“Compelling . . . A chilling read.” —Sydney Morning Herald
Winner of the Ned Kelly Award for Best Debut Crime Novel
Twenty years ago, two children were kidnapped and left for dead . . .
Homicide detective Frank Bennett has a new partner—dark, beautiful, coldly efficient Eden Archer. Frank doesn’t know what to make of her, or her brother Eric, who’s also on the police force. Their methods are . . . unusual. But when a graveyard full of large steel toolboxes filled with body parts is found at the bottom of Sydney harbor, unusual is the least of their worries.
For Eden and Eric, the case holds chilling links to a scarred childhood—and the murderer who raised them. For Frank, each clue brings him closer to something he’s not sure he wants to face. But true evil goes beyond the bloody handiwork of a serial killer—and no one is truly innocent . . .
Praise for Hades, winner of the Ned Kelly Award
“A little bit Dexter, a little bit procedural, overall a great first novel.”—Australian Crime Writers Association
“Fast-paced, with unusual protagonists and dark, disturbing scenes.”—Library Journal
“Horrors abound in Australian author Fox’s gritty police procedural. Readers will look forward to the sequel set in this not-for-the-squeamish nightmare world down under.”—Publishers Weekly
About the Author
Candice Fox is the middle child of a large, eccentric family from Sydney’s western suburbs. The daughter of a prison parole officer and an enthusiastic foster caregiver, she served as an officer in the Royal Australian Navy at age eighteen. At twenty, she turned her hand to academia, and taught high school through two undergraduate and two postgraduate degrees. She currently teaches writing at the University of Notre Dame in Sydney while undertaking a Ph.D. in literary censorship and terrorism. Candice’s first novel, Hades, won the Ned Kelly Award for Best Debut Crime Novel, given by the Australian Crime Writers Association. Her second novel, Eden, won the Ned Kelly Award for Best Fiction – making her one of only two authors to win the awards back-to-back.
Visit her on Facebook or at www.candicefoxauthor.com.
Read an Excerpt
An Archer and Bennett Thriller
By Candice Fox
KENSINGTON PUBLISHING CORP.Copyright © 2014 Candice Fox
All rights reserved.
I figured I'd struck it lucky when I first laid eyes on Eden Archer. She was sitting by the window with her back to me. I could just see a slice of her angular face when she surveyed the circle of men around her. It seemed to be some kind of counselling session, probably about the man I was replacing, Eden's late partner. Some of the men in the circle were grey-faced and sullen, like they were only just keeping their emotions in check. The psychologist himself looked as if someone had just stolen his last nickel.
Eden, on the other hand, was quietly contemplative. She had a switchblade in her right hand, visible only to me, and she was sliding it open and shut with her thumb. I ran my eyes over her long black braid and licked my teeth. I knew her type, had encountered plenty in the academy. No friends, no interest in having a mess around in the male dorms on quiet weekends when the officers were away. She could run in those three-inch heels, no doubt about that. The forty-dollar manicure was her third this month but she would break a rat's neck if she found it in her pantry. I liked the look of her. I liked the way she breathed, slow and calm, while the officers around her tried not to fall to pieces.
I stood there at the mirrored glass, half-listening to Captain James blab on about the loss of Doyle to the Sydney Metro Homicide Squad and what it had done to morale. The counselling session broke up and Eden slipped her knife into her belt. The white cotton top clung to her carefully sculpted figure. Her eyes were big and dark, downcast to the carpet as she walked through the door towards me.
"Eden." The captain motioned at me. "Frank Bennett, your new partner."
I grinned and shook her hand. It was warm and hard in mine.
"Condolences," I said. "I heard Doyle was a great guy." I'd also heard Eden had come back with his blood mist all over her face, bits of his brain on her shirt.
"You've got big shoes to fill." She nodded. Her voice was as flat as a tack.
She half-smiled in a tired kind of way, as if my turning up to be her partner was just another annoyance in what had been a long and shitty morning. Her eyes met mine for the briefest of seconds before she walked away.
Captain James showed me to my spot in the bull pen. The desk had been stripped of Doyle's personal belongings. It was chipped and bare, save for a black plastic telephone and a laptop port. A number of people looked up from their desks as I entered. I figured they'd introduce themselves in time. A group of men and women by the coffee station gave me the once-over and then turned inward to compare their assessments. They held mugs with slogans like "Beware of the Twilight Fan" and "World's Biggest Asshole" printed on the side.
