Book Review : Kill Game (Seven of Spades #1) By Cordelia Kingsbridge
Homicide detective Levi Abrams is barely holding his life together. He’s reeling from the fallout of a fatal shooting, and his relationship with his boyfriend is crumbling. The last thing he’s prepared for is a serial killer stalking the streets of Las Vegas. Or how he keeps getting thrown into the path of annoyingly charming bounty hunter Dominic Russo.
Dominic likes his life free of complications. That means no tangling with cops—especially prickly, uptight detectives. But when he stumbles across one of the Seven of Spades’s horrifying crime scenes, he can’t let go, despite Levi’s warnings to stay away.
The Seven of Spades is ruthless and always two moves ahead. Worst of all, they’ve taken a dangerously personal interest in Levi and Dominic. Forced to trust each other, the two men race to discover the killer’s identity, revealing hidden truths along the way and sparking a bond neither man expected. But that may not be enough to protect them.
This killer likes to play games, and the deck is not stacked in Levi and Dominic’s favor.
A Sneak Peek Into the Story :
“Are you going to say it, or am I?” Levi’s partner, Martine asked.
Levi sighed, studying the body in front of them. Philip Dreyer was sitting upright in his fancy office chair, his forearms propped on his mahogany desk as if he was welcoming a client. Although, the image was spoiled somewhat by the way his head lolled back and to one side, his throat slit from ear to ear in a gaping arc. Blood soaked his designer suit and pooled at the edge of the desk.
What’s worse of the gruesome scene was the fact fact that Philip Dreyer’s eyes were still open, now staring lifelessly at Levi.
It might be possible that this is the work of a serial killer, Levi thought to himself.
“Two bodies with similar MOs doesn’t mean a serial killer. It’s not even technically a pattern.” Martine suddenly piped up, as if she was able to hear his thoughts.
All around him, the spacious office was abuzz with activity : uniformed officers chatting at the door, the photographer snapping shots from every angle, crime scene investigators trawling the room in the grid pattern they’d established. Levi ignored it all, and homed in on one detail in particular.
Peeking out of the breast pocket of Dreyer’s suit and spattered with blood, was a single playing card –– the seven of spades.
“The Seven of spades. Same as Billy Campbell.”
“Which is creepy,” Martine replied, “but let’s not jump to conclusions.”
“Most killers don’t leave calling cards.”
“You’d be surprised what people are capable of when they have nothing to lose.”
“They might if they wanted to disguise their motivation and put the cops on the wrong trail.”
To that, Levi nodded. “You think one person had the reason to kill both men? The victims don’t seem to have any connection to one another.”
Besides being middle-aged white men –– and the eerie similarities of their crime scenes –– Dreyer and Campbell had nothing in common. Dreyer had been a highly successful wealth management advisor at the prestigious Skyline Financial Services; Campbell had been a lowlife bar rat who’d weaseled his way out of multiple charges for domestic violence and drug possession. They had both inhabited entirely different worlds.
“Maybe,” Martine stared at Dreyer’s body in contemplation, “statistically, it’s more likely than them being targeted by a serial killer.”
He stood directly behind Dreyer’s body, his eyes roving over the chair and desk. The coroner investigator hadn’t arrived yet, but Levi had seen enough crime scenes in his four years as a homicide detective to estimate the time of death at around two to three hours prior. Throat slit from behind, death from massive blood loss…
Martine frowned, leaning forward to study the corpse from the opposite side. “No signs of a struggle.”
Circling around the gorgeous office and observing the room as a whole, Levi tried to reconstruct how the murder happened. Dreyer had positioned his desk in the center of the wall, his chair only a few feet from the glass. The sole entrance to the office was the door all the way on the other side, at a slight diagonal to the desk and across a wide expanse of polished hardwood flooring. There is little room for the killer to stand behind Dreyer, and no way for them to approach without giving him plenty of warning. Yet, it didn’t seem that Dreyer had even gotten out of his chair.
“The killer took him by surprise?” Levi said dubiously.
“How many people do you trust to stand behind you while you’re sitting down?”
Few enough to count on one hand and have fingers left over.
3 Words to Sum Up This Book :
Dull, Predictable, Unexceptional
Let me just preface this by saying : It feels like everyone and their grandma has read this series, and loved it to death.
