Review: Headcase (Necessary Evil #4) by Onley James

Rating: 4.25

““Mirror twins,” Dr. Rice corrected. “Each one the perfect mirror image of the other, right down to their birthmarks.” The two weren’t speaking out loud, but they would smile and laugh in tandem, as if one had told the other a joke. Even though they didn’t look at each other,”

— Headcase (Necessary Evils Book 4) by Onley James

Ah, the Twins! Asa and Avi. I knew they’d present trouble. If for no other reason then the author has created a history and background for them that’s so intriguing and compelling. Mirror twins able to communicate telepathically, that go feral when separated. Twins so much a part of each other that they often talk as one, even though as adults they have careers (one a designer, the other a architect), they are never far apart.

So to deviate from the overall combined character portrait James must weaken those very elements that pulls us to them, and makes us want to know why, what’s it like to be a half of such a unique dynamic.

Plus there’s that other defining factor. They love pain. As children they enjoyed hurting each other. So as killers, it’s sheer bliss.

But this is a series about brothers and relationships. So a decision had to be made. Sacrifice the unique combined character portrait of Asa&Avi for separation and books for Asa and Avi.

I honestly think a argument could be made for two books with each brother helping the other to find or hunt down their obsession. Given that the brothers are apex predators, that would have made more sense then the plot here.

Trial separation even they didn’t believe. Behaviors that didn’t follow the pattern.

Asa is a sadist. Remember his love of pain? Ada loves to live with the power to inflict it. So his obsession will be with someone who’s will be the masochistic opposite to his sadistic nature. That’s will be a reporter with rock bottom self image issues, and a family absolutely determined to insure he knows he never mattered.

Zane Scott, small time crime blogger who’s determined to follow his instincts that say something’s not right with the wealthy Mulvaney family. That’s an investigation bound to go lethally wrong.

Unless the reporter turns out to be not only delicious prey, but one who needs big time help.

There’s a great mystery , a lot of sadomasochistic sex, which concurrently helps to develop the relationship between Asa and Zane from one of being chained to a radiator to one being handcuffed to a bed. There’s rough borderline non – con sex, fisting…you name it.

Perfectly in line with Asa, and in turn, Zane.

What’s always missing? Although he’s constantly mentioned? Avi. There’s a few texts. Some “ thoughts”. But far too few for the scary Mirror Twins we’ve come to know and anticipate. It’s as though we get Asa light.

I’m not sure what the alternative would have been, frankly, but , as the pain loving gorgeous Mirror Twins , they stood apart , even in a galaxy of star psychopaths. Separate? Merely one of a striking family of killers

Maybe Avi’s book can shed some light on why the separation dulled their uniqueness so.

Asa and Zane had a great and horrific mystery to unravel. Plus the historic manner in which they dispatched the final villain was educational and satisfying. That’s was a win!

Their S/m dynamic made perfect sense, given their personalities. You decide how comfortable you are with that sexual relationship. Definitely not a sweet romance in the framework you would think of one.

I’m recommending this as it adds to the overall series arc, family picture, and I found it entertaining and thoughtful.

Necessary Evils series:

🔹Unhinged #1

🔹Psycho #2

🔹Moonstruck #3

🔹Headcase #4

🔹Mad Man #5

🔹Lunatic #6 – TBR Aug 23, 2022 › showHeadcase (Necessary Evils, #4) by Onley James – Goodreads


Asa Mulvaney is half of a psychopathic whole. He and his twin brother live together, party together…kill together. In the Mulvaney family, murder is the family business and business is good. So, when an experiment separates Asa and his brother, Asa is forced to navigate the world on his own for the first time in his life.

Zane Scott is a small-time crime blogger, but he dreams of a byline in a major paper and his suspicions surrounding Thomas Mulvaney are about to make that dream a reality. When an invitation to a boring fundraiser lands him not beside Thomas, as he had hoped, but Asa Mulvaney, they share an intensely passionate encounter that leaves Zane trapped in a cage of his own making.

At a nearby college, a cluster of suicides isn’t what it seems. When Asa’s father asks him to look into it, he sees the perfect opportunity to exploit his little crime reporter and make him fall in line. And Asa needs him to fall in line. Zane is suspicious of Asa’s motives and half-convinced he’s dead either way, but he won’t say no to a chance to peek behind the Mulvaney family curtains.

As the two unravel a sinister plot, Asa’s obsession with Zane grows and Zane finds being Asa’s sole focus outweighs almost anything, maybe even his career—which is good for Asa because loving a Mulvaney is a full-time job. Can he convince Zane that he’s worth navigating a family of psychopaths and tolerating an almost too close for comfort twin? Or will Zane learn the hard way that the Mulvaney boys always get what they want? Always.

Headcase is a high heat, intense, lovers-to-frenemies, psychopath romance with an HEA and no cliffhangers. It features an obsessive, calculating psychopath and a wannabe reporter who will stop at nothing to earn himself a major byline. As always, there’s gratuitous violence, very dark humor, enough killers to fill an auditorium, and enough heat to melt your kindle. This is book four in the Necessary Evils series. Each book follows a different couple.

By Scattered Thoughts

At over 50, I am ruled by my terriers, my gardens, and my projects. A knack for grubbing about in the woods, making mud pies, and tending to the injured worms, bugs, and occasional bird and turtle growing up eventually led me to working for the Parks. I was a park Naturalist for over 20 years, and observing Nature and her cycles still occupy my hours. From the arrival of Ruby-throated Hummingbirds in the Spring to the first call of the Snow Geese heading south in the Fall, I am entranced by the seasons. For more about me see my bio on my blog.

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