Hailed by reviewers and fellow authors alike, Edgar Award winner Jan Burke has won a legion of devoted readers with her witty, ingeniously crafted novels featuring Irene Kelly. Now Burke, who earned critical acclaim for her stunning departure novel, Flight, returns with another electrifying thriller: Nine will hold readers in thrall until the breathtaking conclusion.
When a brutal felon on the FBI's Ten Most Wanted list turns up dead in Los Angeles County, few mourn him; in fact, the public begins to cheer his unknown assailants as heroes. But as more brutalized corpses of fugitive outlaws are found, Sheriff's Homicide Detective Alex Brandon knows that the vigilante group the public has nicknamed "The Exterminators" may be far more ruthless and sadistic than its victims.
The corpses bear eerie similarities to victims of a serial killer investigated by Brandon ten years ago. The perpetrator died at the hands of his own deeply traumatized teenaged stepson, Kit Logan. Logan, protected by his wealthy family, never spent a day in jail; instead, he was sent to a private reform school for the truant sons of L.A.'s most affluent. Alex Brandon, unable to locate Logan for questioning, has a chilling sense he is being manipulated. But why?
A terrifying novel that asks what happens when justice is no longer enough, Nine introduces an unforgettable protagonist. A modern morality tale, it is another captivating gem from an acclaimed master of mystery and suspense.
Award-winning mystery author Burke (Flight; Sweet Dreams, Irene) takes a break from her Irene Kelly series to test the waters of stand-alone mainstream thrillers, and proves she can swim with the sharks in this tale of vigilante justice. The members of Project Nine, an exclusive club of deranged boys, create havoc for homicide detective Alex Brandon, the L.A. Sheriff's Department and the FBI, since their gruesome project involves eliminating the outlaws on the FBI's Most Wanted List. Brandon has a dark family history, to say the least, and grimly tolerates his partner, Ciara Morton, a good detective with a bad attitude. The leader of Project Nine, Everett Corey, began assembling his task force including Cameron Burgess, Morgan Addison and the delightfully vain Frederick Whitfield IV at Sedgewick, a rich kids' reform school in Malibu. The team's hero, haunted genius Kit Logan, whose nightmarish past includes the killing of his stepfather, serial killer Jerome Naughton, attended the same school. Ninth on the Project's list of targets is yet another Malibu alum: Kit's friend Gabe Taggert, whose involvement in a botched robbery/ homicide has driven him into hiding. Gabe's sister Meghan has history with both Everett and Kit, further complicating the mix. Brandon was involved with the Naughton case 10 years earlier and has dealt with some of the Sedgewick boys; while this makes him uniquely suited to solving the case, it also puts him at risk. Burke does an excellent job with her diverse, bustling cast which includes Spooky, a 13-year-old firebrand in Kit's care, and Chase, Brandon's troubled nephew providing plenty of background without short-changing the absorbing and inventive plot.