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Mantis (Fogarty-Tanaka Series Book 1) [Kindle Edition]

Richard La Plante
4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (11 customer reviews)

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The Good Girl by Mary Kubica
Discover an addictive, suspenseful debut thriller filled with twists and turns that will keep you engrossed from start to finish. Learn more

Book Description

In recent weeks, three young women have been brutally assaulted and murdered in the city of Philadelphia. Lt. William Fogarty, a time-toughened cop, hardened by personal tragedy, is shocked by the brutality of the crimes. His only lead comes from medical examiner Josef Tanaka. Half Japanese and half American, Tanaka, a skilled practitioner of the martial arts, claims to recognize the method used in the attacks: a karate strike known as nukite, or spear hand. Fogarty has nowhere else to turn.

An unlikely combination, Fogarty and Tanaka, forced together by circumstance and neither completely trusting the other, they conduct a desperate hunt, trawling the city streets of Philadelphia and into the dangerous underbelly of the killing arts.

Pursuing the Mantis, a creature who uses the flesh of his victims in a sadistic, macabre ritual of self-purification, while Fogarty and Tanaka endanger the lives of those closest to them as they inch perilously close to the precipice of their own worst fears and weaknesses.

Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

Philadelphia is plagued by a series of psychosexual killings that will repulse and engross readers of this slightly over-the-edge thriller about a martial artist gone mad. Scruffy homicide Lt. Bill Fogarty gets nowhere on the case until smooth Joey Tanaka, a young half-American assistant medical examiner (and All-Japan Championship karate finalist), identifies wounds on an art student/stripper victim as typical of Praying Mantis Kung Fu--a karate style based on the insect's attack moves. La Plante's unbalanced half-Vietnamese villain seeks perfection by mimicking the mantis's deadly mating ritual: he sexually attacks his victims, male and female, before savagely doing them in. A police sketch of the killer resembles Tanaka, which worries Fogarty. Then the killer ruthlessly batters Fogarty and kidnaps Tanaka's lover, Rachel--raising the stakes. La Plante flirts with the supernatural when Tanaka's relationship with the killer leads to a final face-off. The mixed ethnic cast reads true--if somewhat stereotyped--in this Bruce-Lee-meets-city-cop adventure. The author, who is married to Lynda La Plante, creator of the Prime Suspect series for PBS, has previously published several books in the U.K. Major ad/promo.
Copyright 1993 Reed Business Information, Inc.

From Library Journal

A police lieutenant and a forensic pathologist hunt a serial killer. Both men are haunted by guilt: the doctor accidentally crippled his brother in a karate tournament, and the lieutenant killed his beloved wife and daughter by driving drunk. The killer, warped by childhood abuse, seeks to achieve a higher plane of existence in an Oriental discipline based on the hunting technique of the praying mantis. He has been honing his skills on his victims but realizes that his own death will release him; he sees the doctor as his means to that end. The doctor realizes that he, too, has been courting death, and that his confrontation with the killer will force him to decide whether to live or die. Given the killer's desire for death and the doctor's revelation that he wants to live, the final showdown in this novel holds no surprises. It offers none of the strengths of, say, Thomas Harris's fiction: the fascinating minutiae of police procedural work, the twists in plot, the depth of character. Recommended only where demand for the serial - killer novel is insatiable and undiscriminating.
- A.M.B. Amantia, Population Action International Lib., Washington, D.C.
Copyright 1993 Reed Business Information, Inc.

Product Details

  • File Size: 447 KB
  • Print Length: 352 pages
  • Publisher: Escargot Books Online Ltd.; 2 edition (March 27, 2012)
  • Sold by: Amazon Digital Services, Inc.
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B007PG26IG
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
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  • Lending: Enabled
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #590,430 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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Customer Reviews

4.6 out of 5 stars
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews
10 of 10 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Fear the Mantis June 12, 2007
"Mantis" by Richard La Plante is aptly named. The serial killer in this top notch mystery/thriller is an out of control martial artist that uses his pure mantis style martial arts to maim and then to sexually deposit his human "half" in the bodies of his victims before killing them.

This is the first of the Joey Tanaka/Bill Fogerty novels novels by La Plante, and in my opinion the best. What makes this novel particularly interesting (besides the obvious serial killer/martial arts hook) is that the three main characters (Tanaka, Fogerty and the Mantis) are all deeply scarred, damaged human beings. Josef Tanaka, half Japanese, half American coroner is tortured by the fact that he was directly responsible for the crippling of his older brother in the All Japan Karate Tournament. Detective Bill Fogerty's wife and daughter were killed in a firey car the detective feels responsible for. Fogerty himself was burned on one side of his face and wears his scars as a sign of his guilt. The "Mantis" was the product of an upbringing in which he was humiliated and sexually tortured; leaving him emotionally and physically scarred. Each man attempts to find his way past their own suffering: Tanaka and Fogerty in the service of justice and the Mantis in the service of death as a way to transcend the humanity that he hates so much.

"Mantis" is a tightly knit thriller that fans of "Silence of the Lambs" will find satisfying and enjoyable. It's also a great character study detailing the lives of three men and their seperate responses to the pain and tragedy in their lives.
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9 of 9 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars PLEASE MAKE THIS A MOVIE! June 18, 2009
Hello ,this is a very special book ,my kung fu teacher turned me on to it ,while i was learning praying mantis kung fu from him ,and i gotta tell you ,this is a great book! seriously this book needs the big time hollywood treatment all the way ,please guillermo del toro ,sam raimi ,quentin tarantino ,eli roth ,or rob zombie ,please oh please make a movie out of this book ,it would be so much better than so many movies that have been made ,it would be very similar to hannibal ,or wow it is very hard to copare this to any movie out there ,what a great story .
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5 of 6 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Mantis Richard La Plante May 30, 2012
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
Well written and arresting but I would not recommend this book for emotionally well balanced people. It makes Silence of the Lambs look like a fairy tale.
Reminds me of Von Lustbader's earlier works. Graphic violence, raw sex,serial killer all adds up to a read which keeps you to the end in order to find out what happens to the sicko protaganist.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Genius December 5, 2012
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
If you love a story that makes you wonder what kind of mind could dream this stuff up. This is definitely is a dream come true, I really loved this book. Can't wait for many more in this series of characters. I feel as if I know what these characters look like, very descriptive writing loved it.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Held my attention November 26, 2012
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
Character development was well done. The story moved at a good pace and had several clever twists. A fun read.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Philly Monster March 19, 2014
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
I enjoyed the martial arts, Zen, the detectives, and the murder and mayhem. I really liked that it all took place in my backyard, Philly and Camden.
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More About the Author

Richard LaPlante has been writing professionally since 1987 and has published eight crime fiction novels and three memoirs. With degrees in psychology and literature, he combines his longtime study of Japanese martial arts with his interest in metaphysics to create spine-tingling thrillers. He also loves Harley-Davidsons and will be re-issuing his two motorcycle memoirs. He lives in the mountains of Ojai, CA and has recently founded an independent publishing company, Escargot Books, where he blogs regularly.
You can find also Richard on Facebook and on Twitter

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