Release Date: February 2, 2012
Buying Links: Amazon
Book Blurb (from goodreads):
Beware the SANDMAN he’ll put you to sleep. . .forever.
A serial killer on the loose, a woman being stalked, and a homicide detective who must find the connection between the two before she becomes his next victim.
He collects women. He imprisons them, plays with them, tortures them. Until they bore him. Then he removes a souvenir. They call him the Sandman.
Meagan McInnis is being plagued with late night calls, yet when she answers, no one is there. Then one night she makes a grizzly discovery in her own backyard.
The caller is silent no more.
Homicide Detective, J.J. Thomas, realizes Meagan is the key to finding the Sandman. Now not only must he protect her, but he must find the connection between Meagan and the killer before she becomes his next victim.
WARNING: This is a Romantic Thriller that contains adult language, explicit sex and graphic violence.
He was stalking her. Just how far would he go?
That’s when Meagan decided to get a dog. She added dead bolts to her doors. She kept her curtains closed at all times. She spent every evening huddled in her cocoon, wondering when he would come in after her.
Afraid of becoming a star in her own Lifetime movie, Meagan asked a client of hers who was a sheriff’s deputy about what she should do. He told her that legally there was nothing unless Brad threatened bodily harm. But, off the record, he could scare the living shit out of the guy if she wanted, he told her. Meagan laughed and thanked him, but declined.
Then one evening while she sat in her living room reading, the phone rang. Meagan had become accustomed to letting the machine screen all her calls. This time she became unnerved. Brad was leaving another of his endless messages, but this time his rant edged on insanity.
“Who the hell do you have in there, Meagan? I know you’re entertaining some man, there’s a strange car parked in front of your apartment. Who is he?” His amplified voice echoed throughout the room.
Reviewed By: Bea
"Sandman" held my interest all the way through, and though I have a few complaints, I'd be happy to read more books by MacDonald. One thing I'd like to comment on; the blurb gives a warning for violence and sex. Although I didn't think either one warranted a warning, I know other readers might find them to be too graphic so I appreciated the warning. Plus one of the nice things about a book is how easy it is to skip over the unpleasant sections, whatever your definition of unpleasant may be.
We meet detective Thomas first, and initially it seems as if he will be a stock character - the rebel detective, the lone cowboy always in trouble, in trouble with his supervisor, though that storyline gets forgotten later. I was also put off at first by his apparent wealth as MacDonald took her time in explaining it; I kept wondering if he was a dirty cop. But, over the course of the story, Thomas is fleshed out and his background filled in, though it occurs more slowly than I like. Of course, the upside to this method is that MacDonald avoids info dumps, always a plus.
Next, we meet Meagan, whom I liked very much. She's worked hard to achieve what she wants, made some mistakes, but is fun, friendly, loyal, a little shy, an animal lover, and easy to connect with. She also has work trouble, a supervisor with whom she has a past, and a deep mutual enmity. Other than briefly making him a suspect, that storyline didn't seem to serve any real purpose; although, I suppose it did showcase Meagan's naivete and vulnerability at that point in her life.
The romance between Thomas and Meagan happened a bit quickly, with not enough buildup, but I liked that it was happening slowly initially. Thomas is still recovering from his wife's death (minor spoiler) and it seemed to me that he went rather quickly from grieving and not coping well to jumping into a relationship. The book is billed as a romantic suspense but to my mind it was a mystery with a romantic subplot. I also question the actions that he took to protect Meagan; they seem unlikely and unrealistic to me.
So, what did I like? The mystery was well done, with twists and turns. I was surprised by the connection between the killer and Meagan, though not too surprised at the killer's identity. I liked Thomas's relationship with his partner for this case, Shadowhawk, and liked Shadowhawk herself. I hope that she will appear in more books, I'd love to see her as main character in a book. The pacing and flow of the story were smooth and the story kept me interested. It wasn't, in my opinion, as intense as the warning implies, but that didn't bother me. "Sandman" was an enjoyable way to spend several hours and I expect that I will re-read it at some point.
I received a PDF from GoddessFish for review as part of a blog tour.
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