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Debut novelist Crouch puts a nasty spin on the serial killer thriller in this gruesome tale that, alas, folds under the weight of its ambitions. The story starts at full throttle: narrator Andrew Thomas, a successful horror writer, finds a letter outside his secluded North Carolina home that begins, "Greetings. There is a body buried on your property, covered in your blood." Indeed there is, and further missives direct Andrew to a motel outside Denver, where he is drugged, kidnapped and brought to a house surrounded by desert; there he meets his captor - his long-lost twin brother, Orson. Orson, who walked out of Andrew's life years ago, has, it turns out, been quite busy in the interim as a serial killer. Hoping that Andrew will share his passion, Orson forces his brother to participate in mutilating and killing three victims; he then lets Andrew go. Back home, Andrew joins forces with his best friend to track Orson down, locating him at a New England college. However, their plan to kill Orson ends with the friend dead and Orson locked in the trunk of Andrew's car as Andrew drives cross-country to the desert house, where matters reach a grisly denouement. Crouch's smart, tight prose displays plenty of narrative energy. The novel is gory enough to turn off many, though, and such serial-killer statements as "We all want blood. We are war. That's the code. War and regression and more blood," as well as a flashback to childhood sexual abuse, drag the story line into a portentousness that undercuts its serious exploration of the psychology of the serial killer. Still, Crouch shows real talent here, and perhaps his promised sequel to this novel will be lighter on its feet.
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
Things seem to be going quite well for suspense writer Andrew Thomas until the May afternoon when he finds a letter in his mailbox informing him that there is a dead woman's body buried on his property, covered in his blood, and murdered by the paring knife that has gone missing from his kitchen. Thomas is instructed to call the number he will find in the dead woman's pocket or else the local police will receive an anonymous tip implicating him in the murder. This starts him on a journey into his own personal hell as he finds that his tormenter is actually someone from his own past--someone who has grand plans to develop Thomas' "potential." Freshman novelist Crouch, a Thomas Harris wanna-be, has created a villain who strives to be Hannibal Lector but more closely resembles one of the maniacs from The Texas Chainsaw Massacre. That film's popularity, however, should be indication enough that there is a ready audience for graphic gore, sadistic torture, and homicidal psychopaths. Michael Gannon
Copyright © American Library Association. All rights reserved --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
I Loved it. I Read it in 2 days. I can not wait to start the next book in the seriesPublished 4 days ago by autumn
I was totally disgusted by this book. I thought about getting my money back, but decided that it should not be out there, so I threw it away. Just skimmed it. Read morePublished 5 days ago by chris wardle
Made my skin crawl Seemed so hopeless at first,
situations change rapidly. Do people like this exist? I hope not.
Not one of Blake Crouch's best writings. Wonder if he wrote it or edited it. Will not continue reading the other 2 in the series.Published 13 days ago by Mary C Platter
Blake has done it again with book one of another exciting and suspenseful trilogy. Can't wait to read the next book in this series, I was hooked from page one. This is a must readPublished 16 days ago by Misti Cheetham
Very "Criminal Minds" feeling reading this book...in a good way!Published 20 days ago by Bryan Davey