My mother had been a wildlife warrior, the kind who would stop and fish around in the pouches of kangaroo corpses for joeys and scrape half-squashed birds off the road to give them pleasant deaths or fix them. One morning she brought me home a box of baby owls to care for, three in all, abandoned by their mother. The men and women in the office made me think of those owls, the way they clustered into a corner of the shoebox when I'd opened it, the way their eyes howled black and empty with terror.
I was keen to get talking to people here. There were some exciting cases happening and this assignment was very much a step up for me. My last department at North Sydney had been mainly Asian gangland crime. It was all very straightforward and repetitive — territorial drive-bys and executions and restaurant holdups, fathers beaten and young girls terrorized into silence. I knew from the media hype and word around my old office that Sydney Metro were looking for an eleven-year-old girl who'd gone missing and was probably dead somewhere. And I'd heard another rumor that someone here had worked on the Ivan Milat backpacker murders in the 1990s. I wanted to unpack my stuff quickly and go looking for some war tales.
Eden sat on the edge of my desk as I opened my plastic tub and began sorting my stuff into drawers. She cleared her throat once and looked around uncomfortably, avoiding my glance.
"Married?" she asked.
She glanced at me, turning the silver watch on her wrist round and round. I sat down in Doyle's chair. It had been warmed by the morning sun pouring in through the windows high above us. I knew this and yet my skin crawled with the idea that he might have been sitting here, moments earlier, talking on the phone or checking his emails.
"Why'd you take this job?"
I could smell her as I bent down and lifted my backpack from the floor. She smelled expensive. Flash leather boots hugging her calves, boutique perfume on her throat. I told myself she was probably late twenties and that women that age looked for guys a bit older — and the ten years or so I had on her didn't necessarily make me a creep. I told myself she wouldn't notice the grey coming in from my temples.
"I lost a partner too. Been alone for six months now."
"Sorry." Again that flatness in her voice. "On the job?"
A man approached us, circled the desk and then sat down beside Eden, one leg up on the desktop, facing me. There was a large ugly scar the length of his right temple running into his hairline like white lightning. It pulled up the corner of his eye. Eden looked at him with that embarrassed half-smile.
"Frankie, right?" he grinned, flashing white canines.
"Eric." He gripped my hand and pumped it. "This one gets too much for you to handle, you just let me know, uh?" He elbowed Eden hard in the ribs. Obnoxious. She smirked.
"I'm sure I'll be fine."
I began to pack my things away faster. Eric reached into the tub beside him and pulled out a folder.
"This your service record?"
I reached for the manila folder he was holding. He tugged it away.
"Yeah, thanks, I'll have it back." I felt my tongue stick to the roof of my mouth. Eden sat watching. Eric stood back and flicked through the papers.
"Oh, look at this. North Sydney Homicide. Asian gangs. You speak Korean? Mandarin? Says here under disciplinary history you got a serious DUI on the way to work." He laughed. "On the way to work, Frankie. You got a problem with that? You like to drink?"
I snatched the folder from him. His wide hand thundered on my shoulder.
"I'm just giving you a hard time."
I ignored him and he wandered back to the group of owls. He jerked his thumb towards me and said something and the owls stared. Eden was watching my face. I scratched my neck as the heat crept down my chest.
"Fucking jerk." I shook my head.
"Yeah." She smiled, a full-size, bright white flash. "He's good at that."CHAPTER 2
I found out Eric was Eden's brother minutes before we got called away from the station to a crime scene. I don't know why the resemblance hadn't struck me before. They shared the same bold dark features, the same contained power and malice. Bored and powerful — misfit siblings. Eric looked wilder than Eden. I couldn't decide who was older. She sat in the driver's seat beside me, both hands on the wheel, chewing on her bottom lip as though she had heavy things on her mind. She seemed like someone holding on to a terrible trauma, something that stained her days and picked at her insides at night. Secrets and lies. Eric struck me as the life of the party, uncontrollable and unpredictable in turns.
The traffic was at a standstill on Parramatta Road almost directly out from headquarters on Little Street, heading in towards the distant blue outline of the city. We crept across an intersection and stopped again outside a Greek restaurant where a young man was scraping spray-painted snowflakes from the windows, months late. A giant red and yellow sign hanging over a DVD rental place asked if I wanted longer lasting sex, in bold typeface lit up by an already blazing sun. The Greek boy's father came out and hustled him to work faster, gesturing at the Thai restaurants wedged on either side with their immaculately polished windows.
