THE EDGE OF HONOR

From USA TODAY:  Why you should read it: As menacing as the cover is for KT Bryan's The Edge of Honor, her villain is a trillion times creepier. Seriously, this guy's twisted factor is off the charts. He suffered through a savage childhood that goes a long way toward explaining his evolution from victim to killer, but what's truly fascinating is the clever linking of his past to that of another major character. This is one reason the book opens with a series of scenes in differing points of view, which I initially found disorienting, but it didn't take long before I'd attached to every character. Of course that made it difficult to watch them suffer, but it also made the ending all the more gratifying.
The Savior outsmarts and outmaneuvers Team Edge again and again, which amps up the tension like nobody's business. It's diabolical, how the author makes this believable—after all, Team Edge is a powerhouse of mad military skills—but Bryan pits them against the craftiest of adversaries. As far as the villain's identity? No clue here until I saw the reveal on the page. But the serial killer's not the only source of danger. The book opens with Navy SEALs under fire as they fight to evacuate a hot zone following a counterterrorism mission, and throughout the story the characters encounter bank robbers, muggers, underground gamblers and sinking boats. The action and intensity do not let up. Not even once.
And oh, the romance. Jake and Jessi are not only battling a madman determined to end their lives, they're battling their own insecurities, and a love that doesn't seem meant to be.
"Yeah, well, this cesspool," Jessi waved her hand in the air as worry played across her features, "shouldn't be your problem."
Her words rocked Jake back on his heels. "Not my problem?" He loved her, she knew he loved her and if she'd wanted to smear his character, she'd just done a stellar job.
Especially after what had happened last time— when he couldn't— when he didn't— when he hadn't been able to save her. Or even help her.
He closed his eyes. Swallowed. Took a couple of deep breaths. And then, when he had himself somewhat under control, when he was sure his head wasn't going to explode off his shoulders, he leaned over her and spoke with a steely softness, "Oh, lady, it damn sure is my problem. That's my baby in your belly."
A secondary couple kept me equally rapt, though their storyline is yet to be resolved:
"I don't have all day, Princess. Open up before your psycho killer spots me."
"Go away."
Aaron snorted. "I wish. Now, open the door." He banged again and Nikki's annoyance took a right turn toward temper.
She unlocked and opened the door a crack, leaving the security chain in place. "Look here, I don't care who—"
He snipped the chain with some nifty little tool, pushed past her, and just like that, he was inside.
Before she knew what hit her, he slammed her against the wall and the cold blade of a knife pressed against her throat.
"Tsk, tsk, Miss Edge. If I'd been the killer, you'd be in a world of trouble. Maybe even dead."
She brought her arm up and pepper-sprayed him right in the face.
"Ow! Dammit!" He dropped back two steps and glared at her through tear-laden, pain-filled eyes.
She gave him a smug look and rubbed her throat. "Uh huh. And if you'd been the killer, I'd say you'd be in a world of hurt. Maybe even blind."
The Edge of Honor is the second book in Bryan's Team Edge series (I was thrilled to watch the hero of The Edge of Trust in action again!), and it's one exciting sequel. Balancing the brutality is a welcome layer of wry humor and surprising sentimentality (I admit it, I cried). Bryan knows her guy-speak, excels in keeping her reader guessing, and creates one heck of a disturbing baddie. The Edge of Honor is a raw, dark, high-tempo thriller layered with delicious romance. It's a lot of book to read in one sitting, but trust me, you'll try.
Dr. Jessica Bentley knows all about monsters. She lives with them. Deals with them every day. 
But when Jessica warns the city of San Diego about a modern day Jack the Ripper on live TV, she never expects to become the monster's next target.

A brilliant madman is watching....
A serial killer the media has dubbed the "Savior" is terrorizing San Diego. He is a chameleon, a hacker who can create and delete his identity at will. He blazes through firewalls, strolls through doors that are closed to millions, and dreams about saving the world against sin. He's a wizard, a god, a ruthless killer.

