I managed to get my hands on an ARC of Book 3 in Neve Wilder's and Onley James' Wages of Sin series, and it was a fantastic piece of serial-killer art. I was hooked on the main character, Tobias, from the opening chapter. Also, look how hot he is on that cover!!!
Plot, Characters, and Romance
Tobias is a criminal psychologist with serial-killer "urges" he keeps under wraps via a strict routine and observance of his clientele. He believes that if he can underpin what makes a killer kill, then he can prevent himself from doing so. Oh, and in case you haven't already guessed, he's a sociopath--or high-functioning psychopath. The jury is still out on that one. Until one day something inside him snaps. One of his clients uses his therapy sessions to brag and gloat about his kills, and Tobias decides that he needs to die. So he sets out on a mission to kill him.
And this is where our delightful Soren comes in. If you've read this series, you'll know who Soren is. He's the teacher of assassins. The mentor figure. The head-of-the-family kind of guy. He's in retirement, of course, but he's dreadfully bored. So when he bumps into Tobias and sees immediately what he's planning to do, he decides to help him along. Take him under his wing, so to speak. But he did not plan for the attraction.
Cue insane plot.
Tobias is amazing! I love him. He's someone who hides every emotion and masks with the emotion he's supposed to show. A reactionary puppet. But Soren sees right through him. And for the first time, Tobias lets someone in. They might both be despicable human beings by most people's moral standards, but they fit together. Setting
You don't get as much of the world of assassins in this particular book in the series, but that's because it focuses on Tobias' serial killing instead. You do get a really good look at criminal psychology that I thought was interesting. Oh, and the dog is soooo cute! I love Mantis! Writing
Stunning, as usual. This ARC was pre-proofread, so there were a few errors, but they'll be picked up on before readers get their hands on the book. Beautiful style. I think I preferred Soren's chapters that looked at Tobias from the outside, rather than Tobias' chapters, which took a real look into his mind. But because of Tobias' lack of emotion, I found myself having the same problem I had with Candace Wondrak's Cruel Black Hearts. Without emotion, I struggle to connect to characters. But that is in no way a mark against this book, just a personal reading experience.