Roses & Thorns

Roses & Thorns

Sunday, February 12, 2017

Death Unmasked by Rick Sulik


A reincarnated evil is stalking the women of Houston. With each murder, the madman quotes an excerpt from the Oscar Wilde poem, “The Ballad of Reading Gaol.” A huge smokestack belching smoke, a ragged flea market double-breasted wool coat, and an old antique picture frame, bring the distant past back to haunt Houston Homicide Detective, Sean Jamison. With those catalysts, Jamison knows who he was in a past life and that he lost the only woman he could ever love. Searching for his reincarnated mate becomes Jamison’s raison d’ĂȘtre as he and fellow detectives scour Houston for a brutal serial killer. The memory of timeless love drives Jamison’s dogged search for a serial killer, determined to finish what he started decades earlier.

Each clue brings Jamison closer to unmasking his old nemesis. Tenacious police work, lessons learned in the past, and intuition may be the only weapons he has in preventing history from repeating itself.

About the Author:

Rick Sulik was born and raised in Youngstown, Ohio. After completing high school in Boardman, Ohio, he enlisted and served four years in the United States Air Force Military Police. After receiving an Honorable Discharge, he worked three and a half years with the Houston, Texas Police Department, twenty-two years with the Pasadena, Texas Police Department, and ten years as a courthouse bailiff with the Gonzales County, Texas Sheriff’s Department, before retiring in 2013.


Death Unmasked was an interesting mix of paranormal, police technique, and suspense. It begins when a man named Emil and his beloved Laura awaken on the morning their country is invaded. A Nazi officer rapes and kills Laura in front of Emil, and as he is about to enter the furnace to be burned to death, Emil gouges out the officer’s eyes.

Decades later, a serial killer stalks women in Houston, Texas. Sean Jamison is a homicide detective nearing retirement. A belching smokestack and tattered old coat bring back memories of his past life as Emil, and somehow he knows the serial killer is his old Nazi nemesis. He also knows Laura is back, and she’s the man’s next victim. He has to find her and save her.

Death Unmasked was tautly written and fast-paced, with twists and turns that even I didn’t see coming at the end. Part of me, however, thought Darn! I should’ve seen that coming! The reasons I’m giving the book four roses is that the dialog was stilted and unrealistic. Since when does a cop say things like, “Seems to me this joker is determined to put fear in people so he can get away with anything he so desires.” “So desires?” Really? How about, “This joker’s trying to scare the $#@! outa people so he can do whatever he wants.”

Another one is: “I’m hearing my sentinel inner voice, and it’s cautioning me that something terminal is about to occur.” Huh? Wouldn’t a cop be more likely to say, “My gut’s telling me something bad’s about to go down.”? Please, save the thesaurus for the narrative, Mr. Sulik. Or better yet, just dump it. Be sure your grammar’s correct (unless the person speaking’s an illiterate perp), and write a bit more normally.

Aside from the dialog, I would recommend Death Unmasked. It’s an interesting thriller.

Author Website:  N/A
Warnings:  Violence
Length:  265 Pages
Print:  $14.99
Digital:  $6.99

Thanks for visiting.

No comments:

Post a Comment