Erryn reviews Psychopaths and Sinners (Don’t… Book 5) by Jack L. Pyke. The second edition of the book was released by Men in Ink Press on May 27, 2019 and is 395 pages. The audiobook was released February 27, 2020, is narrated by Dan Calley, and is 12 hours and 35 minutes. An audio book was provided in exchange for an honest review.
Why I read this: I’m addicted to this series.
“Because us? Psychopaths and Sinners…we don’t need fixing, Gray.” (Martin)
Three bodies, three mutilations, each one with something…unusual inserted into the wounds. The deaths are enough to leave Ash Thomas scrambling around to find someone to trust as the murders hit so close to home and heart.
For Gray Raoul, MI5 director of G-Branch, the deaths offer something else: A fall back into a familiar life where culling serial killers caters to his own darker mindset. But the farther Gray moves away from home, the more he realises serial killer games in the field are nothing compared to who he has locked up back at home. Sometimes walking the fine line between psychopaths and live-in lovers is a far darker game.
For Ash, that might just mean he’s on his own now, facing a killer who has a deadly fascination for dangerous young men and dancing holly blue butterflies over their skin.
Read Erryn’s review of the audio of book 1 here.
Read Erryn’s review of the audio of book 2 here.
Read Erryn’s review of the audio of book 3 here.
Read Erryn’s review of the audio of book 4 here.
Read Erryn’s review of the audio of book 4.5 here.
The prequel to this book introduced me to Ash and Raif. One is a young man lacking a firm direction while the other is a grizzled older cop who has way too many secrets. One is an open book, and one needs a cypher to uncover their secrets. When Ash’s friend Johnny died, Ash was devastated and didn’t believe it was suicide. But believing and proving are two different things. In this book, Raif takes point in trying to find the man who is killing people and leaving insects in the mortal wounds. Entomophilia – sex with insects. Okay, now I think I’ve heard everything. Apparently being feasted on by fire ants while orgasming is a thing. Well, no kink shaming. But when this monster kills someone close to Raif, it’s not just devastating, it’s horrific. So many lives affected by one single act of depravity.
Paralleled to the Raif/Ash storyline is the Gray/Jan/Jack/Martin plotline. Note, Martin is still playing a central role with Jack virtually consigned to oblivion. I’m beginning to despair of ever having him back. But hope lives strong because the series isn’t over. Anyway, Jan is still having a difficult time coming with the aftermath of the kidnapping and rape. He’s managed to kick the heroin habit but only with the help of methadone. One missed dose and he’s back to being dope sick. Maybe kicked the habit is too strong a sentiment. It’s being managed medically. I want him back to health, but until he deals with the really tough stuff, he’s not likely to get better. Then there’s Gray. Stalwart and stoic Gray. Always sticking his nose into other people’s business. He’s MI5 so he can get away with some of that. But it’s dangerous work and not without risks to his and those he loves.
This book is as disturbing as the others, to be sure. And it’s a highly addictive series. I’m invested in these men. I despaired when Ash’s father hurts him. I sat on the edge of my seat when the serial killer had Ash and Chase in his grasp. I ached to soothe the hurt wrought by a damaged and deranged man. I have to say there was a certain level of satisfaction with the resolution of that plotline, but there are plenty of loose threads that have yet to be sewn together and resolved. There is still another serial killer Gray is tracking. I’d almost forgotten about the liquefaction of organs by noise emitted through headphones. I would say it was too far fetched, but these days anything is possible.
While Ash and Raif have their happy ending with their new makeshift family, there’s plenty left to resolve with the Jack/Martin plotline. If I sound repetitive, I think I’m justified. Jack was the central character in Don’t, and I’ve watched him endure so much. I want to believe he will come out the other side of this trauma, but with Jack Pyke, I’m never quite sure of what I’m going to get. This book was another mind fuck – in a good way. I listen to these books expecting dark and twisted, and I’m never disappointed.
Again, the brilliant Dan Calley narrated this great book. He came into my world with these books, and I’ve heard him narrate several other books now and I’m even more of a fan. He hits every note perfectly, giving each man a distinct voice, carrying the tension through the story. I am always thrilled when I see he’ll be performing the narration on a book.
Okay, I’m poised for the next book. I know it’ll be a mind fuck and I can’t wait.
10/10 pots of Gold (100% Recommended) – Compares to 5/5 Stars
Jack blames her dark writing influences on living close to one of England’s finest forests. Having grown up hearing a history of kidnappings, murders, strange sightings, and sexual exploits her neck of the woods is renowned for, Jack takes that into her writing, having also learned that human coping strategies for intense situations can sometimes make the best of people have disastrously bad moments. Redeeming those flaws is Jack’s drive.
Jack’s also a contract editor, working with Dreamspinner Press, DSP Publications, and Harmony Ink. She’s also had the absolute pleasure of editing exceedingly talented indie authors like Adrienne Wilder and Joseph Lance Tonlet.
Basically this all means Jack finds herself incredibly humbled to write, edit, and read solely in the M/M romance genre, with a particular love of psychological thrillers, BDSM, and crime.