Serial Date was a surprisingly entertaining read filled with witty writing and dark humor.
In an unexpected turn of fate, former assassin Leine Basso is offered a job working security in Los Angeles at a gigantic hit reality show called Serial Date–where beautiful young women get to date ex-cons posing as serial killers. Though L.A. brings her bad memories, Leine can’t just ignore $2,000 a week, especially when she needs the money.
Already there’s been one murder: one of the young women on the show was brutally mutilated and hidden in the prop closet, and it seems the killer will strike again. But is the killer one of the ex-cons or is he an outsider? Santiago Jensen, the handsome detective in charge of the case, isn’t so sure, even though all evidence seems to point out to one of the ‘bachelors.’
Soon, the police find a letter supposedly written by the killer, a letter that reveals a very focused agenda. Then, Leine’s daughter is kidnapped by someone claiming to be the killer. Leine hasn’t seen her in years because, unfortunately, her daughter doesn’t want her in her life–a fact that tortures Leine every day of her existence.
In order to find her daughter, Leine must use her skills as an assassin and come to terms with her own identity, something that secretly terrifies her. Soon, a grim picture emerges: is the killer someone from her past set on revenge?
I thoroughly enjoyed Serial Date. The author has a distinct style that is witty, smart, and darkly humorous. The prose is sharp and gritty. I love satires and this one was no exception. I especially enjoyed all the subtle, indirect criticism of television and reality shows. I kept chuckling as I read.
The story is told in multiple points of view separated by chapters, so there’s no distracting head switching. The pace is pretty quick with a fair share of exciting twists and turns. To add more flavor, Santiago and Leine provide a sprinkle of romance.
I have to admit, though, that the fact that Leine was a former assassin bothered me a lot in the beginning, even though the author stresses the fact that she killed criminals. I kept wondering if I was going to forgive her for that. Surprisingly, I did. Leine comes out as a very human character who is deeply sorry about her past and who wants to reconcile with her beloved daughter. This emotional subplot about her and her daughter really brought the story to a higher level for me.
Another thing I need to point out, just for those sensitive readers out there, is that there’s a lot of foul language.
In short, I highly recommend Serial Date to those who enjoy murder mysteries with a touch of satire.