Provocation

Pen Pals and Serial Killers Volume 2

Fiction - Thriller - Psychological
294 Pages
Reviewed on 04/09/2018
Buy on Amazon

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    Book Review

Reviewed by Lisa McCombs for Readers' Favorite

As Dr. Victoria Ward listens patiently to her clients spilling the horrible, painful stories of domestic violence, she reminisces on her own childhood and the very reason for her chosen profession. She sees her own mother through the eyes of the very women who bare their souls, day after day. And she wonders what makes men do this to the best part of their lives? Who do they think they are? What gives them the right? Rather than speculating on her role in the issue, Victoria takes fate into her own hands, making the matter right. It might be illegal in the eyes of the law, but this has to stop. Death is not good enough. These men must suffer to the point of madness while admitting their ultimate sins. As Victoria investigates her next “client”, she relives every injustice ever served at her father’s hands. No, death is not good enough.

I was beyond angry from page one on. The author shows no restraint in bringing the reader face-to-face with the evil act of physical abuse. Even with the end justifying the means, the rage reflected in this work is palpable. Provocation: Pen Pals and Serial Killers Book 2 by Jo Michaels is a first class tale of spousal abuse and neglect in which the author projects the surprising final twist. The reader is left questioning the happy façade of the couple next door while gaining a new perspective on happily ever after. Provocation is a riveting single sitting read that will haunt one’s dreams long after the final page is turned.

Viga Boland

If you like your thrillers bloodcurdling, read Provocation: Pen Pals and Serial Killers Volume 2 by Jo Michaels. This is one of the most delectably gruesome psychological thrillers I’ve read in a long time, with a raison d’etre that will strike a chord in the hearts of most victims of abuse, especially females. To the old saying about the fury of a woman scorned, thanks to Jo Michaels, we can now add another: there’s no greater revenge that that of a woman abused…or the woman who does what the abused woman can’t do for herself.

Psychiatrist Victoria Ward is the avenger, the champion for abused women. As she listens to one patient after another telling her of the suffering they endure at the hands of their men, just like her beloved mother did with her father, she seethes with anger. She burns with rage. If the victim’s abuser were in her office right now, she’d kill him outright. But that would only land her in jail. That cannot happen if she is to fulfill what she sees as her life’s mission. So, with her military background, considerable skills and enough money to up and move often enough to elude the police when men go missing, she exacts revenge on these husbands and boyfriends. That revenge isn’t so much sweet as it is horrific, bloodcurdling; it will have readers squirming as they read. If this were a movie, it would be hard to watch.

Jo Michaels is a skilled writer. Her plot is well-thought out and developed. Characters are believable, and the plot? Well, it never stops moving. And the twist at the end comes as a shock that neither Victoria Ward nor readers expect. I hated this book because I couldn’t put it down until 4:30 a.m. I just had to finish reading it. But truth is, I loved it! One of the best psychological thrillers I’ve ever read. Jo Michaels can add me to her fan club. I would love to read more by this mind-blowing author!

Romuald Dzemo

Provocation is the second book in the Pen Pals and Serial Killers series, a powerful blend of crime and psychological thriller by Jo Michaels. Doctor Victoria Ward has witnessed abuse first-hand, with her father’s rough treatment of her mother, and she’s made up her mind to stand up against men who are abusive, starting with her father. In this novel, the reader follows her journey as she leaves victims in her wake, determined to uphold justice for abused women. It is not until she meets young Kelly that everything changes for her. Her work of thirty years has been aimed at protecting the innocent, but with deception looming ahead, can she continue on this path? Read on to discover what happens when her past catches up with her.

Jo Michaels’ novel is a riveting read, beautifully plotted, and fast-paced. The characters are compelling and readers will enjoy the way the author explores the psychology of a serial killer. On the surface, Dr. Victoria Ward appears to be very normal, intelligent, insightful, and understanding — perhaps a female version of Hannibal Lecter? The story has psychological depth and the interactions of the protagonist with women who are accused are intelligently written, exposing her brilliance. But then, there is something wrong with her way of seeing reality — she believes she is righteous and that it’s the mission of the righteous ones to punish those who hurt women. The chapters are well-written and each explores a deeper layer of the conflict, each more intense that what comes before it. Provocation is gripping, entertaining, and insanely absorbing. You’ll want to know what will happen to the protagonist, but before then, you want to guess who the next victim could be. It’s a work of sheer brilliance and great entertainment.