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Ruthless (Faces of Evil Series #6)

Ruthless (Faces of Evil Series #6)

4.7 23
by Debra Webb

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The Faces of Evil Series: Book 6

"Gritty, edge-of-your-seat, white-knuckle thriller . . . Move over Jack Reacher-Jess Harris is comin' to town."

-Cindy Gerard, New York Times bestselling author, on Obsession

"Debra Webb is a master storyteller."

-Allison Brennan, New York Times bestselling author

He has a


The Faces of Evil Series: Book 6

"Gritty, edge-of-your-seat, white-knuckle thriller . . . Move over Jack Reacher-Jess Harris is comin' to town."

-Cindy Gerard, New York Times bestselling author, on Obsession

"Debra Webb is a master storyteller."

-Allison Brennan, New York Times bestselling author

He has a ruthless past . . .

Three photos of three unknown women. Sent to Deputy Chief Jess Harris by the Player, one of the world's most sadistic killers. The Player is taunting her, and Jess is more than ready to take on his challenge. Only one thing could distract her from the Player's deadly game: the appearance of a clue to long-unsolved cases. For years Birmingham's children were vanishing-one per year, always on a full moon-until the disappearances stopped and the Man in the Moon case went cold. No leads on the children were ever found-until now.

Jess has no choice but to pursue the case. Someone is reaching out to her, sending her mementos of the missing children, and the citizens of Birmingham deserve justice. But after years of silence, has the Man in the Moon really resurfaced? Or is he just another pawn in the Player's game?

Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
Compelling main characters and chilling villains elevate Debra Webb's Faces of Evil series into the realm of high-intensity thrillers that readers won't be able to resist." —New York Times bestselling author CJ Lyons

"Just when you think Debra Webb can't get any better, she does. OBSESSION is her best work yet. This gritty, edge of your seat, white knuckle thriller is peopled with tough, credible characters and a brilliant plot that will keep you guessing until the very end. Move over Jack Reacher - Jess Harris is comin' to town." — Cindy Gerard, New York Times best-selling author, award winning author of the Black Ops, Inc. series

"Debra Webb's name says it all..." — Karen Rose

Product Details

Grand Central Publishing
Publication date:
Faces of Evil Series , #6
Sales rank:
Product dimensions:
4.20(w) x 6.70(h) x 1.10(d)

Read an Excerpt


The Faces of Evil Series: Book 6

By Debra Webb

Grand Central Publishing

Copyright © 2013 Debra Webb
All rights reserved.
ISBN: 978-1-4555-2760-1


Birmingham Police Department, Tuesday, August 17, 10:00 a.m.

Her chest too tight for a decent breath, Jess Harris stared at the television mounted on the wall. The images of three young women, brunette and beautiful, remained frozen on the screen. The scroll beneath those bright, smiling faces urged anyone who recognized one or all to contact the FBI's hotline.

Every news channel, website, and newspaper in the state was running the photos. The story, a tragic true-life reality show guaranteed to boost ratings, had been picked up by the national news. Fox, CNN, they all posed to the world the single question that burned in Jess's brain:

Have you seen these women?

The Player had started a new game. And Jess was caught in the middle.

The Bureau was in charge of the case, since it involved their ongoing investigation into the serial killer known as the Player, a sadist who was suspected of having murdered countless young women already. Not to mention the two federal agents he and his protégé, Matthew Reed, had murdered last month.

Damn you, Spears ... I will get you somehow.

This time the tables were turned. They knew the perpetrator, but they couldn't identify the victims ... and there was no way to predict when the crime would occur. The Bureau and every law enforcement agency in the state were on alert for a crime that hadn't happened yet.

Jess glanced at her cell phone that lay, oddly silent, on the conference table. Spears had repeatedly turned her life upside down, starting with the demise of her career at the Bureau. And now, the bastard had sent the photos of those three women with a warning that one was about to become his first victim in a new game. Then he'd shut Jess out. She hadn't heard a word from him since the package containing the photos arrived nearly forty-eight hours ago.

