You NEED to read the first book within this series, Carved in Darkness, before picking up Sacrificial Muse. It is not only an excellent thriller, if you do not read it you will be missing as to who Sabrina is and how she became the woman she is today. So pick up Carved in Darkness or read my review of that book before venturing below :)
Maegan Beaumont is back with another Sabrina Vaughn Thriller, where even though the monster from her past is gone, it does not mean that the killings stop:
She is his Muse, everything he has done has been for her. He knows that she is the one and she will be impressed with all the sacrifices he has made for her. San Francisco Detective Sabrina Vaughn has become a household name across the nation and this means she receives all types of mail from the crazies to the thankful one. But each day she has received 9 blood red roses and she cannot help think of who is sending them to her. Then she receives a letter in with the Latin word Mox, which means soon. The next day a Berkeley student's mutilated body is found and Sabrina receives only eight roses that day. Sabrina is about to learn that she has become the infatuation of another individual who will do anything to get her attention and anything to be with her and with the body count rising he can be sure to get her attention, really quick.
Beaumont's debut novel Carved in Darkness is one of the best debut novels I have ever read in the thriller genre. So you can say that my expectations were set very high for her sophomore follow up novel. Personally, I do not think that this novel was as good as her debut. This is not to say I did not enjoy the novel it was still very entertaining and well written but there was an aspect missing from the first novel and that was more of the personal involvement of Sabrina. Yes, since the first novel all the crazies have come out of the wood work and want to get to know her and in this case an individual is killing to be with her, but in the first novel it was so much more personal as there was more history.
I felt that Beaumont lost quite of bit of the darkness in her writing when compared to the first and if this series is to continue I hope that she brings it back. Taking a reader to those dark places is why most of us read these types of books and I feel that by taking this aspect away it just didn't work as well as the first novel did.
I love Sabrina. She is one of the best heroines out there and the complex way that Beaumont has put her together is second to none. Sabrina is damages unsure of how she is going to keep herself from going crazy and trying to keep up pretenses of a normal family life and knows that she is not succeeding in any venture but she keeps on going keeps on doing the only things she feels normal doing and that is working homicide and purring away bad guys. It was also interesting having her tormentor still part of the novel, that Sabrina will always have him as part of her, and this makes since as he has essentially defined her life and will continue to do so. It is also interesting to see how all of Sabrina's relationship with the people in her life are changing and evolving, but for the better is really the question. Sabrina really struggles in this book to be "normal" how people want her to be now that the past is over with, but how can you really be normal when so much has happened. And do not worry fans of Michael (I know I am one) he shows up in the book :)
Although I did not think that this book was not as good as the first, it was still a really interesting, intense and great read. I think that Beaumont is making a name for herself and a must read thriller author. Her writing, ideas and plots are more interesting than some of the big names out there that have been writing for years. I say keep them coming Beaumont as I know I will be reading them.