Obsession can be a killer. In her debut novel, Creep, Jennifer Hillier introduces us to recovering sex addict and psychology professor Sheila Tao, whose affair with one of her teaching assistants, Ethan Wolfe, turns deadly. When she calls off their passionate physical relationship to secure her a future with her fiancé, Morris, Sheila feels like she is finally turning her life around. She has found the right man, is excelling in her career and up until her slip-up with Ethan, had been making strides with her battle against sexual addiction. But Ethan is more than just than just the pretty face Sheila knows. He is darker, twisted and a cold-blooded killer. Though the finale of Creep reveals Ethan's demise, it also introduces questions about his long-time girlfriend, Abby Maddox. In a heated moment at the police station, Abby makes a move that casts her in a shocking new light; from victim to murderer.
And this is where Freak begins. A year has passed since Ethan's death and Abby has spent the time in a high-security penitentiary, paying for her murder attempt on private investigator and former police officer, Jerry Isaac. Trying to block out Maddox's face in the news, Sheila struggles to carry on with her life, and relationship, as normal, but this becomes increasingly difficult as bodies of young women resembling Maddox start turning up in hotel rooms across the city. The women share more than just a resemblance to Maddox; they all have the words "Free Abby Maddox" carved into their skin. But does Maddox have anything to do with it?
Freak features the return of a fabulous cast of characters from Creep: the flawed but lovable Jerry Isaac; the gruff, burly and protective fiancé Morris Gardener; the bone-chilling Abby Maddox, and of course, Sheila Tao. Where Creep centered around Sheila, her complicated past and seemingly rocky future, Freak focuses the spotlight on Jerry. Though far from perfect, Hillier gives Jerry such depth that readers can't help but be enamoured of him.Freak stays true to its title throughout the story. Readers beware: what flows through these pages is not always easy to stomach, but I dare you to take your eyes off the page. The chilling descriptions are a testament to Hillier's talent as a thriller writer. I read the first few chunks of the book over a two-day span, then hopped into bed to read a chapter or two before dozing off. What ensued was hours of fierce page flipping because I simply couldn't sleep until I was guaranteed the safety of one of the characters (which seemed increasingly less plausible). Only taking breaks to send late-night tweets to Hillier about my inability to put the book down, I finally turned the last page at 1:30 am. I felt like I had been on a rollercoaster that had just come to a startling halt. This was an action-packed, heart rate-escalating and terrifying follow-up to Creep and if you want a read that will have you on the edge of your seat for hours, I suggest you give these two novels a go!