Eric Spears, aka the Player. She squared her shoulders and tried to clear the lump from her throat. No one, not even the Bureau, was denying that Spears was the Player now. Didn't matter that Jess had told them weeks ago. She hadn't been able to prove it. So here they were more than a month later, and Spears was out there, free to torture and murder whomever he pleased.

Starting with one of these young women.

Wherever Spears was, rather than communicating with her, he had one of his friends or a hired lackey watching Jess. The texts he'd sent last week proved that much. How else would he know to send Cheers when she was having a glass of wine? Or Bang right after some creep in a dark Infiniti sedan pretended to take a shot at her? And she couldn't forget the fishing worms someone stashed in the fridge at her apartment. Are you going to fish or cut bait?

Spears had gone fishing all right. Jess had to find him ... before anyone else died.

"Damn it!" She shoved back her chair and stood. She couldn't just sit here.

From his desk, Chief of Police Dan Burnett swung his attention toward her. "What's wrong?"

God, didn't he get it? Everything was wrong. "You mean besides the fact that you won't let me out of your sight even to do my job?"

His need to protect her had gone from excessive to completely unreasonable, numerous long and heartfelt talks be damned. No matter how Dan claimed to trust her abilities and instincts, no matter that she had warned him this incessant hovering was making them both look bad to the rest of the department, Spears had made a move and all that had gone out the window.

For the past hour Dan had been going over updates on open cases while she sat here at his conference table pretending to review reports from her detectives on cases she couldn't investigate. She'd closed out the Five investigation yesterday with a full confession from the perpetrators of that travesty. This morning she'd pretty much been twiddling her damned thumbs.

Visibly resigned to a battle, Dan set aside the report he'd been reviewing and pushed back his chair. Those same grim lines he'd been wearing since Sunday were etched even deeper in his face.

Before she could outmaneuver him he stood in front of her, his strong hands curled around her upper arms, making her long to fall against his chest. Get a grip, Jess. Just went to show how crazy not being able to do something about Spears or anything else was making her.

"You're worried sick," he said softly. "I get that."

Why the hell did he have to treat her as if she were made of glass? "No." Tears stung her eyes, making her all the angrier. "You do not get it. At least one of those girls will die."

Fear and anger tore at her heart, stealing her voice for a moment. "She'll be tortured for days ... until he grows weary of her and then she'll die an ugly, brutal death." A sharp breath stabbed through Jess. "And it's all because of me." Her hand went to her throat as if she could somehow hold back the hurt rising there. "I started this."

She wished his blue eyes didn't reflect so very accurately the fear and pain torturing her. This was ripping him apart, too. "Gant and his team are doing everything possible to identify and locate those women. They will find Spears."

Jess choked out a laugh. She couldn't help herself; the anguish was giving way to hysteria. "They won't find him, much less stop him, Dan, you know that."

This time he looked away. He couldn't deny the truth any more than she could. Her lips started that confounded trembling again, and she couldn't manage to summon the proper words to explain the rest of what needed to be said.

Someone would die soon ... because of her.

Her heart pounded in her ears, ticking off the silent seconds. If he would just back off ... give her some space ... so she could do what needed to be done.

"All right." He exhaled a heavy breath. "But you will not make a move without Sergeant Harper or Detective Wells right beside you. You will not go home or anywhere else without one of them or without me. Understood?" He shook his head, the look on his face dead serious. "No exceptions, Jess. No pretending this time that the danger isn't real and imminent."

Relief rushed through her so hard her knees almost gave way. "You have my word. You can put a tracking device in my bag. Whatever makes you feel comfortable." Truth was, that wasn't a bad idea. As desperately as she wanted to do something besides sit here, she understood the danger was all too real. And definitely imminent. As badly as she wanted to stop Spears, she didn't want anyone to die in the process—including her.

