“Run my little rose…run…for in thirty minutes I will find you and I will end you.”
Deviously Sincere is a chilling mystery about Tilda Wain, an FBI, agent looking for a terrifying new serial killer with striking similarities to Jack The Ripper. This new killer is on a mission to purify women of their sins and will stop at nothing until the whole world is pure. But, this new killer also has similarities to a killer from ten years ago called Hyde. How are they related? Is this new killer a copy cat, or something more sinister?
Deviously Sincere is a terrifying thrill ride from start to finish, and the pace never slows. Hallward does an excellent job of creating a fast-paced narrative with an interesting plot. I didn’t feel any lulls in the story and it kept me on the edge of my seat. The conversations between Tilda and serial killer, Hyde, give you just enough insight into this new killer without giving away the twist. There is an unknown camaraderie between killers that you can’t quite put your finger on, and it serves the novel well.
Also, this novel is disturbing. Just a small warning for those who may be easily turned off by blood or gruesome death, this novel is brutal. But, for a horror fan like myself it felt real, this is the kind of stuff that a ritualistic serial killer would do. I didn’t have to suspend any disbelief to envision these killers existing. It’s sad that this is something I don’t have a hard time believing but that’s the world we live in. I commend Hallward’s ability to stay within the realm of belief but also her ability to create something so frightening.
Hallward also captures the complete mystification shrouding murderers, you never know if the stranger standing next to you has killed someone. There is one quote in particular that got me,
“He had told her the truth and she practically laughed in his face. No one ever viewed him as a threat until it was too late.”
I could honestly see this conversation happening. If one of my friends told me they were a notorious serial killer I’d probably laugh it off like they were joking too. You never know what someone is capable of, and I think that is the scariest part of this story.
The ritualistic nature of the murders follow a complicated pattern that is ever-evolving and this book masterfully winds them together without creating a confusing plot. I can see what is being presented and the murderers motives remain relatively clear. I really enjoy when characters have clear desires, it gives them more depth. I will also state that Tilda’s motives and fears are also clear, and it makes her a believable and admirable character. Tilda is an excellent protagonist and the way she is written had me rooting for her from the beginning. She is strong and smart, but not unrealistically so.
I do wish that Tilda’s partner Nathan had been a little more fleshed out, but seeing as how this is the start to a series I won’t judge that too harshly. He created a good point of tension and doubt for Tilda, and it did add to the plot, so I don’t view his character as a loss or a point to bring the books rating down.
I can’t wait to see what else Hallward has in store for us, I expect the next installment will be as good as this one. Deviously Sincere earns a 5/5 stars. A huge thank you to Alayna Hallward for reaching out to me about this book, it was a joy to read.