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Terry Rich Hartley
4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (22 customer reviews)

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Book Description

Two power driven women with vastly different careers share one thing in common: kidnappers have ripped the fabric of their families. State Attorney General Carrie Sullivan-Bledsoe's son, Bobby, disappeared after baseball practice. Tabloid mogul Aubrey Allbright learns that her niece, Caylee, was snatched from Aubrey's mountain cabin. The crimes appear to be unconnected at first, but evidence soon suggests related psychopathic serial killers are involved, and that is the worst possible news for the hostages.
Investigative duo Gus Bolderjack and Mattie Hendrix race against time to rescue the kids, and quickly become targets themselves. If that’s not bad enough, they find themselves in a universe ruled by political ambition and double-dealing characters, including those they're trying to help. Treachery, greed, criminal psychology, and tabloid journalism fuel this adrenalin-pumping story from beginning to the end.

Editorial Reviews


. . . if his other books are as creatively gruesome and spine-tinglingly frightening as this one, then we have a literary Hannibal Lector on our hands. Writing of this caliber can either drive readers away in horror or pull them in like a seductive potion that drips into the psyche until the last page. Grady Harp, Amazon Vine Voice™ Reviewer.

From the Inside Flap

Raol's emotions were on a rollercoaster. Cognitively, he'd coax his emotions into a neutral to pleasant pattern, selling himself on the idea that being isolated and alone made him tough and flexible like a willow, and therefore able to weave himself into the fabric of humanity. He had money, transportation, sagacity, and an uncanny ability to change looks. Maybe it was time for some rest and relaxation in a Mexican resort, or perhaps the Mediterranean. He could make new contacts, consolidate his thoughts, and return one day for payback. Somewhere deep inside, though, a ghost worked at the root of his most negative emotions. Envy thrived like puncture vine, slithering along the ground, growing thorns to poke everything that grew higher, closer to the sun. Greed consumed him. It wasn't greed for money or material goods; it was greed for pure power over others. But, more than anything, fear ate at him like cancer. Nothing scared him more than irrelevancy. Better to be infamous, he thought, than irrelevant. Better to be known as a merciless killer than as a nothing burger. And that was bad for Amaya Esquival. Horribly bad.

Product Details

  • File Size: 826 KB
  • Print Length: 289 pages
  • Sold by: Amazon Digital Services, Inc.
  • Language: English
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Word Wise: Not Enabled
  • Lending: Enabled
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #896,506 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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Customer Reviews

4.3 out of 5 stars
4.3 out of 5 stars
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews
4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
Two thumbs up to Terry Rich Hartley! I absolutely loved this book! I recommend it to anyone who loves a good thriller! There are plenty of characters in this story you are sure to connect with at least one!

I love that there are "strong" women in this book, a few times Mattie even made me laugh! Because Gus is a ex-profiler this reminds me of Criminal Minds (tv show) probably why I was so captivated from the very start. I love how there is a twist (although it's given away on the back cover, "Gus is late to discover that the kids are bait and he's the target of two gruesome serial killers sharing a thirst for vengence".
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A Killer Thriller - Superbly Done September 17, 2013
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
If the title alone doesn't snare you, then the first five pages will, holding you in place just as the octopus hook pierces the palate of the book's first gruesome victim. I am not one for thrillers, but the title intrigued me, and the writing from the very first sequence was clearly done by an author who knows how to weave a story, and draw a reader in. The writing style is raw, violent, and meticulously crafted to suck a reader into a visceral world of the grotesque minds of twisted serial killers, and the brilliant perceptions of those who hunt them. It took a while for the heart of the story to develop, but the vignettes built the tension to a fever pitch before I'd even been reading for 30 minutes.

From there, the book only gets better, and with the introduction of Moe and Mattie, Hartley makes it very clear that he not only understands human nature, but can translate genuine interaction and emotion onto the page in a way that makes us believe him. Nothing felt contrived, or like it was deliberate exposition. Hartley expected certain things like allusions to previous cases and personal relationships to be almost immediately understood, and he has a talent for showing rather than telling, which in this gruesome and twisted novel that only gets more complicated as you move forward, is essential to get the full impact of the events.

Although I haven't read Hartley's other work, I certainly will now, since I imagine that they will be just as well-crafted, gripping, and sincerely terrifying to warrant a daytime read in a well-lit room. This is the mastery of language that books should be written with, and the creativity to entangle a plot so deeply that a reader has no choice but to forge ahead, playing detective and psycho whisperer all at the same time. A fantastic achievement. Well done.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars SPELL-BINDING ROLLER-COASTER RIDE TO THE VERY END! September 1, 2013
Absolutely loved the book! Terry Rich Hartley's ability to create and develop a story which so deftly describes the methods and lengths at which the criminally insane will go, is without a doubt, unequivocal. This isn't one of those books you can put down and not think about. It is a very gripping must-read story! Reading this novel was truly a `five star', spell-binding roller coaster ride! I look forward to more Gus Bolderjack stories in the offing....
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars An Informed Psychological Thriller September 14, 2013
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
Terry Rich Hartley comes to his consistently strange quality of writing of terrifying thrillers with a background as a professor of psychology, a research psychologist, and a keen eyed journalist who likely has witnessed horrors akin to the ones he creates in his novels. THE OCTOPUS HOOK MURDERS is his eighth book, and if his other books are as creatively gruesome and spine-tinglingly frightening as this one, then we have a literary Hannibal Lector on our hands. Writing of this caliber can either drive readers away in horror of pull them in like a seductive potion that drips into the psyche until the last page.

