Eden by Candice Fox
Usually a sequel is a little disappointing. This is especially the case when the first in a series, and debut novel for the author, is absolutely amazing. Reading Eden, I was slightly nervous. I wanted the amazing-ness to continue. This is a series in which I was already in love with the characters and the grittiness of the stories. I was not disappointed. Candice Fox delivered another 5-star read.
Eden is a little different from the first novel, Hades. In Hades, the characters were unknown to the readers; personalities were dealt with, and there was a slow reveal to the darkness that hides within them, especially Eden Archer. Even her partner, Frank Bennett, was a bit of a slow reveal, and he wasn’t fully aware of the situation (if that is the right word for it) with Eden.
Now, in Eden, the secrets are out. Frank Bennett is aware of the true nature of his partner and has formed a sort of uneasy bond with Eden. And by uneasy, I mean, he’s still sort of attracted to her, but not sure if she’ll kill him if he gets too close. Not all is known about Eden, but what is, is quite chilling.
Eden centres on the disappearance of 3 teenage girls. Going undercover, Eden is forced to live amongst those she feels are the killers, on an out-of-the-way farm. With very little proof and only a hunch, she is digging for evidence that would justify an arrest warrant. It has a very ‘Pig Farmer’ (the serial killer from the West Coast) feel to it. Mix in a few disreputable and disturbing characters, and you have a very creepy situation for a beautiful and withdrawn individual, like Eden, to step into. Drinking, prostitution, and violence are centre-stone to this story. Her partner, Frank, is not sure whether he is watching Eden for her protection or for those she is living with.
Another aspect of Eden, which was quite a surprise to me, is the backstory of Hades. Readers will be introduced to how the man became what he is; how he moved his way up the ladder to be the criminal mastermind that he becomes when readers first meet him in Hades. It is a backstory that is more chilling than one can imagine.
Overall, these stories continue to be chilling, gritty, and quite amazing page-turners. I continue to be impressed with Candice Fox. Her skill as a writer is plain to see and she is certainly a mastermind in the thriller, serial killer genre. She keeps you on the edge of your seat and once again, the ending was a shocking and breath-suspending reveal. I cannot wait for the third installment to this trilogy and I truly hope that she continues on with these characters. It saddens me that I may only have one more book featuring Eden and Frank.
My only complaint, and it is minor to me, because I can understand the error, is her mention of Robert Pickton, the Pig Farmer. In the novel, a character mentions the similarities and states that he was a serial killer from the States. Not that we want to claim ownership to Pickton, but he was a Canadian serial killer.