Book Review: The Rose Red Reaper by Kristi Loucks

The-Rose-Red-Reaper-ebookTitle: The Rose Red Reaper
Author: Kristi Loucks
Genre: Romantic Suspense / Mystery / Thriller
Age Group: Adult
Rating: 4 stars
Purchase: Amazon (Paperback), Amazon (Kindle)

Lt. Commander Mason Cole never intended to follow his brother into law enforcement, but the murder of a loved one gave him the motivation needed to take a position as the head of Chicago’s Serial Crimes Unit. Along with his brother, Detective Devon Cole, former FBI Profiler and Technical Analyst Melinda Kade and Detective Piper Torello, Mason is tasked with finding some of the cities most prolific serial killers.

As a former Navy SEAL, Mason has seen some of the worst the world has to offer, but nothing could have prepared him for his initiation into the world of a serial killer.

Their first case came with a gruesome introduction from a man who has given himself his own press ready moniker. Known for his macabre signature and the white rose he leaves at the scene with a calling card signed in blood,


Mason and his team will pursue the killer through the vast streets of Chicago, across the affluent suburbs of the North Shore following cryptic clues left at each crime scene and pointing them to a web of violence dating back to The Reaper’s own childhood.

Complications begin to arise when The Reaper makes a connection to the woman that Mason loves. Dakota Rose Shelton. The stunning, raven-haired beauty that has carefully salvaged Mason’s broken heart may also be the key to ending The Reaper’s bloody reign. Left blind by a childhood illness, she must help them to assemble the pieces of the Reaper’s past with no visual memories to aid her.

Can Dakota help the team put the pieces together before The Reaper targets one of there own? And will she be able to fight off a killer that she cannot see?

The Rose Red Reaper is a chilling suspense novel that combines a horrific serial killer story, one man’s personal tragecy and a blossoming romance into one story. Mason is a detective in the homicide unit, who decided to join the force after his girlfriend, Jill, got murdered by a serial killer calling himself The Rose Red Reaper. Now, a year later, the same killer resurfaces and starts his killing spree again. He leaves a white rose, dipped in blood near or on his victim’s bodies, and as of late he’s started to leave envelopes with clues as well. Mason and his brother Devon and their police force will have to find out the killer’s identity before he causes any more murders. But the killer is always one step ahead of them, and when he starts targeting Dakota, Mason’s new girlfriend, things become personal.

I liked how the author managed to make everything so personal here. There are thousands of books about serial killers out there and about police officers trying to stop them, but what makes The Rose Red Reaper so unique is how involved the officers are. They’re targets of the killer themselves, or in the case of Mason, his ex-girlfriend was murdered by the Reaper, and his current one is the target. It’s like their lives are so interwoven with the killer’s, and because of that you instantly get the feeling there’s a lot more on stake than just another Jane or John Doe getting killed.

Mason was a good main lead, the tragic, tormented hero personalized. He had a sharp, analytical mind, and the co-operation between him, his brother Devon, and the rest of their team went smoothly. The one thing I didn’t like was how fast his relationship with Dakota developed. Dakota seemed a bit like a Mary Sue – she’s so nice and friendly and everyone instantly likes her. She’s like a saint with no evil thought about her. And she’s oh so in love with Mason although she barely knows him. I would’ve liked to see a bit more personality here – a bad side, or even just a bad habit, something that would make her be less of a saint. Also, I would’ve been mostly okay with it if it weren’t for how everyone liked her. Not just Mason, but also Devon, and well, the entire team – like they’re instant best friends. This was my major pet peeve about the story.

The serial killer storyline was great though. I kept trying to wrap my head around who the Rose Red Reaper could be, and although I had a faint suspicion, I only knew for certain toward the end. I loved how connected everything was, and it was obvious a lot of thought went into putting this storyline together.

The writing was good, and the pacing was fast enough to keep me entertained. I liked the search for the killer and the brief view into the killer’s past and what made him become a murderer. The background story was well-developed and the characters were, for the most part, likeable. Like I mentioned above, my only pet peeve was with Dakota and how everyone seemed to instantly love her, and how Mason, even though they were only dating for a short while, was somehow deeply in love with her. That seemed mostly odd because Mason, having lost his girlfriend just about a year ago, easily opened up to someone else – something I’d personally think would take a lot longer in real life.

If you’re looking for a suspenseful thriller with a truly disturbing serial killer and a heavy dose of romance, The Rose Red Reaper is a good choice. I certainly enjoyed it, and I’m looking forward to the release of the next book in the series, The Blue Line Bone Collector.



  1. Thank you so much for hosting and organizing the tour! I really appreciate you taking the time to read and share your thoughts on The Rose Red Reaper. It is too easy to underestimate the value of constructive criticism, but it is so important to any creative field. With that in mind, I will be sure to keep the points you made in mind going forward.
    Thank you again for everything!

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