And I swear I’m not trying to be “quirky” or “edgy” here by going against the grain, but truth to be told, I truly cannot understand what the hype is all about. Everything about this book is very mediocre at best, boring at worse. From the moment I started reading it, I felt like I could already pretty much map out how everything will turn out. And lo and behold, things went exactly as expected.
So honestly, I have no idea why everyone I know has been raving non-stop and getting all hot and bothered for this series. Because your girl couldn’t even finish the book.
There is honestly not much to the plot. Kill Game is classified as mystery, but after I have had a taste in reading what a good mystery book is supposed to be like –– no offense –– but this book reads like a child’s play to me.
Everything is just so cliche and predictable.
You have this killer, who they call “Seven of Spades” cause the guy likes to leave seven of spades cards on the bodies he killed. And apparently, he’s a serial killer with a moral compass too, because he only kills criminals who are not tried and jailed for their crimes.
Wow, much respect Mr. Serial Killer. So noble.
And on top of that, it seems like just killing “criminals” aren’t enough for Mr. Seven of Spades. Our noble serial killer seems to also enjoy teasing and taunting Levi, leaving breadcrumbs and keeping his promises because why, of course, because he’s so very noble.
And the detectives who were supposed to be investigating this case –– bless their souls –– seems quite a bit too stupid for the case. While reading this book, the detectives : Levi and Martine, gives me the feeling of doing something just for the sake of doing things. They were checking files, timelines, cameras, interviewing witnesses. Like I get it, these are the things that you do as a detective. However, don’t you think this looks kind of weird that all the action the readers are getting are just about them sitting on their asses, reading files and complain about their love lives?
Like fuck, even the bounty hunter guy Dominic, found out more about the case just by poking around compared to these two detectives.
Levi aside, we have another main character who is a bounty hunter called Dominic. What kind of person do you think of when you think of a bounty hunter? If it’s anything like mine, it would be a guy who is buff, muscular, and big.
Guess what? Our bounty hunter Dominic fits all the checklists. He also brings another thing to the table it seems like, he’s apparently also someone who’d call a daddy. Between you and me, I think we both know what that means. It means on top of being big, buff and muscular, he is also hot as fuck.
“That man is so fine, I don’t know how he makes it down the street without people trying to climb him like a tree.”
But just because Dominic is panty-melting -daddy-inducing-hot and could have any guys he set his eyes on, doesn’t mean the charm will work the same with Levi. Because Levi don’t do no “giant bear of a man who was built like a truck.” (literally quoting this from the book.)
Plus, Levi is in a relationship. He is dating a multi millionaire, who loves him more than life itself. However, as of late, their relationship has been kind of rocky. What with Levi’s boyfriend’s tendency to coddle and mother him.
And here we wonder, just exactly how are things going to progress next?
“Isn’t it better for us to go our separate ways now, instead of continuing trying to change each other until we ruin all of our good memories and have nothing left but resentment?”
The writing was, like the book, mediocre.
It’s really nothing to write home about. I didn’t mind it, it didn’t blow my mind.
Is there something about Ms. Cordelia’s writing style that would differentiate her from all the authors out there? Did she bring something unique to the book with the writing?
The Verdict :
I apologize beforehand that this review was kind of short and concise. Not because your girl was lazy or whatnot, but it’s truly because this book is really not that remarkable. I read it, it was okay, I got bored, I moved on.
You know that book where its neither good, nor bad? This is that book.
I didn’t hate it, but I didn’t like it either. I wouldn’t mind reading it all the way till the end, but at the same time, why even bother when I can already kind of predict how the ending is going to go?
This book gave off that kind of vibe from the very beginning. But you know me and my stubbornness, I refuse to back down from a book just because it didn’t start as promising as I’d have expected. And also: the hype.
That reason contributes a lot of the fact that I read this book as much as I did. I wanted to understand what is it that made people love it so much. But when, even after reading almost 70% of the book, I still didn’t get the appeal and finally decided to throw in the towel and call it quits.
So would I recommend this book? Honestly, no. But hey, opinions and tastes differ. I might not enjoy it, but you might. Plus, seeing just how many people who loved and would die for this series, maybe I’m the one wired wrong here. *shrug*