punishment coverI want to start off by saying Wow. This is book one in the Detective Barnes series. The cover is what initially caught my attention, but the book was fantastic.

We follow Detroit Homicide Detective, John Barnes, in his investigation of the sociopath/serial killer “pickaxe man,” or Calavera, depending on who you ask.

We first meet Detective Barnes ready to throw himself in front of an oncoming train, tormented by the thoughts of the dead, thrown in the middle of this case that another detective lost his mind working, due the Machine.

What is the Machine? It’s this crazy device that they hook up to the dead and pull out their last memories, hoping to gain some clues as to what happened. It goes into some detail on the brain, how it works, and why it isn’t a good idea; I got the gist that when you do what they are doing to this part of the brain, it creates new something another and you gain the personality of these people, like another spirit or whatever residing in your body with you.

Anyways, these machines sound cool, but seeing what it does to people in town, because naturally there’s a black market for these machines, for those reasons stated above. You can become a doctor, experience suicide, sleep with that porn star, etc. People become addicted to it, using it as an escape as you would any drug.

This was an intriguing read. I didn’t want to put it down. I wanted to solve the mystery with the detectives, see what was happening and why. What made this murderer tick. And boy was I in for a surprise.

Definitely recommend this book.