed was a little over-the-top for me. It wasn’t uninteresting, just a bit silly.

Now part of the MI5 task force, Prosper continues to search for the killer, but when he finds him, everything is turned upside-down and Snow finds himself in a desperate fight for survival. The twists and turns create the right impact, but the implausibility of the underlying concept becomes a dance into absurdity, only salvaged by some impressive thriller-style chases.

Unfortunately, the conclusion is a bit of a fizzle with little in the way of satisfying resolution. Everyone wins, or loses, depending on your perspective.

It’s all Prosper Snow in this novel, which is a good thing. This character is the highlight of the book and what drew me to the sequel. In the first book, we were exposed to how far Snow could go when his loyalty was demanded, but in this book I think we see a darker side coming out.

Prosper touches and teases that inner animal, that do-what-it-takes-for-survival instinct, and warps it with a growing desire – an exhilaration that’s beginning to scare him, but to intrigue me. I always like to explore that dark edge in people’s personalities, that element kept hidden even from themselves. In this novel, Snow’s containment has been breached and what seeps out threatens to overpower him.

Other than the fact that I love this character’s name – who wouldn’t like the name Prosper Snow? – this character provides a vehicle for some interesting questions. How far would we go for friendship and loyalty? How far would we go to protect our families, or ourselves? And would we start to relish our actions in the process?

Prosper’s only surviving friend, Wolfe, also makes a reappearance, but he’s a little less interesting in the sequel. He’s bullied into assisting Prosper with his shenanigans and becomes more of a sidekick in Killers. He lacks a certain independence that made him interesting in the first novel.

The prose used by the author is solid. I only spotted a few small errors, but otherwise, the story flowed well. The shorter chapters kept the pace moving and although several scenes needed to be gruesome, the author was relatively restrained with the descriptives without eliminating the impact.

Unfortunately, I can’t really rave about Killers. It had some strong elements, and Prosper Snow is certainly one of the more interesting characters I’ve encountered in this genre. However, the story was just too much and then, at the end, not quite enough.

Rating: 3/5

Price at the time of review: $3.99 US

Available: Amazon, Barnes and Noble, Sony, Kobo, Diesel, iTunes and more…

Author site: http://www.shaunjeffrey.com
GoodReads page: https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/12835602-killers

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