I'm just getting rolling on a stack of books from some of my favorite authors. Last night, I finished Slashback by Rob Thurman. As usual, this book excels.
Rob takes a bit of a twist in this books - in that she takes us back to when Cal and Niko were kids, and Cal believed there was a serial killer living next door. We get a rare look into Niko's psyche since the flashbacks are written from his perspective. (Have I said that Niko is one of my favorite book characters. If he was real, I would be all over him. Swear to God.)
Present time, is as usual, from Cal's perspective. He's still his snarky self, but underneath that Cal is taking on new and worrisome depths. He and Niko have to deal with an evil serial killer who is hunting them for some reason (hence the tie-in to the past).
This book is all about secrets. Secrets you keep because you're trying to protect the people you love from ugly things. Secrets that have to be revealed to heal broken parts of yourself. Secrets that are surprising in their implications. Seriously, now knowing these secrets, I may have to go back and reread the whole series again, because these secrets definitely play into all of the characters' motivations through the ENTIRE series of books. Holy crap, it's brilliant.
I'm recommending not just this book, but every single book in the Cal Leandros series. Seriously, buy them and have a reading festival. Be prepared to stay up late, skip housework and order delivery. Cal, Niko, Goodfellow and the relationships between them are amazing and real.