From bestselling author John Lutz comes a lightning-paced thriller of a city gripped by a killer's savage reign of terror. . .
Someone is killing wealthy Manhattanites. One by one, the victims are discovered in luxurious high-rise apartments. Bound, gagged--brutally murdered in the "safety" of their own homes, by someone whose modus operandi is as horrifying as anything NYPD Detectives Ben Stack and Rica Lopez have ever seen.
As Stack and Lopez investigate the cruel deaths, they have no idea that they are being watched from the shadows--observed by a cunning murderer picking up all the clues necessary to stay one step ahead of the police while perfecting a deadly craft. And when a pattern slowly emerges, the detectives realize that the killings aren't the random acts of a maniac, but the personal campaign of someone bent on retribution. . .someone who's been watching closely and knows their case too well.
Someone whose vengeance will burn forever.
Set in post 9/11 Manhattan, Lutz's (The Night Caller) gritty psychological thriller finds NYPD homicide detectives Rica Lopez and Ben Stack on the hunt for a vengeful serial killer whose modus operandi includes binding and burning his prey in their high-rise co-ops. The only clue they have to go on is that the Torcher has an apparent penchant for wealthy victims, so they start at square one and investigate all of the known arsonists in the city. In the end, Rica and Stack prove to be no match for the Torcher, who manages to stay several steps ahead of them until the very end, but their lack of leads doesn't make this book any less compelling. Lutz's details concerning police procedure, fire-fighting techniques and FDNY policy ring true, and his clever use of flashbacks draws the reader deep into the killer's troubled psyche. The novel's primary weaknesses include the tenuous romantic link between Ben and Rica, frequent point-of-view shifts and an overwhelming parade of possible suspects ranging from an avaricious real-estate magnate and her aging male escort to a lesbian mayoral campaign manager. Unlike many authors in the genre, however, Lutz manages to present a fully realized villain who simultaneously inspires the reader's sympathy and revulsion.