The title of the book comes from an actual `sports tool': a size 7/0 fishhook with an extra large gap between its shank and tip, and known specifically as an octopus hook. And it is with this contraption that Hartley hooks us into the story in the first pages. The manner in which he describes the first work of horror - the kidnapping of Bobby, the Attorney General's son, by a fat man who offers him a late night lift, only to transport Bobby to a hidden destination where fat man, Bobby and Beard man concoct a gruesome version of sexual deviation (hanging Bobby by an orally place octopus hook along side the erotically charged fat man who needs added suspended by the neck pre-orgasmic asphyxiation before penetrating the boy) that leads to a murder of one of the two suspended participants. With that degree of imaginative horror Hartley introduces psychotherapist Dr. Augustus Bolderjack, a serial killer profiler who baits serial killers into stalking him, and then snares them by hook or by crook. Bolderjack enters the case described, only to find that Bobby is bait and he's actually the target of two sadistic serial killers sharing goals and a thirst for revenge.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
I'll let the book description speak for itself, but will add how pleasant it is to find such strong women characters. Special Agent Mattie Hendrix is a hoot as well as tough as nails; Dr. Janice Conway is beautiful, self-reliant, and secretly dangerous; and both Carrie Sullivan-Bledsoe and Aubrey Allbright make Dallas' J. R. Ewing look like a nice little kitty cat. The killers in this story are creepy and their mental derangements are well defined. The main character, Gus Bolderjack, could be a creation of John Sandford if Sandford wrote about psychologists instead of cops. I hope Bolderjack becomes the center of a series. Well written. Strong language. Not for the faint of heart.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
3.0 out of 5 stars Equal parts James Elroy, Stieg Larsson, and Stephen King
The title of this one intrigued me right from the start. Being a long-time horror fan, I'm always interested to know what the contemporaries are up to. Read more
Published 16 months ago by Ruby Dynamite
4.0 out of 5 stars Psycho-thriller that keeps you turning the pages
"The Octopus Hook Murders" one of those books where you don't realize how much you have read until you reach the next chapter. Read more
Published 16 months ago by lroger
5.0 out of 5 stars Well written, recommended
I often think of prose as poetry, as the flow of sentences create a melody only my eyes can hear. This story satisfies that desire completely. Read more
Published 16 months ago by Stephen V. Seebaran
3.0 out of 5 stars Gruesome and Bold
This book posed a bit of a conundrum for me; Hardley has a bold, vivid writing style, and he uses it to create compelling women characters, which are not the norm in this kind of... Read more
Published 16 months ago by E A Fow
4.0 out of 5 stars You'll be "Hooked" "Eight" ways from Sunday! #badwordplay
We are in Generation Remix, whether you like it or not. People like things that they like, but they LOVE things that are like a bunch of things they like. Read more
Published 16 months ago by Owen Robinson
4.0 out of 5 stars A Gruesome and Gripping Thrill Ride
This was one of the more shocking novels I've read in a while, not because the plot was so extreme, but because the writing was so intensely graphic and brutal. Read more
Published 16 months ago by Veritas Vincit
5.0 out of 5 stars Suspense and action until the very end
Gus Bolderjack is a psychotherapist with panache for getting into the minds of serial killers and bringing them to justice. Read more
Published 16 months ago by Karma
5.0 out of 5 stars Serial thriller!
The Octopus Hook Murders is a suspenseful murder mystery that will surprise you to the end. Gus Bolderjack is a psychotherapist and expert profiler drawn to serial killers and... Read more
Published 16 months ago by Brian
5.0 out of 5 stars The Ocopus Hook Murders
Loved the story and loved the characters. I didn't like the murders, but that's me. I love the television show Criminal Minds, but I hate the very beginning of each episode because... Read more
Published 16 months ago by Gerri Bowen
2.0 out of 5 stars Disappointing for me
I received a complimentary copy of The Octopus Hook Murders in exchange for an honest review. I've delayed posting this review in the hopes that the passage of time might make me... Read more
Published 17 months ago by Steve in Scottsdale
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More About the Author

Dr. Terry Rich Hartley has served "hard time" as a research psychologist, psychology professor, and award-winning newspaper journalist. He naturally brings psychological principles to fiction and is the author of The Scythe of God, The Octopus Hook Murders, Armageddon Yellowstone: Hell Unleashed, Paranoia on River Road, The Ditchrider's Daughter, Whisper, Whisper II, and House of Matches. More works by this author can be found on Amazon Books as well as at

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