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Death Instinct Mass Market Paperback – December 5, 2006


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Product Details

  • Mass Market Paperback: 400 pages
  • Publisher: Signet (December 5, 2006)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 045121997X
  • ISBN-13: 978-0451219978
  • Product Dimensions: 4.3 x 1.1 x 6.8 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 6.4 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (34 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #573,821 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

Review

If there's a better horror novelist working today, I don't know who it is. -- Los Angeles Times

About the Author

Bentley Little was born in Arizona a month after his mother attended the world premiere of Alfred Hitchcock's Psycho. He is the author of ten previous novels, including The Revelation, The Mailman, The Summoning, Death Instinct (published under the name Phillip Emmons), University, Dominion, The Ignored, The Store, The House and The Town. An acknowledged master of horror, he is currently at work on his next novel.

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Customer Reviews

This book is a page turner!
Dorian Gray
The characters were also very realistic and believable.
BooklovrCher
Excellent read, he might even have Stephen King beat.
sherry wozny

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

13 of 14 people found the following review helpful By Amazon Customer on August 7, 2002
Format: Mass Market Paperback
Phillip Emmons, a pseudonym for horror author Bentley Little, is the author of the serial killer novel "Death Instinct". Published early in Little's career, this one is different from the horror novels that have made Little a household name in the realm of horror fiction. While not a fan of the serial killer novel genre, I found "Death Instinct" to be very entertaining, but not difficult to determine/guess the identity of the serial killer.
The story involves a series of gruesome murders in Phoenix that has police baffled. They can't seem to find any clues and only begin to realize the truth when being tipped off by someone romantically involved with a member of the force. A young boy is actually the one who first suspects the killer. It's difficult to give many details about the book without giving away key elements of the plot and/or clues to the killer.
Needless to say, the identity of the killer shouldn't come as a surprise. It might be a bit farfetched, but the explanation behind the killer's motives is logical. If you enjoy serial killer novels and can locate this one (it's been out-of-print for many years), grab it and enjoy it.
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8 of 8 people found the following review helpful By mrliteral VINE VOICE on February 4, 2007
Format: Mass Market Paperback
Bentley Little may be one of the best horror writers around today, but this was not an overnight process. Death Instinct, a book he published early in his career under the pseudonym Phillip Emmons, shows both the lesser quality of his earlier writing (though it is still good) and his potential for good things to come.

The faults in this book come particularly from the plot, which is a routine serial killer potboiler. We have a beautiful woman with a tormented past, in this case, Cathy Riley, who lives a sheltered life with her emotionally abusive father. There is the handsome detective, Lieutenant Allan Grant, who must take the lead in an investigation when a series of hideous murders occur. By page 20, you know romance is in the future for these two souls. And, of course, there are the killings, which are both shocking and mysterious and will lead the two future lovebirds together.

In many ways, this novel is indistinguishable from dozens of others in the same genre. My guess is that Little was driven more by commercial considerations than actual artistic vision with this tale. His later books offer much more originality. On the other hand, Little's gifts are apparent with his serial killer; I won't reveal the identity of this villain, but with a lesser writer, the killer would come off as weak or silly. With Little, the killer is one of the creepier ones you're likely to read about.

This may be one of Little's minor works, but his adeptness makes this book still good, even if greatness eludes it. If you like serial killer stories or are a fan of Little's other works, Death Instinct is well worth reading.
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9 of 10 people found the following review helpful By Lawyeraau HALL OF FAMETOP 500 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on March 24, 2007
Format: Mass Market Paperback Verified Purchase
This novel, one of the author's early works, was originally released under the author's pen name, Phillip Emmons. There is little in it that reminds one of some of the author's later works. Instead of a highly imaginative, horror novel, this is a pretty straightforward novel about a serial killer. Still, there is just a little bit of a twist in the tale.

The plot is somewhat formulaic and much more commercial than some of the author's later efforts, and lacks some of the creativity a fan of the author has come to associate with this author's work. Still, this is not a book that fans of the author's horror fiction should pass up, as there are some surprises in store for the reader.

In Phoenix, Arizona, Cathy Riley is a young, pretty woman who lived a somewhat reclusive life with her disabled father, a nasty man with whom she stays out of duty. Cathy lives across the street from a house where a woman and her mentally handicapped son, Randy, have moved in. There is something not quite right about this mother and son duo.

Meanwhile, a series of grisly murders have been taking place in Cathy's neighborhood, murders that are being investigated by Detective Allen Grant. When Cathy's path crosses that of the detective, an attraction begins to blossom into something greater. Meanwhile, the body count rises, and soon Cathy herself is in danger.

The best thing about this book is the serial killer himself. While the discerning reader figures out early on who the serial killer is, the twist in the tale has to do with how and why he kills. It is here that the reader sees a glimmer of the author Bentley Little will become.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By Mercedes on February 24, 2010
Format: Mass Market Paperback Verified Purchase
Spoilers alert---don't read further if you don't want to know what this book is about.

Death Instinct's description on the back of the book is what caught me. It's my first Bentley Little novel. The murders in this book are extremely strange, defiantly from the mind of a brilliant psychotic. Cathy lives with her bitter father. Her brother David traumatized her when she was younger. However, the whole David issue had me a bit confused. He enjoyed being naked and showing himself to her, he let his friends watch her use the restroom and he killed a rabbit naked. But it never mentions if he raped her or something else horrible. The book kind of leads the reader to wonder about David but there's never any answers. Also the terror that happened in the house across the street isn't really explained other than on the back cover. Unless I just don't remember this part. Jimmy is the kid who lives down the street, he's alone. His father is out all the time and just doesn't have time for Jimmy so Cathy plays guardian for the boy. When the new neighbors move in Jimmy and Cathy are hopeful that they have a child Jimmy can play with. They do have a child but he's not the playing type.

The West's moved into the old house where the previous owners died in. The mother is nothing close to friendly and the boy is retarded. But when you look at him, he has an evil look about him. Something isn't right. Soon the killings start. They are horrible and twisted with no order to them at all. The book is very good at not letting the reader know who the killer is too early. As the victims pile up the reader is hooked, unable to put the book down. When Randy, the retarded boy is finally named as the killer, I was wondering if this could be possible.
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