Romeo is known as the Countdown Killer. He is locked up in a maximum-security prison and the only thing he has to look forward to is his weekly visit from Chad. Chad, the detective, the same Chad that Romeo kidnapped. All of Chad’s friends and colleagues tell Chad to stop visiting Romeo. They don’t understand it, but Chad needs the visits as much as Romeo does.
It makes Romeo happy to see Chad living his life, but when a copycat killer starts a murder spree, things begin to change. Romeo is a little impressed with the new killer, but then realizes Chad is in danger from his colleagues and then the killer. With no options, Romeo has to do something drastic to make sure that the copycat killer doesn’t succeed in the one thing Romeo didn’t—kill number one.
Two for Joy follows where One for Sorrow leaves off in the Magpie Rhymes series and the books are best read in order. Romeo is now in prison and Chad is trying to get back to his life and the only thing both of them look forward to is their weekly visits. This book is mostly from Romeo’s POV and we only get a few glimpses directly from Chad more toward the end of the book. Everything else we see of Chad is secondhand through other people. I like the idea of this story more than the way this one was actually executed.
We see some of Romeo’s day to day interactions in prison, as well as him being interviewed by a journalist that he likes to try and manipulate. As far as his interactions with Chad, it is only through glass during a once a week visit. All of Romeo’s victims remained in the background and the idea here was to show Romeo as more than a serial killer and to try and show how Chad, a detective, could fall for him and that part wasn’t entirely successful for me. It was interesting seeing the story get set up in the beginning, we get more of Romeo’s background, and then it got a little slow.
When the copycat killer storyline comes into play, of course Romeo becomes a focal point to it, but it was really clear who the killer was and what the direction of Chad’s storyline was going to take. Then, for this to continue to be seen as a romance, one thing then had to happen so it was just a waiting game of exactly how and when. Also, I wondered what maximum security prison had cell bars so wide apart that an inmate could put their entire fist through it to punch someone with force.
The ending moves the story along, but it was left open to another installment in this series, which then gave it an unfinished feeling. While this was a story about a serial killer and it did have some interesting moments, a lot of it remained on the surface and didn’t have the depth of characters I look for in a book like this.