The MO he was using this time around was similar to the games he'd played before, he'd simply taken a different and startling new strategy to get from selecting his victim to abducting her. Spears wasn't playing with her this time. Jess sensed that cold, hard fact to the very core of her being. What did a killer who sat at the very top of the most evil scale do for a finale?

"I'm glad you feel that way," Dan said, hauling her back to the here and now. "I'm assigning a surveillance detail to you 24/7."

Daniel Burnett, her friend, lover, and boss—not necessarily in that order—wasn't going to take any chances this go-around. He knew her a little too well. Jess had a habit of going rogue when the need arose.

"Whatever it takes. Cooperation will be my middle name," she promised. As long as she got to get back to work and out from under his thumb.

He assessed her a moment longer before heading for his desk to put his warning into action. "You'll keep me apprised of your every move."

"Absolutely." She felt like a bird just let out of its cage as she gathered her bag and files. "I'll head on down to SPU now and let you get back to your work." The Special Problems Unit and her office was just a short flight of stairs or a brief elevator ride away—the latter being her preferred method of getting from here to there. Four-inch heels and stairs just didn't go well together.

Dan shook his head. "I'll have Harper come get you."

Her jaw dropped. She couldn't move about inside the building, for heaven's sake, without an escort? Before she could demand an answer to that question, Burnett—she was too mad now to keep calling him Dan, even in her mind—made the call.

Opting to choose her battles, she snapped her mouth shut and decided that getting her way with Harper would be a whole lot easier than trying to get anything over on Daniel T. Burnett. He was far too hardheaded and impossible to persuade into seeing things her way when any measure of risk was involved.

"Harper's on his way." He tossed his cell phone back on his desk. "Don't make me regret this decision, Jess. I'm counting on you not to let me down."

"I gave you my word." If her record didn't show otherwise she might be offended. But she had a well-documented history of doing things her own way regardless of instructions from her superiors. "Besides," she added with a shrug, "I've never once disobeyed orders unless it was the best for the victim or the case. You can't say otherwise."

That part was the irrefutable truth.

Even her former employer, the Federal Bureau of Investigation, couldn't claim she'd bent—or broken, more often than not—the rules without the best interest of the case at heart. There were some evils out there that simply couldn't be stopped by the book. The Player was one of those.

Fortunately, a rap at the door prevented Dan's pursuit of that topic.

Thank God.

"You wanted to see me, sir?" Harper glanced from Burnett to Jess.

She gave her detective a nod sans the victorious smile now tugging at her lips and waited quietly, obediently, as Dan laid down the law. Her frustration dissipated faster than fog clearing beneath the rising sun as the reality that she was really getting out of this office-turned-prison seeped fully into her veins.

I will get you, Spears.

When Harper had been fully informed of his grave duty, he gave a nod without so much as another glance at Jess. "I understand, sir."

Jess was out of the chief of police's office and heading for freedom before Harper could turn around. She bypassed the elevator, since it was monitored by security, and she needed a word with her detective in private. She waited until she and Harper were in the stairwell headed down to SPU before voicing her request.

"I need a disposable phone, Sergeant."

"Something wrong with your phone, ma'am?"

At the door to their floor she gave him a skeptical look. "You don't want to know the answer to that. Just get me one I can use without anyone tracking it."

"I'll send Cook to Walmart."

"Thank you." She finally let that triumphant smile she'd been holding back make an appearance. "We have work to do."

He gave her a nod. "Yes, ma'am."

A kind of calm descended and Jess's pulse rate steadied as she entered her own domain. Her small staff waited for her. SPU's team consisted of her and only three others, and the floor space allotted for their offices was just one big room, but it was her unit and she couldn't be happier for some sense of normalcy. The past forty or so hours had been unbearable.

"Good morning, Chief." Detective Lori Wells looked as relieved to have her back as Jess felt at being here.

More so than anyone else at the BPD, Lori had as much reason as Jess to want Spears caught. His protégé, Reed, had kidnapped and tortured her just to lure Jess into a trap that mercifully fell apart, but not before people died.

"Good morning, Lori." Jess gave her and then Officer Chad Cook, the youngest of their team, a nod. "Cook."

