Thirteen bodies are discovered inside a small Louisville restaurant just after closing time. The ferocity and apparent randomness of the crime prompt the police to call in criminology professor Daniel Millikan-they want a profile of the murderer. Millikan determines that the crime was committed not by a psychopath but by a professional killer of consummate skill and total lack of feeling: “I think that the one who did it is one of the special cases. He’s somebody we can’t afford to have walking down a street where our families walk.” When Millikan learns that the investigation has come to a complete standstill, he commits himself to an unorthodox decision. The only hope of stopping this killer and ending the bloodshed is to employ Roy Prescott, an expert in the narrow specialty of hunting down murderers through methods the police can’t-and wouldn’t-use.
And so begins a stunning novel by Thomas Perry, “one of the most thoroughly satisfying writers around” (Lawrence Block), a death match fought from one end of the country to the other by two enemies who both understand that only one of them will be alive at the end.
The massacre of 13 people in a Louisville restaurant opens Perry's latest psychological thriller (after Death Benefits). Criminologist Daniel Millikan determines that this was no random occurrence, but an assassination carried out by a ruthless, methodical predator but who was the target? The killer, James Varney, is a cold-blooded psychopath who claimed his first victim his aunt at the age of 11; a loner, he later turned to robbery and murder for hire. Against his better judgment, Millikan supplies the father of one of the victims with the name of someone who might be able to help: shady operator Roy Prescott. Prescott's past is dark enough to enable him to get inside the mind of the killer and, with Millikan's help, he sets in motion an elaborate cat-and-mouse game that moves from city to city, with each man trying to anticipate the other's every move as the body count continues to rise. The traps Prescott devises to catch his prey and the ways in which Varney eludes them are fascinating, albeit a bit far-fetched, and Perry supplies just enough background to give the two leads depth with a minimum of psychobabble. The female characters, while essential to the plot, are thinly drawn by comparison, and the book loses momentum about halfway through, when Varney goes into hiding and Prescott tries to determine who hired him to commit the initial murders but Perry definitely comes through in the end, expertly tying the threads together.
Customer ReviewsSee All
Why not 5 stars you ask?
Simple. This book had profanity. Not a gratuitous amount but enough that I wouldn't want to have listened to the audiobook when my wife and children were in the car with me. But I loved the story. It really sucked me in!
Wow, great read!
Well written and fast moving, the author never lets off the gas. Characters were well developed and the plot was just kept unfolding. An in-depth look at the workings of a psychopaths mind.