Note: Seeker of Truth is part of season three of the SPECTR series, a serial story. This review will reveal spoilers from earlier books this season.
John is still reeling from learning that the people he thought were his parents were not his family at all. Now that they have died in a suspicious fire, John fears he will never understand who he is or why he has memories of a childhood that are clearly not his own. John is desperate to learn more about his past, and he, Caleb, and Gray realize that they may find answers at the Center for Loving Redemption, the facility where the real John Starkweather was kept as a child. Unfortunately, when John is called in to investigate some suspicious deaths in New Orleans, the men realize they will need to split up.
Caleb and Zahira investigate the deaths of several members of the same family who have been killed by something pressing a heavy weight on their chests. The pair suspect it is the work of a demon and work to stop the creature before it can kill again. John, along with his cousin, Ryan, and the drakul, Night, head to the Center to see if they can find answers. There John finds himself recovering both manufactured memories, as well as glimpses of true memories of what happened to him as a child. But unscrambling all the confusing information is difficult and leaves him with more questions than answers. And what truth he does manage to uncover only brings him more horror.
Seeker of Truth is the third book in this season of SPECTR and things really heat up here. So much is uncovered and the mystery of John’s past is just fascinating. This installment is told in dual storylines, something that isn’t common for the series. First, we have Caleb and Zahira and their case in New Orleans. Then we have John, Ryan, and Night investigating the Center and John’s past. The two storylines run in parallel and Hawk does a great job ratcheting the excitement in the way that the stories play into one another. A suspenseful moment in one location leads into a suspenseful one in another. It is a format that really works well for this story.
Caleb and Zahira’s investigation is a discrete case that resolves within this book. The mystery is engaging with some exciting moments. I enjoyed getting more time with Zahira and seeing her working with Caleb/Gray. While plot-wise the case stands alone from the larger series arc, the themes of the case do dovetail nicely with what is happening with John.
The bigger story here is following along with John as he investigates his past. There is a bit of humor and comic relief here as Night can’t be left alone so John brings him along as “Agent Knight,” a supposed SPECTR agent. There are some fun moments as Night is so wooden and void of emotion and Ryan is giving some serious side eye trying to figure out what is up with this super weird guy John brought along. But most of this storyline is intense and, at times, horrifying, as John learns more about his past. This story is so clever and well done, I am completely captivated. We are slowly learning more about what happened to John as the mystery unravels. But there are still so many questions and I think Hawk is pacing this just perfectly. We get just enough to feel forward progress, but there is still so much twistiness to uncover.
Overall, I found this a fabulous installment to one of my all time favorite urban fantasy series. If you are new to the series, you will want to start at the beginning. And for fans of the series, you will not be disappointed here.
Note: Seeker of Truth releases on April 17th, but you can preorder it here.