"Ma'am," Cook greeted. "We've missed you."

A statement as simple as that shouldn't have had her struggling to hold a fresh rush of emotion back, but it did. This was her new home and it felt exactly like that. A mere six months ago she wouldn't have believed she would ever be back in Birmingham feeling like she belonged. But here she was and it felt right.

The television mounted on the wall opposite their case board was running the same news coverage as the one in Burnett's office. Jess hoped someone out there would recognize those three women and call in. Soon. There was no way to know if one or all three were already missing or even where they lived. For now, the Bureau was focused on the state of Alabama, since the package containing the photos had been mailed from Montgomery. But the truth was they had no clue who or where these women were—they had nothing except the photos and the promise of bad things to come.

Spears was too smart to get caught easily. He had no doubt selected very carefully for this pivotal game. Women who were loners, maybe had no families. Women who wouldn't be missed right away. That strategy would buy him the time he wanted to draw out the game.

Every step he took was judiciously calculated for optimal gain and leverage.

While Harper pulled Cook aside to give him his task, Jess parked her stuff on her desk and headed for the case board. Lori, with a manila folder in hand, joined her there.

"I was waiting until you got here to start." Lori opened the folder and revealed copies of the photos of the unidentified women and a photo of Spears.

The unsavory combo of anxiety, fear, and frustration almost got the better of Jess again. "Thank you." She was extremely lucky to have Lori and Harper on her team. Cook, too. The vacant desk reminded her that SPU was a member short since Valerie Prescott had moved on to the Gang Task Force.

A sense of foreboding churned in Jess's belly. Captain Ted Allen, head of Birmingham's Gang Task Force, was still missing. More than a week now. Whatever else she knew, Jess understood with complete certainty that his disappearance had something to do with her. Yet she couldn't connect Allen's disappearance with Spears and his game. Had to be the high-profile Lopez drug case she and Allen had repeatedly butted heads over. Although there was plenty of gossip floating around the station that she'd had something to do with Allen's disappearance. She didn't like the captain, and liked the fact that he may very well have planted a bomb in her car even less, but there was only one man she wanted dead enough to do the deed herself.

Eric Spears.

If she let herself contemplate all that had happened in the last six weeks or so, she might just lose it. After all, what forty-two-year-old woman wouldn't want a serial killer kidnapping innocent women to get her attention and a cop who hated her going missing—after possibly planting a bomb in her department vehicle? Gave new meaning to the term midlife crisis.

"I was thinking about a replacement for Prescott," Lori said, evidently noting Jess's lingering attention on the vacant desk.

Thankful for the reprieve from the other thoughts, Jess set the self-pity party aside for now. "I doubt we'll get any cases thrown our way until this—" she blew out a big blast of frustration "—is over, but we do need to fill that vacancy. Who'd you have in mind?"

"Lieutenant Clint Hayes. He's over in Admin right now, but he's been looking for an opportunity to get in the field."

Jess placed the photo of Spears on the case board. She hated those pale blue eyes of his. Not the same deep, true blue of Dan's. Spears's were that pale, ghostly color that warned pure evil thrived beneath them. "Give me some stats on Hayes."

"Thirty-four. Single. Went to Samford. Finished law school with high honors but opted not to go that route. Instead he hired on with the BPD."

Jess stalled before getting the final photo on the board. "Decided he'd rather be one of the good guys, is that it?"

Lori gave a halfhearted shrug. "Something like that."

There was more to this story. "Something like what ... exactly?"

"There was a morals issue in the background check," Harper chimed in from his desk.

With the last photo in place Jess turned to her senior detective. "What kind of morals issue?"

"The state bar association discovered he had worked his way through college"—Harper strolled up, hands in pockets and wearing a smirk—"as a gigolo. They refused to certify his character."

A frown puckered her eyebrows. Jess rubbed at what would end up another wrinkle if she didn't stop the habit. A gigolo? Do tell. "Evidently he was never arrested for solicitation." That kind of mark on his record would have kept him off the force as well.