"So, a drinker and a serial marrier." Eden smiled suddenly, as though only just remembering. "No wonder your partner necked herself."
"Give me a break."
"Don't let Eric get to you. He's just having a dig."
I struggled not to burst into profanities. I knew that being bothered by what he had done would only make things worse. So I'd been DUI-ed. Who hadn't? So it had been on the way to work. I'd had a rough year.
"Working with your brother. That's a little incestuous, isn't it?"
She smiled. I'd expected a laugh. She shifted lanes, flicked her blinker with her little finger like she'd owned the car for years.
"We're never partnered," she offered. "Conflict of interest, you know."
We pulled up at a small marina on Watsons Bay, east of the harbor and between the Navy base and the parkland. The street was lined with rendered pastel-colored apartment blocks, with the obligatory banana chairs on the balconies and striped beach towels hanging artfully on chrome racks. The local butcher's shop advertised garlic and rosemary sausages on a chalkboard, eighteen bucks a kilo. Everyone, it seemed, knew the dress code: boat shoes and cargo pants, men and women alike. The change in scenery was jarring. What seemed like minutes earlier we had been driving past the above-shop brothels of North Strathfield, through the shadowed shopping districts of Edgecliff. Now, for some reason, sausages were ten dollars dearer and wet exotic plants brushed the windows of the car as we parked. I sighed and got out, feeling unwelcome.
Eden stood by the car, polishing her Ray-Bans on the edge of her shirt and glaring coolly at the dozens of apartments at the edge of the road. Boaties locked off from their yachts and gawkers from the surrounding parklands were perched on the hill, holding their hands up against the white glare of the morning and ignoring the insistent tugging of a variety of compact dogs on leads. Poop bags jangled on key-chains. They spotted a couple of homicide detectives straight away, nudging each other and pointing. Yes, things just got interesting. Grab a latte and settle in for the long haul. Some journalists snapped shots of Eden talking to a security guard. They seemed to miss me.
At the epicenter of the gathering of cop cars and paramedics was a lone young man wrapped in a grey blanket, sitting on the edge of an open ambulance. The overkill meant something god-awful had happened to him. I stood to the side, studying the man's downturned face and desperate eyes, and let Eden go in. People made way for her. I was surprised no one wanted to accidentally brush against her, try to soak up some of that power and beauty. They seemed to know her, seemed to possess some prior knowledge of her dangerous nature.
"Go ahead." She flicked her chin at the man in the blanket.
"I told that cop in the hat I didn't wanna make a statement," the man trembled, nodding towards a chief standing smoking by the gates. "You got what you need. I wanna go now. I wanna get outta here."
I was beginning to notice bumps and scrapes on the man, blood matted in his hair. His ankles were rubbed raw and his left foot was splinted. He jogged his right foot up and down, sniffling and letting his eyes dance over his surroundings.
"One more time." Eden slid her notebook out of her pocket. "Then we can think about letting you go."
There were track marks on the man's arms, purple and wet as he ran a hand through his damp hair. He seemed to want to pick at an old sore that wouldn't heal on his left cheekbone. He glanced at me. I leaned against the ambulance, my arms folded across my chest.
"I was up on the road." The junkie shuddered, nodding towards the boat ramp leading down to the marina. "I was trying to get a ride back to Bondi where I'm staying with mates. But none of these posh fuckheads would stop. It was maybe ... three in the morning. I saw a guy backing a van up through the gates, pulling it alongside a boat. The gates were open so I thought I'd, like, see if I could slip in, you know? I was gonna set off by myself down the marina but I decided to keep watching the guy with the van."
"You were going to roll him?" I asked.
"Maybe. I was thinking about it. I was trying to make out what he had. I reckoned whatever he was shifting at that hour might be good for me. Whatever he had was locked down tight in one of those nice shiny steel toolboxes you see tradesmen carrying on their SUVs — about a meter long. He must've been a big bloke because he was carrying it lengthways across his chest with an arm on either end. He set it on the boat and went round the van. I waited to see him come out the other side but he didn't. I waited for ages and he just didn't come. I was just going to shift around the back of the trees to see where he was when I hear this massive crack and then there was just nothing."
The junkie reached up and touched the back of his skull, feeling stitches. Eden stood with her boot on the folded ramp at the back of the ambulance, watching the man's eyes.
