Full disclosure – I was provided an advanced reader’s copy of this book by the authors but have voluntarily provided a review. All opinions are my own.
Couple Killer is scheduled for a March 31, 2022 release
A Campus Terrorized
Remington Hills is a quaint college town near the campus of Southern Michigan University. What should be a place for students to be free to explore their individuality while seeking higher education has become a campus of people walking on eggshells. Over the past year and a half, the students have been terrorized by a flasher, a rapist, and now, a murderer. As the body count creeps toward the double-digit mark, Darger and Loshak are called in to assist. When they get there, however, they find a police officer force whose authority is throttled by the university president. Rather than mar the name of her school, investigations have been quashed, covered up, and ignored altogether. This has not gone unnoticed by a few astute pupils who have become outwardly vocal in their opposition and resistance to the ever-growing inept tactics. When the killer strikes again, Darger hatches a plan for a massive dragnet, but when the unrest on the campus erupts into a night of chaos will they catch their killer, or will he manage to blend into the masses and slip away to murder another day?
Couple Killer is the ninth in the Violet Darger series of books by author duo Tim McBain and L.T. Vargus. The case this time, while still involving a possible serial killer, is unlike anything that the duo has experienced before. Navigating departmental politics is one thing but throw in the PR Nightmare of a college official whose only concern is the image of the school and the dynamic changes drastically. Add in a student body who are becoming more restless and more vocal with each subsequent incident and the campus of SMU is a ticking time bomb just waiting for detonation. The killer in this one is clever, and a tad on the scary side in his execution as safety in numbers does not seem to be a concept that he is aware of. The action starts immediately with the reader being sucked into the narrative, not to be released until the final word. With Couple Killer, McBain and Vargus have proven yet again that this is their genre, and Loshak and Darger are their stars. Utilizing references to other well-known serial murder cases adds an additional depth that lends a credible believability to the story in addition to providing interesting if not morbid nuggets for persons like me who are intrigued with what makes people such as this “tick”. While there are a few other series that the duo has also written in this genre, the pair of Loshak and Darger are by far my favorites. With another case closed, I am eager to see what the duo dream up for the next assignment.