"Never," Lori confirmed. "Character references killed his chances with the state bar association—a couple of his own friends ratted him out. Cost him his chosen career and the city one hell of a sharp attorney."


Excerpted from Ruthless by Debra Webb. Copyright © 2013 Debra Webb. Excerpted by permission of Grand Central Publishing.
All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.
Excerpts are provided by Dial-A-Book Inc. solely for the personal use of visitors to this web site.

What People are Saying About This

Compelling main characters and chilling villains elevate Debra Webb's Faces of Evil series into the realm of high-intensity thrillers that readers won't be able to resist." —New York Times bestselling author CJ Lyons

"Just when you think Debra Webb can't get any better, she does. OBSESSION is her best work yet. This gritty, edge of your seat, white knuckle thriller is peopled with tough, credible characters and a brilliant plot that will keep you guessing until the very end. Move over Jack Reacher - Jess Harris is comin' to town." — Cindy Gerard, New York Times best-selling author, award winning author of the Black Ops, Inc. series

"Debra Webb's name says it all..." — Karen Rose

Meet the Author

DEBRA WEBB, born in Alabama, wrote her first story at age nine and her first romance at thirteen. It wasn't until she spent three years working for the military behind the Iron Curtain-and a five-year stint with NASA-that she realized her true calling. A collision course between suspense and romance was set. Since then she has penned nearly 100 novels including her internationally bestselling Colby Agency series. Her debut romantic thriller series, Faces of Evil, propelled Debra to the top of the bestselling charts, including USA Today, for an unparalleled twenty-four weeks and garnered critical acclaim from reviewers and readers alike. Don't miss a single installment of this fascinating and chilling series!

Visit Debra at www.debrawebb.com or write to her at PO Box 12485, Huntsville, AL, 35815.

