Friday, December 17, 2010

Book Review: The Killing Storm by Kathryn Casey

The Killing Storm (Sarah Armstrong)The Killing Storm by Kathryn Casey
Publisher: Minotaur Books
Release:October 26, 2010
Hardcover, 320 pages
Suspense/Thriller, Sarah Armstrong #3

My Review:
Why I read this: Read the blurb - it sounds fascinating and I love the cover.  I am also finally over my fear of reading in the middle of a series.  I know there are two books before this one, but it sounded so good I didn't mind reading the series out of order.

How is the novel driven:  Since it's a suspense/thriller type of book, obviously plot drives the book, but the characters are important, I like getting to know Sarah and plan on reading the first two books to know her better.

My Thoughts:  This is my first book by Kathyn Casey and it won't be my last.  If you are looking for a thrill ride to go on from the first page until the last, then The Killing Storm is for you.  Set against the backdrop of a monster hurricane approaching the Texas coast makes the stakes even higher for Texas Ranger Sarah Armstrong.  She's not only racing against a kidnapper/killer but also an extremely powerful hurricane.

As someone who lives on the coast I understand the hurricane background very well.  So that part of the story played very true with me.  The suspense plot holds you tight through the whole book as well.  I thought when the author lets you know midway through the book who the bad guy was that it was pretty much over, but that was the point it really got exciting and trust me it was exciting before that point.

The characters were also interesting.  Sarah Armstrong, a Texas Ranger and her boyfriend who is a FBI agent are the main characters but most of the focus is on Sarah.  The reader gets some background into Sarah who has been in the two earlier books by the author.  However I never felt lost while reading the book, I do think some background would have been filled in from reading the earlier books, but I don't think it is necessary if you want to start with this book.  Sarah makes a great character.  There were a couple of times I felt I couldn't identify with the decisions she would make but then again I'm not in law enforcement, as the book goes on I understood the decisions better.

The Killing Storm is a great suspense novel that will keep you on the edge of your seat.  Ms. Casey's descriptions of the hurricane are very realistic and I felt like I was in the middle of it with Sarah towards the end of the book.  Let's just say you won't be able to put the book down for a minute for at least the last 150 pages.  I know I could not.  So if you like suspense then try this out.  One note, I am a mom and this deals with the kidnapping of a young boy.  I have two boys and while this book did disturb me it wasn't hard to read.  There was one scene that made me a little uncomfortable, but it was less than a page and after reading the whole book I realize it didn't take me away from the story or take any of the enjoyment away from me.  Trust me James Patterson has much worse scenes in his books and the scene is integral to the book, not something just thrown in for shock value.  I think Ms. Casey takes her writing very seriously and it shows in a well-thought out, well-plotted novel that has me wanting to find the first two books in this series right away.

My Rating:  4.5/5.0

About the Book:
On a quiet afternoon in the park, four-year-old Joey plays in the sandbox, when a stranger approaches looking for his puppy. While Joey’s mom, Crystal, talks on her cell phone, the stranger convinces the child to help search. By the time Crystal turns around, her son has disappeared. Yet her reaction is odd, not what one would expect from a distraught mother. Is Crystal somehow involved in her son’s abduction?

Meanwhile, on a ranch outside Houston, Texas Ranger Sarah Armstrong assesses a symbol left on the hide of a slaughtered longhorn, a figure that dates back to a forgotten era of sugarcane plantations and slavery. Soon other prizewinning bulls are butchered on the outskirts of the city, each bearing a similar drawing. The investigations converge at the same time a catastrophic hurricane looms in the Gulf. Finally, as dangerous winds and torrential rains pummel the city, Sarah is forced to risk her life to save Joey.

About Kathryn Casey

Kathryn Casey 4Kathryn Casey is an award-winning, Houston-based novelist and journalist, the creator of the Sarah Armstrong mystery series and the author of five highly acclaimed true crime books. SINGULARITY, the first in the Armstrong series, debuted in June to rave reviews. It was a Deadly Pleasures magazine Best First Novel of 2008 selection, was included on Vanity Fair’s Hot Type page, won stars from Publishers Weekly and Booklist, and the Tampa Tribune said: “Not since Patricia Cornwell’s POSTMORTEM has a crime author crafted such a stellar series debut. Kathryn Casey hits the right notes.”
The second in the series, BLOOD LINES (2009) was called a “strong sequel” by Publisher’s Weekly, and was included in a Reader’s Digest condensed books edition for fall 2010.

The Killing Storm, Katherine’s latest, has been chosen as a Mystery Book Club selection, and Publisher’s Weekly labels it “the best in the series so far.” Library Journal awarded the book a star, and Kirkus calls it “pulse-pounding.”

In addition, Ann Rule has called Casey, “one of the best in the true crime genre.” Her non-fiction books all published by HarperCollins include: A WARRANT TO KILL, (2000); SHE WANTED IT ALL (2005); DIE, MY LOVE (2007); A DESCENT INTO HELL (2008), EVIL BESIDE HER (2008), and SHATTERED (2010). Three were Literary Guild, Mystery Guild, and Doubleday Book Club selections.

You can visit her website at

FTC Information: I received this book through Pump Up Your Book online publicity tours.  I have Amazon links on my review pages but I do not make any money from these because of NC laws.  I put them solely for people to check out the books on a retail site.