Book Review: First Degree Rage

Title: First Degree Rage

Author: Paula May

Narrator: Lee Ann Howlett

Link: https://www.audible.com/pd/First-Degree-Rage-Audiobook/B0899B49MV

Summary

“There was no brown in his eyes at all. They were just two black buttons. I looked in his eyes. All I saw was solid black against the whites. It wasn’t natural. It was…creepy, unnerving, demonic.” (Detective Paula May)

Terrifying things are happening to Kay Weden, a 40-something single mom and high school teacher in Salisbury, North Carolina. Despite having no known enemies, Kay’s home, car, and peace of mind are under attack throughout 1993. Most chilling of all are the senseless attacks on her only son and the shot fired in the night through a wall of her house, which narrowly misses his head as he sleeps. 

Kay’s new love interest is the charming Viktor Gunnarsson. He’s a handsome Swede who left his home country to seek political asylum in the US after being charged with the 1986 assassination of Sweden’s Prime Minister Palme. Viktor was briefly held in custody but subsequently released due to a lack of evidence. 

The romantic connection between Kay and Viktor is immediate and intense until Viktor disappears without warning, leaving Kay baffled and sad. Kay leans on her loving, elderly mother, Catherine Miller, for solace until Catherine is brutally murdered inside her home by an unknown intruder. 

With nowhere else to turn, Kay reconnects with her ex-fiancé L.C. Underwood, a seasoned police officer, particularly adept at criminal investigations. L.C. assures Kay he will get to the bottom of the incessant and tormenting occurrences. 

When Viktor’s nude body is found two hours away in the snowy Appalachian Mountains, local Sheriff’s Detective Paula May is assigned to investigate his murder. What follows is an intense, hair-raising investigation that will shock you from the bitterly cold beginning to the unthinkable end.

My Review

4/5 Stars

Kay Weden, a high school teacher, goes through a stretch of harassment for seemingly no reason. After attempts on her life and her son’s, things seem to take a turn for the better when she finds a potential love interest in a man named Viktor. Then he’s found murdered in the Appalachian Mountains.

This was fascinating, different from any other true crime book I’ve ever read. Since the author was the lead detective on the case, it gave interesting insight not only into the murder but police procedure as well.

Although it’s a long book, there’s plenty here to hold your interest. Plenty of different people make an appearance, all of them with unique personalities and backgrounds. Definitely a fascinating book, one that’s likely to be popular with both fans of thriller books and true crime.

Narration fits the story.

This book was given to me for free at my request and I provided this voluntary review.

Published by Author Kayla Krantz

Proud author responsible for Dead by Morning and The Council, fascinated by the dark and macabre. Stephen King is her all time inspiration mixed in with a little bit of Eminem and some faint remnants of the works of Edgar Allen Poe. When she began writing, she started in horror but it somehow drifted into thriller. She loves the 1988 movie Heathers. She was born and raised in Michigan but traveled across the country to where she currently resides in Texas.

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