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Ruthless 4.7 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 23 reviews.
traceyberthiaume1 More than 1 year ago
OMG, Deb has done it again. Each new book is better than the last. The psycho's are giving Jess and Dan a run for their money. With the man in the Moon Killer back after 13 yrs and Eric Spears spotted in town Jess has her hands full. Oh and is Jess pregnant or not? The answer is revealed at the end of the book. OK Deb, We are ready for the next installment. Remember to read 1-5 first.
danielle1975DE More than 1 year ago
Romance and suspense all rolled into one. If u havent read this series u should its amazing, one of the best series i have ever read. I was honored to receive an arc in exchange for an honest review and i gotta tell ya it is awesome. The Faces Of Evil series is one of the best series i have ever read . The characters stay with you long after u put the book down.
gmfuhlman More than 1 year ago
Debra Webb continues to keep us the reader involved in the story. Especially in book 6th she is dealing with several series cases, one is an old- cold case “The Man in the Moon,” which is a very old cold case. The other one is with Eric Spears, who seem to not go away, and now both cases are at the forefront of her cases. If you enjoy suspense with romantic then you have pick the right book. For me I so enjoy the element in trying to figure out the how, and the why, and the when. Debra Webb is just that type of writer, because she keeps you on the edge of your seat, thinking you know the fact, and then she has to add more twist and turns to the story. Her books are like a roller coaster that has the thriller aspects, and you will enjoy the ride. You need to get this book now!!! If you haven’t read this series you need to pick them up today!!!
tjbb More than 1 year ago
“Ruthless” is book six (6) of the Faces of Evil series by Debra Webb.    Jess Harris is Deputy Chief of the Special Problems Unit of her hometown Police Department. She is a former FBI Special Agent who has returned home after a failed investigation allowed a serial killer to go free,  and is in love with her boss, Police Chief Dan Burnette.  The serial killer is sending her text messages and pictures of  his intended victims, trying to throw her off her game.  Meanwhile, she receives a package containing the bones of a murdered child, a victim of a long quiet serial killer dubbed “the Man in the Moon.”  This story is both romantic and suspenseful,  with twists and turns guaranteed to keep your attention all the way to the end.  Debra has another winner on her hands! 
peanut01 More than 1 year ago
I loved it! This is an action-packed story that makes you want to keep reading without putting it down. You want to know what happens next. I was up until after 4am finishing it. Jess is still looking for the Player who is still taunting her and sending her gifts and messages. He isn't the only one interested in Jess now. She is developing quite the fan club. Another murderer who was dubbed the Man in the Moon, wants Jess to find him. He likes to send her gifts, also. She is so worried about all the victims and is feeling pressured, stressed and very tired. She is not on her guard like she usually is. Her boss and boyfriend, Dan, is so afraid something is going to happen to Jess and he won't be able to protect her. Ruthless is the 6th book in the Faces of Evil series. You will love these books and the author knows how to keep the story interesting and exciting.
ladyL More than 1 year ago
this series just keeps on getting better and better. I,literally,could not put it down! This time out Jess must find the Man in the Moon killer that no one has been able to for over 30yrs.but the monster has woken up and another child may die.added to this her arch enemy aka Eric Spears,serial killer,is back in town taunting her at every turn and her romance with her boss is way heating up. the secondary charecters are just as interesting and you have learned to care for what happens top them. I cannot wait until Nov. for the next installment but alas I will have to. How much more can Jess take? oh,there is one more surprise but you will have to read the book(but start with #1 they really do need to be read in order)to find out,no spoilers here.
Michellel701 More than 1 year ago
This is the 6th book in the Faces of Evil series and just as riveting if not more so as the previous 5. While Jess is searching for the Man  in the Moon killer, another child goes missing. And if that isn't  suspenseful enough, Jess learns that 'The Player' is getting closer and has others watching and taunting her. You can't help but get fully engrossed in Ms. Webb's series that it leaves you very eager to  continue the suspense in the next book. I highly recommend this series!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
“Ruthless” is book six (6) of the Faces of Evil series by Debra Webb.   After reading “Revenge”, the prior book in the series, I had to read this one. It did not disappoint.   It continues the story of Jess Harris, Deputy Chief of the Special Problems Unit of the Birmingham Police Department.   A former FBI Special Agent, she left the Bureau and came home after her mistakes let a serial killer go free.  She has renewed an old love affair with her boss, Chief of Police Dan Burnette. The serial killer has been is taunting  her with text messages, but now he tries to unnerve her by sending her pictures of women who are presumably his intended victims. As if this was not enough action, Jess receives a package full of bones, which turn out to be from a child victim of “the Man in the Moon.”  The Man in the Moon is the name given to a serial killer of children, inactive and not heard  from for thirteen years!  Another suspenseful romance full of unanticipated plot twists has come from the pen of Debra Webb, and you won’t be able to put this one down.   I couldn’t! 