"I woke up on the deck of the boat with a big chain around my ankles." The junkie twitched, scratching at his stubbled beard. "I didn't think we'd left the marina, the boat was so still. It was getting light so I must have been out of it for ages. There was blood everywhere. I rolled over and saw him shoving the toolbox towards the edge of the deck. I followed the chain attached to my ankles and saw that it led to the box."
"Christ." One of the cops behind me laughed. I looked over my shoulder at him. I'd forgotten about the crowd around us, all street cops with their arms folded, cigarettes between their teeth. The water beyond the pier sparkled between them. I squinted.
"I went over." The junkie trembled, his right leg jogging faster, up and down like a piston. "I hit the water."
The junkie in the blanket burst into tears. The cops around me twisted and looked at each other and shook their heads and scoffed and laughed. Eden was perfectly still, her sharp face resting in the palm of her hand, her elbow on the knee of her jeans. Breathing, long and slow. The junkie swiped at his eyes with a skeletal hand. Long fingernails. Before he could resume his story, one of the cops piped up:
"So how the fuck are you sitting here, Houdini?"
The junkie tossed an evil look at the men and women around him.
"Broke my foot when I was a little kid," he murmured. "Clean across the middle — dancing."
"Yeah, dancing," the junkie sneered. "I was fucking dancing in one of those primary school talent shows. I jumped off the stage and landed on it wrong and snapped it right in half behind the toes. It's been off ever since. When I was going down I was pulling and tugging and struggling with the chain. As I got deeper I just reached down and broke it again."
Everyone looked at the splint running up the side of the junkie's ankle. A low moan of appreciation went up from the bodies around me.
"You must be the slipperiest fucker alive."
"Hallelujah. You been touched by a goddamn angel, son."
"You got a lot of will to live for someone who spends all day jacking themselves with deadly chemicals," another cop said.
The junkie wiped dried blood from his nose onto the back of his hand.
"Thanks, mate." He scowled. "Thanks for that."
"Okay, okay," I cut in. "Back to the story. Did he see you when you came up?"
The junkie bristled. Eden was watching me, expressionless.
"When I got up he was long gone," he said, staring at the concrete in front of him. "I got picked up by a couple of guys in a small boat and brought back here maybe an hour later. Was too far out to swim and I couldn't use my foot. I thought I was going to get my arse eaten by something. I thought I was really gone, you know?"
He sobbed once, hiding his face in his fist. There was silence all around us.
"So what are we looking for?" I sighed, taking out my own notebook. "A man, a boat, a silver box."
"I can't help you with the descriptions," the junkie said. "I tried already. He was wearing a jacket zipped up to his nose and a fucking hat on top. The boat was white. I don't know nothing else about it. Big. White. Boat-shaped. You want to press me about it, go ahead. That cop in the hat already tried."
"What about the silver box?" I asked, putting my foot up on the ramp so I could balance the notepad on my knee. "It have a name on it? Anything written on the side?"
"No," the junkie shook his head. "It was plain, like all the others."
Excerpted from Hades by Candice Fox. Copyright © 2014 Candice Fox. Excerpted by permission of KENSINGTON PUBLISHING CORP..
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.
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
Hades is the first novel by Australian author, Candice Fox. When homicide detective Frank Bennett, late thirties, twice divorced, with a liking for alcohol, is partnered with the stunning Eden Archer, he figures he’s struck lucky. Although he certainly doesn’t feel the same way about her brother, Eric. And the case they are called into is intriguing: a stash of bodies in tool boxes at the bottom of Watson’s Bay. It seems they have a serial killer on their hands, and autopsies reveal a gruesome detail. Clues are hard to find. But then the killer makes a mistake. Hades Archer, owner of the Utillo tip and a sculptor of trash, is known as Lord of the Underworld for his talent at making inconvenient bodies disappear: an unlikely father to Eden and Eric. The history of their association is gradually revealed in a narrative that is interspersed with the gripping account of the hunt for the killer. Fox gives the reader an original plot with some brilliant twists, a local setting that will appeal to Sydney readers and characters that are real and flawed: the behaviour of some (supposedly ordinary people) will leave the reader gasping, and demonstrates just how fine the line is between good and evil. Her extensive research into police and medical procedure is apparent in every chapter. This debut crime novel by Candice Fox is a real page-turner and readers will look forward to reading the sequel, Eden.
