Detective Sammy Stone stared at the blood soaked corpse tied to the La-Z-Boy recliner. The body was that of twenty one year old Marci Levelle. Like Barbara Tony in Lake County last month and Abigail May in DuPage County the month before, Marci has been scalped and gutted. Sammy’s sixth sense tells him that this sadistic killer, aptly named the Scalp Collector by the press, hasn’t finished his murderous rampage yet. It’s just a matter of time before he takes the life of another innocent girl. Determined to put an end to the senseless slaughter as quickly as possible, Sammy relentlessly follows the bizarre pattern of clues that begin to emerge in the aftermath of the crime. It isn’t long before he realizes that the prime suspect in his murder investigation is an intimate acquaintance of his. Will Sammy act on his suspicions in time to save the next victim, and himself?
I received a complimentary copy of this book from Reedsy Discovery. I voluntarily chose to read and post an honest review.
Do you love watching crime shows? Do you scrutinize every piece of evidence, attempting to solve the case before the fictional cops do? Have you ever doubted your sleuthing instincts? Have you ever flip-flopped whether a character is guilty because the evidence was so overwhelming, which made them the obvious choice? If you answered yes to even one of these questions, you must read The Scalp Collector by Suzanne Smith.
The short story begins with a crime scene that would turn anyone’s stomach. Marci Levelle, twenty-one, was discovered tied to her La-Z-Boy: gagged, gutted, and scalped. I can’t imagine being a police officer or coroner working on this case; worse, she’s not the first victim. Three women dead. Three different jurisdictions. Will Detective Sammy Stone stop the serial killer before he or she targets victim number 4?
The evidence was overwhelming, pointing at one character. Sammy didn’t want to believe someone close to him was a murderer; however, he had an obligation to follow the evidence. Sammy didn’t follow police procedures, which came back to haunt him. He should’ve contacted his partner (Will) and the other precinct detectives about his suspicions or the frantic help me phone call.
His investigation did reveal painful memories and brought to light scars that someone would’ve preferred to stay hidden. (I’m staying vague to avoid spoilers.)
When the investigation leads to one suspect, you must ask yourself, Is it too obvious? Are they the killer, or are they being setup quite beautifully? That was the case with this case. (No pun intended) I had the nagging feeling it was all too easy, but then again, I wondered if the author played it that way.
When Sammy and the serial killer come face-to-face, he realizes they do not fit the profile. Their reasoning for these horrific acts proved the villain required psychiatric care for many years.
Did Sammy catch the killer before their blade took scalp number 4?
Did the scalp collector escape?
Read the book and find out!
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