Read my reviews of the previous books in the Necessary Evils series:
- Unhinged (Necessary Evils #1)
- Psycho (Necessary Evils #2)
- Moonstruck (Necessary Evils #3)
- Damaged (Necessary Evils #3.5)
Disclaimer: I received an electronic ARC of this novel from the author.
How excited was I to read this book? I informed the spouse he was in charge of dinner and stayed up way too late to finish it once my advanced copy hit my Kindle. I might be mainlining coffee this morning, but I regret nothing (especially since I also get to have leftover pizza for lunch).
Twins are kind of a “thing” in romance, so I know a lot of readers besides me were excited to truly meet the first of the Mulvaney Murder Twins. While this didn’t end up being my favorite of the series so far (that’s definitely Psycho), I thoroughly enjoyed both the relationship dynamic that developed between Asa and Zane and the mystery in which they find themselves embroiled.
James establishes early on that Asa and Avi are mirror twins. Even though the brothers are separated for most of the book (and this is actually a point of interesting conflict), it is fascinating to see how the mirror aspect even includes facets of their personalities. However, the focus is very much on Asa and Zane as a pairing and how an ill-timed hookup leads to Asa finding his person, and arguably, saving the entire Mulvaney family as a side effect. In his own way, Zane is one of the smartest characters in this series, and his deeper involvement in the central external plot is more a matter of tragedy than convenience.
Some fascinating external conflicts have been explored in this series, a trend that continues in this story. Headcase’s touches on some very realistic dark issues, so I almost appreciated that while one of the major villains is just as despicable as deserved, the other verges on comic relief. This interesting authorial choice provides the perfect balance to the pinnacle of Zane’s involvement in the story.
I’m pleased that the author rearranged her release schedule so that we get Avi’s story next. I look forward to seeing how events overlap with the moments in this book and because we’ve been teased about that particular developing relationship since book 3. Since I follow James on social media, I know that a certain amount of drama has surrounded the potential for the Murder Twins and their paramours, especially after a specific scene in this book. However, I think the actual highlight of that scene is really the theme of this entire romance series: how does the Team Emotion half of these particular relationships get all of their needs met when the other half doesn’t exactly do romance or love the same way most of society does? That element has been one of my favorite points of this entire series, and I continue to look forward to how James explores this aspect of the “psychopaths in love” trope. Along with, you know, the fun spicy bits, amazing family interactions, and fascinating plot lines.