I was blown away by Candice Fox's debut novel. She got me on the cliff and made me hang there, wanting to read more, yet afraid to go on Covers are very important to me and this one spoke volumes. I knew something bad would happen, but the butterfly made me wonder if there was a ray of hope for the girl. What do you think? I read the blurb and it said Dexter-ish, so that only peaked my interest more. I loved the show and the books and was left wanting more, just like Hades. The book starts out dark and grim and stays that way. The descriptions and details make me cringe at the Hell I have entered. This is Candice's debut novel and she knocked it out of the ballpark. So, come with me, into this evil and dangerous world of human monsters. Because, yes, there is more than one human being that doesn't deserve to draw breath in our world. Hades - Lord of the Underworld. He creates sculptures from junk, believing things should not be so easily tossed aside, just like Eden and Eric, brother and sister. They exude danger. He did not seek them out, but he will not give them up. They give him hope, where he had none before. How does he end up with "family?" That is a mystery worth finding out for yourself. Eden - a loner, switchblade in hand, manicured yet ready for battle. Eric - well, what can I say about Eric. Nothing good. Frank - a detective, selfish, arrogant. Eden's new partner, which she isn't that happy about. Jason - serial killer and psychopath. He had been abused and was puzzled by feelings, both animal and human. They are beyond his understanding. But, he is so much more than just your run of the mill serial killer. When I didn't think think it could get any worse, it did, and in a big way. What breeds a serial killer? The age old question - Nature or nuture? We all have our beliefs and boundaries. Desperation will cause people to justify their actions, no matter how grotesque and horrendous. I watch a lot of crime shows and read a lot of crime books, both fact and fiction, trying to get a glimpse into their minds. How does a serial killer and psychopath think? How can they do the things they do? I have yet to be able to understand. I just can't see it. I believe they are so damaged and evil, they cannot be redeemed. Do the ones who catch them have to become them? When Eden and Frank talked to Derek and Eliza, my anger and rage went off the charts. I would have loved to pull out a gun and shoot them on the spot. How in the world can they plead for mercy after what they have done? And Martina - OMG. OMG - I knew it was coming, but damn, I didn't see it coming this way. I kept telling Candice, no, please don't do it. Hello "Dexter". I can't believe it took me this long for it all to come together. The two different, yet connected storylines fooled me. This is such a great approach to the serial killer. I love the twists to a well known storyline. I was blown away by Candice Fox's debut novel. She got me on the cliff and made me hang there, wanting to read more, yet afraid to go on. I was pissed, enraged, terrified and heartbroken. The ending - I can't get over it. Candice had surprise after surprise in store for me and I loved every minute of it. I received Hades by Candice Fox from Net Galley in return for an honest and unbiased review.
This is a book about killers. Pretty simple. Killers masquerading as cops, a cop who turns into a killer, and just plain killers. That being said, it's very hard to come to care about any of these characters. They are all so detached and their actions are foreign to (hopefully) the reader that it is hard to build some sense of camaraderie. I found the plot a little lacking as well. Pieces just didn't work for me. It didn't seem to come together correctly and left me a bit confused. One thing that really hurt this book for me was the constant shifting of perspective. Some parts are first person and some are third. Sometimes this perspective shifts in the middle of a chapter, and sometimes more than once. Besides making it hard for the reader to find someone to attach themselves to, in this case it is detrimental to the plot. The first person perspective is actual not the most important person in the plot, and actually could probably be done without and the story would not suffer. Also, the whole premise of the killer lacks some background that makes his character believable both in his abilities and his actions. Underneath, there are some good workings and some fine writing. It's just obscured by not allowing the reader to fully immerse.
As brother and sister relationships go this is a strange one, Eric and Eden Archer are police detectives in Sydney. When Eden lost her partner he is replaced by Frank Bennett the main character. They are called to an incident of attempted murder at the harbour and a grisly murder scene is discovered. It turns out that there must be a serial murdering surgeon on the loose. As Frank and Eden investigate the case, Frank becomes curious about Eric and Eden's background, and starts his own little investigation unearthing some strange things. The author fills in the gaps about the siblings to keep pace with Franks own questions. It all builds to a great climax and is delivered in an way to read style although the fill in parts could have been identified better. Good crime thriller.