Now you see her, now you don't...
Wanted for murder,  Navy SEAL Jake Kincaid is battling the feds, the cops, and as the clock winds down on a terrifying deadline, Jake plunges headlong into the most desperate hunt of his life, into the shattering search for a killer, a deadly truth, and for the love of his life, whose past has come back to kill her.  

Just how far will a man go to save the woman he loves? The answer is simple--all the way over the edge.​

"To Protect And Save With Valiance, Vigilance, and VALOR"

© By Katherine Bryan March 2015

Every new beginning comes from some other beginning's end. – Seneca
Prologue

Romans 7:14: The law is good, then. The trouble is not with the law but with me, because I am sold into slavery, with sin as my master.

The monster in Sidney Matthews’ closet was real.

Night after night, as he tried so desperately to sink into sleep, terror ran through his thin, child’s body.

How many nights had he lain in horror and shame waiting for his mother to come to his bed? A hundred? A thousand? She came, but not as a mother. Mothers read you quietly lulling bedtime stories, tucked you in, kissed you on the forehead and turned out the light.

Not Sidney’s mother. No, Sidney’s mother came to him on whispering heels in the dark of night, long after the house was quiet, long past his bedtime, long after his father had closed his door with a promise of sweet dreams to come.

Sidney never had sweet dreams. Sidney had nightmares of a devil-woman with maleficent blonde hair, despicably naked under a blue peignoir, and instead of a children’s story, she came armed with the Word of God.

Blood is life.

The first lash of the belt seared into his skin.

Blood is atonement.

More pain. Again and again. Over and over. When he screamed, she beat him harder. When he cried, she called him names. When he begged, she punished him longer. Sometimes he wondered if she was going to kill him. Most of the time he wished she would.

The nightmares always ended the same way. With the unthinkable. The unspeakable. The reprehensible.

His mother would strip, run her breasts across the abased welts, kiss him. Tell him what a good, good boy he was. And then she’d take him into her mouth and shame him even more.

Night after night, the monster came, stealing the illusory protection of childhood away from him.

Oh yes, the monster in Sidney’s closet was real.

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Sidney bought his first computer on his fifteenth birthday. By the time he was seventeen he owned two more, and could hack into almost any system in the world. He wrote his own programs, blazed through firewalls, strolled through doors that were closed to millions, coded his own execution commands into the intercellular matrix of the Pentagon, and dreamed about ruling the galaxy.

He was a wizard. A sorcerer of magic.

A God.

He could render an entire operating system useless with the stroke of a key, a wave of a wand.

He could also end a life.

Diane Waltham’s father should never have told him to get lost. Shouldn’t have sneered at him or looked at him like he was less than zero, a non-person who’d never be good enough to date his precious daughter. Like he was a bug on the bottom of Waltham’s shiny black loafer.

Fuck that.

He was God.

A week later Sidney proved it.

First he deleted old man Waltham’s bank account. Twenty thousand in savings, poof, gone. Twelve hundred in checking, nope, not anymore. Credit cards? Maxed out and over ninety days late. Mortgage payment? Five months behind. Foreclosure imminent. And that nice cushy accounting job? Well, bummer for him when a sudden audit showed that the asshole had been skimming into an offshore bank account.

Boo-hoo, mother fucker. Life over.

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Sidney’s eighteenth birthday was only three weeks away, he was almost a man, and inside he harbored a man’s rage. A rage contained, suppressed for nearly a lifetime. His preacher father was a pussy, his mother a whore.

She came to him as she always did, smelling of roses, nearly nude, with a bible in one hand and a belt in the other. On this night, however, things would be different.

Blood is life.

The first lash of the belt never touched his skin.

He became tall. He became real. He became the son of his mother.

He loosed his rage, setting it upon the woman he’d once loved. The woman he now despised.

He bashed her skull in with a hammer until her brains spilled onto the floor, and as he watched her bleed, still reeling in the spiral of rage, he got his first legitimate erection.

As he picked up the bible and started reading, he stroked himself.

Blood is atonement.

The monster in the closet was dead.