AnneandJane_228 More than 1 year ago
Ruthless Is Riveting, Thrilling, And Worth Every Second Compelling Romantic Suspense always is expected in the Faces of Evil series but, in Ruthless, Debra Webb raises the bar. While frantically investigating two serial killer cases, the recurring characters also are dealing with a plethora of emotions, not the least of which are fear, anger, and desperation, and so are you. By the end of Ruthless, you will be happily depleted but eager for the next book, Vicious. Yes, Ruthless is that good! To those not familiar with the series, the main characters are Dan Burnett, Chief of the Birmingham Police Department, and Jess Harris, the Department's Deputy Chief of the Special Problems Unit. Dan and Jess were lovers twenty years ago. Dan now is her boss and her lover again. Jess, a former FBI profiler, returned home to Birmingham following a botched case involving serial killer, Eric Spears a/k/a “The Player,” who still is obsessed with her.  Jess is an acutely intelligent, independent, and driven heroine who continually does things her own way, even if they are outside of police protocol. Dan does not like it, but he accepts it. He also is very protective of Jess much to her annoyance. Since her return to Birmingham about one month ago, Jess has dealt with murderers, taunting texts and gifts from Spears, drug lords, and threats to her life. When Spears sends Jess photos of three unknown women, she knows that he is ready to “play the game” with her and that one of the women will be his next victim. Jess desperately wants to find the women before Spears can claim another victim. While she is frightened for the women, Dan is terrified for her. Unfortunately, Jess is forced to redirect her attention from Spears to the Man in the Moon serial killer when he delivers to her the thirteen year old remains of his last victim. Thirty-three years ago, a little girl in Birmingham was abducted from her home on the evening of the Harvest Moon. For the next nineteen years, one little girl disappeared from her home on the night of Harvest Moon. When he continues to deliver the remains of the little girls to Jess, she is scared that his thirteen year respite is over and that he will resume taking little girls. After he does take a little girl before the Harvest Moon, Jess and her Team, Chet, Lori and Cook, work furiously to solve the case and save the child. But, will they be in time to stop the Man in the Moon from killing again? Meanwhile, Dan and Jess learn that Spears has a “network of worshipers” who are doing his bidding with respect to Jess by watching her and making threats on her life. As if Jess did not have enough on her plate, at 42, she is worried that she may be pregnant with Dan's child. She also is wreck about her sister, Lily's mysterious illness. While Jess manages to hold it together most of the time, she is her most vulnerable in Ruthless. While she does not fear for herself, she is afraid for Dan, for Spear's potential victims, for the little girl taken by the Man in the Moon killer, for her sister, and for the baby she is carrying if, in fact, she is pregnant. She also makes a few professional and personal mistakes which is unacceptable to her. Dan and Jess cautiously but surely are moving toward a future together. Likewise, Chet and Lori are together dealing with the issues developing in their relationship. There is sufficient deceit, betrayal, unknown killers, and twists to keep you captivated. You probably also will be exhausted from the pace of the action. Ruthless is the sixth book in this series. While it is a stand-alone read, you may prefer reading its predecessors, Obsession, Impulse, Power, Rage and Revenge. I guarantee that if you read Ruthless first, you will go back and read the earlier books.  There is a reason Ruthless received 4 ½ stars from RT Magazine.  I highly recommend Ruthless, and the other books in the Faces of Evil series, to any one who genuinely enjoys Romantic Suspense, that is, a balance between the two genres.  I received an ARC of this book from the author in exchange for an honest review.
TashaClanton More than 1 year ago
As with the rest of the books in this series, Ruthless begins right on the heels of book 5. Jess's world is crumbling around her but she has to find the strength to carry on because things are about to get a whole lot worse. Spears is closing in and vows to take another victim, Ted Allen is still missing, and now a cold case is about to get a whole lot hotter. The Man in the Moon case went cold about 13 years ago. Every year for 20 years a young girl would go missing on the night of the harvest moon never to be seen again. One day a package shows up addressed to Jess containing the bones of the last victim with a note for Jess. Jess is forced to open old wounds going over evidence 2 decades old trying to shed new light on this case that had Birmingham's mothers and fathers living in fear for their daughters. During the investigation Jess finds herself dealing with Eric Spears, The Player, as he gets closer to her. Jess receives a package with the pictures of 3 women. One he vows to kill. Jess has to work with her old colleagues at the FBI trying to find these anonymous girls before Spears gets them. We also get to see the relationship between Jess and Dan progress as never before. Even with all the danger surrounding her, Jess finds herself with a personal problem that could change her life forever. These characters are wonderful, well rounded, and relate-able. I can't recommend these books enough. Debra Webb draws you into this world effortlessly and you find yourself drawn in from page 1. You won't be able to put it down! If you love suspense, buy this book!
