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Jinn: A Novel [Paperback]

Matthew B.J. Delaney
3.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (94 customer reviews)

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Book Description

April 1, 2004
It is May 1943. On the remote island of Bougainville, in the South Pacific, a squad of United States Marines beats their way through the thick jungle. They’ve landed to do battle with the Japanese soldiers on the island, but in short order, they begin to realize that the forbidding battleground holds an ancient secret a hundred times more terrifying than any enemy army---especially when they start finding the bodies.

Flash-forward to July 2008. In the slums---and the skyscrapers---of Boston, a new kind of depraved serial killer is stalking human prey and terrifying the city. The bodies have been found posed and mutilated in bizarre ways that the two police officers in charge of the case have never seen before---and never want to see again. Are the two scenarios connected?

Detectives Jefferson and Brogan have no idea that to solve the biggest case of their careers, their investigation must take them around the world and through time and history---from a mysterious salvaged submarine with a shocking secret, to an inhumane prison where the inmates are even more scared than usual of “the Pit,”and finally back to the beginning: the sinister island in the South Seas where something inhuman has been biding its time

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Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

Saving Private Ryan meets Alien in Delaney's tense and involving first novel, a hybrid that transcends its several genres. In the deadly jungles of the Pacific Theatre in 1943, young Private Eric Davis sees something "long and squirming" burst out of the stomach of a dead soldier. Davis is picked up by a ship, the Gallo, which is promptly shelled and sent to the bottom. Flash forward to the year 2007: Pierre Devereaux, a Jacques Cousteau type, is directing an undersea documentary when he discovers the wreck of the Gallo. Not surprisingly, Devereaux's assistants are horrified when they see Davis's corpse banging its head insistently against the window of their sub. A year after the Gallo is brought back to Boston, a series of murders begins to plague the city. In their hunt for the killer, Det. Will Jefferson and his partners Brogan and Watson gradually realize they are up against something both inhuman and amazingly old, with incredible will and enormous power. Delaney knows how to generate chills and suspense like few other new authors in recent memory. A page-turner if ever there was one, this mystery-horror thriller (with a soupcon of SF) achieves a wholly convincing aura of terrifying antiquity.
Copyright 2003 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

From Booklist

Someone--or something--is terrorizing Boston, leaving a trail of horribly mutilated bodies and cryptic epigrams in its wake. The first victim is the scion of Joseph Lyerman, an eccentric philanthropist who is strangely unmoved by his son's brutal death. Detectives Jefferson and Brogan are at first stymied by the gruesome murder spree, but as the body count rises, so do some pressing questions. Why is Lyerman so obsessed with excavating a sunken World War II submarine? What is his connection with the notorious Blade Prison? And why have Jefferson and Brogan started having flashbacks to their military service in Bosnia? Delaney's pace is breathless. If there are a few holes--would the Boston Police Department really send a detective to Russia as part of a homicide investigation? Shouldn't Brogan and Jefferson occasionally report to headquarters?--they don't amount to much when the story is this engrossing. Macabre touches and canny plot twists will gratify horror fans, and the whodunit element will attract mystery readers as well. Movie rights sold to Touchstone. Meredith Parets
Copyright © American Library Association. All rights reserved --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

