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The Eyes Die Last by Teri Riggs

August 13, 2011

The Eyes Die Last by Teri Riggs

The Las Vegas Mayoral race is heating up, and the incumbent doesn’t have a prayer. Wealthy real estate speculator Nick Campenelli, who wants to legalize prostitution in Clark County, and former pastor Louis. St. Louis, running on a ‘clean-up-Vegas-by-getting-rid-of-the-whores’ platform, are the front runners.

They’re also front runners on the suspect list for a string of murders. Kennedy O’Brien, four-year detective with cop blood running in her veins, and her partner Wilder “Wild Thing” James, a veteran, are determined to find the man who’s murdering prostitutes who work the wrong side of the street, and they don’t care how important or politically active he is.

The killer is a man with a mission. He stalks the women before he kills them, leaving a “BEFORE” photo on their bodies, and sending an “AFTER” shot to the local news hound. Ed Hershey, an aging newscaster with just the right amount of grey in his hair, is determined to turn this story into a network gig, and his interference, along with the LVTVS legal team, are making Kennedy and Wilder look bad. Campenelli’s good looks and charm, and St. Louis’ vitriolic hatred of prostitutes are muddying the waters too, and now the killer seems to have taken a liking to Kennedy.
So the big question remains. Can she get him before he gets her?
A percentage of the proceeds will be donated to the Brenda Novak auction for Juvenile Diabetes Research.
Full Disclosure: Thank you to Selena Green for sending the review copy.
While having a lot of story elements that I gravitate towards, The Eyes Die Last was a bit of a miss for me.
It’s certainly not a bad book, especially when you consider it’s a first novel and I wholeheartedly believe in mileage varying, but here are my opinions:
I didn’t find Kennedy, our feisty Irish heroine,  believable. The text said one thing, I kept seeing another. A common problem when there’s more telling than showing, and what ends up being showed is the opposite of what’s being told. For all I know, the author could have intended this, but to me it read like Kennedy had some serious overcompensating issues and didn’t know herself very well. I liked her well enough but I didn’t “trust” that she was as good a cop as she claimed to be. I got more and more skeptical every time someone else would comment on how beautiful and smart she was, considering her lead operation is foiled by an Elvis impersonator and one of the men in the running for Mayor of Las Vegas.

Some of the dialogue, mainly the banter between Kennedy and Wilder, fell flat for me as well.

What I enjoyed about the book were some of the interesting side characters, as well as the diversity of the prostitutes and their mentality in regards to their job. And while the banter between Kennedy and her partner didn’t work for me, I did find the banter between her and two side cops to be pretty funny. Also, because I’ve been to Vegas, I thought Ms. Riggs did a good job of peppering the setting in the prose for a nice taste of the local flavor.
The scenes from the killer’s POV were appropriately disturbing, but Riggs manages to make a side character who is even more twisted and repulsive than the killer in some ways. But giving away spoilers isn’t not what I do here.
If you’re a thriller reader, I do think the book is worth checking out. A percentage of the proceeds will go to the Brenda Novak Auction for Juvenile Diabetes Research. You may purchase The Eyes Die Last from Amazon or Drollerie Press.
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One Comment leave one →
  1. Denise Z permalink
    August 14, 2011 12:37 am

    Thank you for sharing today!

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