Synopsis from the Author's Website:
Lt. Jacqueline "Jack" Daniels is having a VERY bad week...Jack's live-in boyfriend has left her for his personal trainer, chronic insomnia has maxed out her credit cards with late-night home shopping purchases, and a frightening killer who calls himself "The Gingerbread Man" is dumping mutilated bodies in her district.
Between avoiding the FBI and their moronic profiling computer, joining a dating service, mixing it up with street thugs, and parrying the advances of an uncouth PI, Jack and her binge-eating partner Herb must catch the maniac before he kills again...and Jack is next on his murder list..
What Hooked Me:
For somebody who watches as many detective/cop/crime shows like I do (my favorites: all the CSIs, both NCIS, the Mentalist, Blue Blood and Bones), I found this book's simple plot still fresh, enjoyable and truly suspenseful. I also like that the author infused humor to the very serious subject matter and that Jack Daniels is a tough female detective.
'There were four black and whites already at the 7-eleven when I arrived. Several people had gathered in the parking lot behind the yellow police tape, huddling close for protection against the freezing Chicago rain. They weren't there for the Slurpees.'(opening lines)
"This was stapled to her chest."
Benedict handed me a plastic evidence bag. In it was a three-by-five-inch piece of paper, crinkled edges on one end indicating it had been ripped from a spiral pad. It was spotty with blood and rain, but the writing on it was clear:
you can't catch ME
IM THE GINGERBREADMAN' (2)
'If this wasn't such a somber situation, the image of two detectives flashing around the picture of the gingerbread man and asking "Have you seen him?" would be pretty funny.'(8)
'I eyed the half-finished drink in my hand. When Jacqueline Streng married Alan Daniels, she became Jack Daniels. Ever since, people have given me bottles of the stuff as gifts, each probably thinking they were being clever. I was forced to develop a taste for it, or else open up my own liquor store.'(18)
'DO, or disorganized criminal, usually have little or no planning stage. Their crimes are spur of the moment, either lust-or rage-induced. Signs of guilt or remorse can usually be found at the scene, such as something covering the victim's face; an indication the killer doesn't like the accusation of a staring pair of eyes. Clues in the form of physical and circumstantial evidence abound, because the DO type doesn't stop to cover them up, or only does as an afterthought.'(32)
'Two months wasn't enough time to get over the death of a parent. Some people never get over it.'(60)
'Both Coursey and Daile chuckled. Exactly three chuckles each, and then they stopped simultaneously. Eerie.'(66)
'No one likes an asshole, Jack, until you have to move your bowels.'(101)
'I knew an ex-cop who used an expression whenever something bad happened. He was a real creep, but as the years passed I've come to respect the honesty of his words. Whenever he'd failed a test, or gotten a reprimand, he always said, "It's just one more layer on the shit cake. ... With all the layers I'd buily up over my life, I suppose one more didn't matter too much."'(110)
'But my mom ... my mom was everything to me. She was my best friend, my mentor, my hero. She was the reason I became a cop.' ... Mothers shouldn't be allowed to get old and fragile.'(119)
"I have some things to say, and then afterward I can answer a few questions," I told the crowd, giving them a chance to switch on their cameras and focus. "First of all, I was shot by the criminal that the press is calling the Gingerbread Man. He'd broken into my apartment last night. As you can see, my injury isn't serious. He couldn't aim the gun properly, because he was hysterical, crying for his mama."
Herb gave me a slight nudge in the ribs, but I was just warming up.
"Besides the obvious emotional problems, the killer is also very stupid. The only reason we haven't caught him yet is because he's been lucky, and because he's a coward who runs away when confronted."(133)
"I wish I was like that. More carefree."
"Anyone can be. People aren't carved out of marble. We're all works in progress. The trick is to define ourselves, rather than let outside influences define us."(191)
"He clubs, which means that the ends of his pen strokes are thicker than the beginnings. That's a characteristic usually found in sadistic personalities. You can see it on the down strokes of his t, l, f, i and on the bottoms of the y and b."(200)
'His pressure and angularity are very extreme. Again, indicators of violent behavior and aggression. The d is the social self-image letter. His d's are slanted to the right and clubbed. This usually means an inflated ego, along with a desire to control situations.'(200)
'You're the total of all the choices you've made in your life, Jack. This is what you have because this is what you chose.'(207)
First eBook Edition
Book owned (on my Kindle)
Book qualifies for: 100 + Reading Challenge
Book idea from Petty Witter @ Pen and Paper. She always has such funny and interesting posts. So when I saw her review I thought I should take the book with me on my last trip four months ago. She promised a good entertaining read, and that it was. Her review is HERE.