Product Details

  • Paperback: 560 pages
  • Publisher: St. Martin's Griffin (April 1, 2004)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0312327056
  • ISBN-13: 978-0312327057
  • Product Dimensions: 5.5 x 1.2 x 8.5 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.1 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 3.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (94 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #2,735,419 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
17 of 18 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Captivating book, detracting errors April 29, 2003
By A Customer
Format:Hardcover
This novel is great; well-written, tight, intelligent, and creepy in the best sense. It is a terrible shame that it is also one of the most poorly edited books I've run across. In addition to the missing articles, hanging sentences, dropped plots, and poor spelling, there are content errors as well. A small example comes in the opening pages: chimpanzees are apes, not monkeys. And this point is moot anyway, since they live only in Africa, and not Southeast Asia. It's as jarring as describing polar bears roaming freely around Arizona. I do not hold Mr. Delaney responsible; the onus for professional editing rests squarely with St. Martin's Press. Delaney's fine work deserved better than it got, and here's hoping these errors are corrected by the time the paperback comes out. Grit your teeth and read this book anyway, it's well worth it.
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9 of 10 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars I can't wait for his next book March 27, 2003
By A Customer
Format:Hardcover
This is one of the best books I have ever read, and I read a lot of books. I couldn't put it down and was late for a lot of things during the time I read it.
Its a combination of thriller and mystery. The research in past times and places is very thorough and added a lot to the book for me. There is a romance, but it isn't gooey and it works into the overall resolution of the story.
I don't usually recommend books, films or CDs as much of what I like others might not. However, I would recommend this book to anyone who isn't faint of heart and likes a good mystery\thriller. If Mr. Delaney hasn't sold it to the films yet, he will. However, don't wait for the movie, read the book.
And, I can't wait for his next book.
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19 of 24 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A New Voice That's Here To Stay... February 25, 2003
Format:Hardcover
As a rule, novelists are a generous breed.
We tend to welcome, with open arms, any new author who emerges in our midst -- especially when he's young and good looking, fresh from an Ivy League college, in possession of a multi-book, major-house publishing contract, has had a glowing review in People Magazine, and already has inked a profitable movie deal.
In such cases, we graciously stand aside, smiling and nodding and adding our applause to that of the literary/cultural world at large.
Uh-huh. Of course we do. And did I mention that what we write is fiction?
Well, in JINN, his debut novel, Matthew B. J. Delaney is sure to infuriate a great number of us suddenly-aging authors; though uneven in parts, JINN is that good.
JINN is a hybrid, an ambitious blending of several genres. It incorporates elements of science fiction, suspense and police-procedural into a sprawling story of an ancient horror arising to stalk the modern world.
In his writing, Delaney skillfully utilizes imagery that has become ingrained into popular culture. His opening scenes --of a bloody World War II amphibious landing by Marines in the face of withering fire from Japanese defenders-- will be particularly horrific and vivid in the mind's-eye of many readers, in part because it draws so effectively upon Steven Spielberg's similar opening in the film Saving Private Ryan.
In much the same way, Delaney crafts the post-invasion sequences so as to chillingly lead the reader to superimpose the jungle-manhunt scenes from the movie Predator, though Delaney delivers here in a far more effective way.
Read more ›
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars a reader from nahant, mass. March 2, 2003
Format:Hardcover
A Great Read, combination of Straub, Cannell and King. poignant and forceful narrative gives a strong urgency to the narrative. I finished the novel in two pleasant sittings. Mr Delaney's salient observations and strong story line leaves me eagerly awaiting his next tome. I felt the chapterless format a bold leap forward from such a young author. May this be e pluribus unum.
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24 of 31 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A New Voice, Here To Stay... March 1, 2003
Format:Hardcover
As a rule, novelists are a generous breed.
We tend to welcome, with open arms, any new author who emerges in our midst -- especially when he's young and good looking, fresh from an Ivy League college, in possession of a multi-book, major-house publishing contract, has had a glowing review in People Magazine, and already has inked a profitable movie deal.
In such cases, we graciously stand aside, smiling and nodding and adding our applause to that of the literary/cultural world at large.
Uh-huh. Of course we do. And did I mention that what we write is fiction?
Well, in JINN, his debut novel, Matthew B. J. Delaney is sure to infuriate a great number of us suddenly-aging authors; though uneven in parts, JINN is that good.
JINN is a hybrid, an ambitious blending of several genres. It incorporates elements of science fiction, suspense and police-procedural into a sprawling story of an ancient horror arising to stalk the modern world.
In his writing, Delaney skillfully utilizes imagery that has become ingrained into popular culture. His opening scenes --of a bloody World War II amphibious landing by Marines in the face of withering fire from Japanese defenders-- will be particularly horrific and vivid in the mind's-eye of many readers, in part because it draws so effectively upon Steven Spielberg's similar opening in the film Saving Private Ryan.
In much the same way, Delaney crafts the post-invasion sequences so as to chillingly lead the reader to superimpose the jungle-manhunt scenes from the movie Predator, though Delaney delivers here in a far more effective way.
Read more ›
Comment | 
Was this review helpful to you?
Most Recent Customer Reviews
4.0 out of 5 stars Four Stars
Interesting reading, recommend
Published 7 months ago by Charles Jensen
5.0 out of 5 stars NIGHTMARISH AND THOROUGHLY ENTERTAINING....,
I read this book when it was first published and I am surprised by some of the negative feedback written here. Read more
Published on January 25, 2012 by Laura
2.0 out of 5 stars Disappointing book. Read more like a rough draft, than finished novel
Jinn, has some promise, but there are so many writing errors, that the reading is tough. Many times, I felt like I was reading a rough draft. Read more
Published on November 4, 2011 by John Thornton
2.0 out of 5 stars I can't read this..
After squinting my way through a third of this book, I had to throw in the towel. A font that size is usually reserved for Dickens' "literature" and other dry, college textbooks. Read more
Published on June 24, 2010 by IzzyReal
5.0 out of 5 stars A page turner!!!
One of the best book I have read. If you like thriller and mystery, this is a book for you.
Published on December 13, 2008 by Bookaholic
4.0 out of 5 stars Most enjoyable read. Comments on some specifics.
I write this review hoping to reach Mr. Delaney and, should I have the good fortune, elicit his response (as I have been unable to find ways to reach him via on-line means). Read more
Published on December 31, 2007 by Ramses Rodriguez F.
5.0 out of 5 stars Jinn--good scarry ---
I read this in hardback , been looking for another in this genre and as good by this author but so far nada.
Published on December 17, 2007 by Amazon Customer
3.0 out of 5 stars The three stars are only for the first half of the book.
This book had me excited in the beginning and then had me skipping ahead at the end just to get it over with! Read more
Published on January 29, 2007 by Tia Goodman
1.0 out of 5 stars starts off great then dies, last 30 pages= blech!
This book really had me interested for the first half. I didnt mind when it changed from a war book to a murder investigation but I did notice many inconsistencies and several... Read more
Published on November 4, 2006 by R. Leach
1.0 out of 5 stars Was there an editor, or any research done?
This author needs an editor, badly. I put this book down in frustration after 121 pages. First of all, he mentions the Battleship Missouri as being active in 1943, the ship's keel... Read more
Published on July 21, 2006 by Loves to read
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Jinn: A Novel
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