blonde_betty More than 1 year ago
His methods are Ruthless. Ruthless, book six of the Faces of Evil series, really kicks things up a notch. Instead of one crazy sociopath trying to get Jess’s attention, she now has two. After a 12 year hiatus the Man in the Moon has returned and wants Jess to find him. For twenty years, every fall on the harvest moon a little girl disappeared from her bedroom in the middle of the night. There were no clues and the children never found. As inexplicably the abductor, dubbed the Man in the Moon after the fairy-tale, began he quit. After all the years of silence he’s revealing his crimes to Jess and taunting her to catch him. At the same time, the Player and his followers have upped their evil cat and mouse game. As with the previous books, Jess is able to resolve the case of the week while the Player remains elusive. In a slight departure, the true motive for the reappearance of the Man in the Moon is never revealed. This will drive Jess crazy as she is very focused on motive. Hopefully we will come to a quick resolution before it drives her nuts. Another strong entry in the series that just keeps getting better and better.
MaryGramlich More than 1 year ago
In the short time Deputy Chief Jess Harris has been back in Birmingham she has certainly solved some  brutal cases with scary killers, and one stalking serial killer who follower her from Quantico, and reconnected with Chief of Police Can Burnett.  Jess has a great team by her side and with Dan trying to keep her safe she may take down some awful people who torture for fun and kill for attention.   There is some resentment at her new police headquarters, issues with her FBI background, but overall the  job is starting to click.  Jess is trying to keep her relationship with Dan on the down low, but that is proving to be  much harder than she expected and something she is getting tired of the more in love they become.   Good police work will over rule any issues her co-workers have about her sleeping with the boss, right. The bright lights are on Jess again as another case is brought to her door.   A dormant child serial killer has decided to come back.  Having worked under a particular pattern  before seems to be a help and hindrance, as that one piece of evidence connecting them all cannot be found. There are so many things flying at Jess to close the case that she is pushing any personal issues aside  to get this wrapped up and closure for the family provided.  When the killer starts leaving presents and clues  like crumb she should follow, Jess starts down that road but the problem is before a lead can be followed it  becomes frozen and goes nowhere.  Slowly Jess begins to connect the dots and figure out the single connection between all the cases and it will go faster if the stalking serial killer still after her could be caught. With each book in this series, Debra Webb pushes the story line up to an even greater level and  leaves the reader wanting the next book in the series right now.
rhonda1111RL More than 1 year ago
5 Stars I am totally into this series of books. Ruthless is good. tension was good, the drama, characters. I did not want to put the book down. I have also bought the rest of the series to read next. The faces of evil series is a soap opera, small town feel following the characters in there relationships while they try and solve serial killers, kidnappers and other cases. Jess Harris is the main character. She is the new Deputy Chief of Special Unit Police in her home town of Birmingham. She has not lived there for twenty years. Her boss Police Chief Dan Burnett is also her ex-fiance of two decades ago. People are watching and judging them. Jess had solved some big cases the month she has been back. She also has a serial killer who she identified but got away taunting her, sending her messages. Jess has only been back home a month. She has left the FBI recently divorced. These books follow each other and so far in the six book has only covered about a month. Each one deals with a emotion as a motive of evil. Ruthless is about a old serial kidnapping that for twenty years in a row A child was kidnapped and taken with no clues. He got the nickname The Man in the Moon. He stopped for the past decade or so, but now he is sending Jess packages of the bones of each of the girls and asking her to find him. This series has a darker feel to it. Fighting these evil men. There is plenty of drama, suspense, characters that I love and enjoy seeing there relationships grow. There is some romances building between a few couples. a couple of love scenes. Lots of mystery, Cant wait to start the next book. I was given an ARC to read for free in exchange for a honest review of Ruthless.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Totally hooked on this series and worried about when the next one will be out
firewalkteacher More than 1 year ago
For J.D.Robb fans like me, this is a wonderful addition to the genre. I like Debra Webb's style of writing. The story line is great and the characters believable. These books are a great escape. I look forward to the rest of the series.
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Book #6 was absolutely AMAZING!! I had a hard time putting this one down, a definite page turner!! Going to have Jess and Dan withdrawal as well tell the next part of the series is released! Thanks for the great series Debra Webb!!
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Debra Webb is amazing!! having Jess and Dan withdrawals waiting on November!!! This is my favorite series ever!