I received this book via NetGalley to give an honest review. This book wasn't really what I was expecting. I read the blurb and I was thinking something dark, gritty but honestly it was far from that for me. Yes there are people being murdered but I just didn't feel it, liked I hoped. You have this man named Hades who pretty much gets rid of bodies for people or cleans up their mess. That is until one night two children are brought to his doorstep and instead of killing them he pretty much raises them as his own. Years later the two become police detectives pretty cool considering what Hades does. Then enters in Frank, he can tell something is off with both Eric and Eden but he doesn't know what. Eden and Frank get a call and what they uncover is something right out of Dexter seriously that is what I first thought of. Bodies were brought up from the ocean but who are they and why are they there? They go on this hunt for a serial killer who is killing for body parts but will they find him before it is too late? Will Eric and Eden's past come to haunt them? Will Frank let go of his suspensions of the brother and sister? Now the author did the whole different P.O.V.'s and while this would be good I felt that sometimes it jumped to a different P.O.V. at the wrong times. Which left me confused and re-reading to make sure I didn't miss something. I think maybe if she would have made it known we were going into Frank's or Jason's or someone else's then that would have been okay because we as readers would have known instead of scratching our heads going umm okay now who is this we are reading about now. Even though I enjoyed this book especially since it is a new author I felt the characters lacked in their development. I guess maybe that was the point considering their background they needed to be detached from everyone. The plot was good, the ending was predictable in a way. I see there is a second book coming soon so I wonder what that will be about.
I loved this book, the psychological making of a serial killer. It reminded me so much of Dexter, I enjoyed it so much. I was however expecting the book to be more from Eden's point of view or be a little bit more about Hades. But other than that this was an amazing book, I kinda like Eric even if he was a monster to the serial killer level. I will start on Eden tomorrow, thank God the library had it.
This is a stay up all night read.
Borroed and read hades and eden from library i likes all characters expecially frank and hades really liked edens brother from hades looking forward to next book in series if its written
4.5 stars!! Debut release from Australian author Candice Fox! Dark, sinister, gripping page by page! Eden and Eric Archer, are brother and sister police detectives, but they also have their own agenda outside of the law. At first glance Eden’s new partner Frank Bennett, considers himself lucky, but the gaze that met his upon being formally introduced and what he saw there raised questions beyond how she survived the recent loss of her last partner. Something doesn’t seem just quite right and after meeting her brother and fellow detective Frank fears there’s more to the story than what appears on the surface. A Page turner to the end!
I loved this book! It's a roller coaster ride good time. It is so unpredictable!! Not sure I was ready for just what unusual characters. I am a bookworm & I just ate this up!!! It is not just a "sweet cozy" mystery, but if you love a bit of a darkness w/ your mystery----- look no further!!!!!
I received a copy of Hades in exchange for an honest review. Candice Fox gives us a crime thriller that is gripping, horrifying, and brutal. The hunt for a serial killer is never easy, but Frank's investigation is made harder by his aloof partner and her brother, both of whom are keeping more secrets than anyone can possibly guess. Interspersed in the current events are flashbacks to Eden and Eric's upbringing by a man named Hades. Through these flashbacks, Fox paints a thorough picture of the Archer siblings' lives, which in turn bleeds into the story as Frank narrates. The characters are realistically drawn, imperfect, and can be related to rather easily. The writing displays a talent for setting disturbing scenes and thoughts, and presenting tense action and awkward human interactions. The plot is well paced, making it all too easy to ignore everything else and stay immersed in the story. You'll definitely want to read the sequel, Eden, when it comes out in August of 2015. I know I do. Hades by Candice Fox: Creepy and full of action, and definitely worth reading! Available from libraries and booksellers now.
It has been quite some time since I have found a new and enjoyable mystery series that features both procedurals and a unique premise, but “Hades” definitely meets all of those requirements and more. If you read the description, it may sound like “Dexter”, but I can assure you there is very little resemblance. The plot goes back and forth between the backstory of the twins Eden and Eric, along with their “father” Hades, and a first-person account by detective Frank Bennett of the current work of finding a prolific serial killer. On occasion there is also a third-person narrative of what is happening with the killer. The switches took a bit to get used to, but once they did I found them enjoyable. The plot is fast and interesting, with quite a few surprises thrown in. It will be difficult for even the most enthusiastic mystery lovers to see where it all will end, making it the perfect mystery. The characters are deep and well-developed, with enough mystery surrounding them to make the reader look forward to the sequel. Unfortunately, writing much more would spoil the surprises, and where is the fun in that? I recommend “Hades” for any mystery lovers out there with strong stomachs, as it can be gruesome at times. This review is based upon a complimentary copy provided by the publisher in exchange for an honest review.