I know that here on the blog, we mainly work with the paranormal, and the contemporary romance, and the urban fantasy, but today, we are also working with the MYSTERIOUS!! (Insert creepy ghost sound...) Seriously though, Hold Still is a crime-fiction, suspense thriller that will leave you holding breath with every turn.
Hold Still by Lisa Regan
After saving her three-year-old daughter from a car-jacking, off-duty police detective Jocelyn Rush ends up in the ER. The last person she expects to run into is Anita Grant, former prostitute and an old acquaintance from Jocelyn’s days on patrol. In spite of her obvious injuries—mutilated hands and feet—Anita refuses to talk about what happened. Reluctantly, Jocelyn backs off, and Anita's case goes to Philadelphia’s Special Victims Unit.
Before long, Jocelyn is pulled into the SVU’s investigation. Anita is finally ready to talk, but only to Jocelyn. Her story is harrowing, even to a seasoned veteran like Jocelyn. Working with SVU, Jocelyn’s investigation unearths a series of similar crimes going back four years. Three men are preying on local prostitutes, viciously assaulting and mutilating them.
The police apprehend two of the suspects, but the third eludes capture. As the hunt for the most sadistic of the three intensifies, and his crimes escalate, Jocelyn and her colleagues have precious few leads. Then a monster from Jocelyn’s past resurfaces. She doesn't want to be reminded of the terrible secret that destroyed her family nearly twenty years earlier, but the man offers her a lead that could crack Anita’s case.
To solve it, Jocelyn must connect her past with her present—before a sadistic attacker sets his sights on her.
Hold Still is definitely more than just something I would recommend. When I first picked up the book, I thought, "This is going to be something just like every other crime-fiction book I have read." In a way, I was right on target, but I also was not. This is what I loved most about this book, that it kept me on my tippy-toes, and whatever it was I expected to happen, didn't. And honestly, that is one of the faults nowadays in finding a good book to read: you can almost always predict the ending. It is similar to watching any movie; once you know the plot and the main characters, you can predict the outcome nine out of ten times. This to me distracts from enjoying the story because I already know what will happen. I am not sure about you all, but I LIKE being surprised.
Another interesting concept I found in this book was the way the story was told. It is told in third person, but the story itself made you feel as though you were hearing the events occur from the protagonist herself. I suppose you all are thinking that that is how third person is supposed to work, but to me, some authors are better at writing it than others. This perspective made me feel as though I was actually part of the story. It was incredible how detailed and how thorough the author was in writing this book. The switching of perspectives also allowed more intensity and hearty-pounding.
I cannot help but praise this book. It starts off with a carjacking/kidnapping. That automatically sets a person up to believe that there will be more intense moments in the book, and believe me there are. You would not expect prostitution or crucifixion to be in a book such as this one. Yet there is, and somehow, Ms. Regan makes it work. It fits. Unfortunately, I cannot say that about many other authors. Not many have the talent to incorporate scenes such as those and have them make sense, or even fit into the plot of the book, but again, Ms. Regan does have that talent.
All in all, this was a very good book. One that I would recommend for anyone a fan of Karin Slaughter or Agatha Christie.
Jocelyn slipped her seat belt off and got out, closing the door softly behind her. She sprinted up the steps and snatched the bag from between the doors. As she turned back to her car, she saw the figure, just a blur in her periphery. Then her Ford Explorer drove off down Chew Avenue with Olivia in the back seat. Jocelyn leapt off the steps and ran into the street.
“Olivia!” she screamed.
She had never run so fast, and was only vaguely aware of the other cars whizzing past, beeping and swerving to avoid her, expletives rolling out of the mouths of passing motorists. The Explorer made the first right onto North 21st Street and Jocelyn followed, arms and legs pumping, feet slapping the pavement, her heartbeat thundering in her ears. She reached for her gun but quickly remembered she didn’t have it. It was her day off.
She was losing ground as the Explorer turned right onto Conlyn and out of her sight. “Olivia!”
Lisa Regan is a suspense novelist. She has a Bachelor’s Degree in English and Master of Education Degree from Bloomsburg University. She is a member of Sisters In Crime. She lives in Philadelphia with her husband and daughter. Her debut novel, Finding Claire Fletcher won Best Heroine and was runner up in Best Novel in the eFestival of Words Best of the Independent eBook Awards for 2013.