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On Edge Mass Market Paperback – November 26, 2002

5 out of 5 stars 6 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

Konstantin Slovo, a Chicago cop with a dark past and an even darker attitude, gets swept up in the investigation of several child murders when he visits the eerie town of Brimsport, Maine, in Fister's unsettling debut. Upon arriving in the coastal town, a vacationing Slovo is promptly handcuffed and shuffled downtown to answer questions concerning a recent abduction. He's just as quickly released when the local police chief learns he's a cop, but his subsequent discovery of the child's mutilated remains and a flare-up of a recent injury lead him to linger in town for a while. The chief's daughter, Ruth, and Hari Chakravarty, the doctor who treats him in the hospital, befriend him and fill him in on Brimsport's sordid past-which involves previous incidents of child molestation and ritualistic abuse-but this information hardly prepares him for the life-threatening investigation that follows. The brutal nature of the crimes will weed out the faint of heart, but Fister wisely refrains from sensationalizing her subject matter. Though Slovo isn't the most personable protagonist, his hard-edged personality suits the story's serious atmosphere and grim intensity.
Copyright 2002 Reed Business Information, Inc.

From the Inside Flap

Konstantin Slovo knows his way through the dark. He knows what it's like to live on the edge--of tragedy, of sanity, of humanity. A Chicago cop, Slovo's own life had come violently apart with the shooting death of his partner. Here on the picture-perfect Maine coast, he thought he could outrun his past. But amid the crying of gulls, he has found something even worse.

Twenty years ago in Brimsport, Maine, police investigated a ring of sexual predators--and left behind a town seething in secrets and rage. Now children are disappearing from Brimsport--in ways that buckle the knees of hardened investigators...and plunge the town back into a nightmare. Now Slovo, a man who's already seen too much, must peer into the darkness of a town torn apart by fear...to glimpse the secrets in the shadows--the glitter in a killer's eyes.


Product Details

  • Mass Market Paperback: 288 pages
  • Publisher: Dell (November 26, 2002)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0440237513
  • ISBN-13: 978-0440237518
  • Product Dimensions: 4.2 x 0.7 x 6.9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 5.6 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (6 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #4,193,389 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

A native of Madison, Wisconsin, I've lived in Kentucky, Texas, the Middle East, North Africa, and on the coast of Maine. Now I live in rural Minnesota, where I work as an academic librarian at a liberal arts college. My research interests are wide, not to say idiosyncratic, but they all have to do, one way or another, with how various media shape our understanding of the world. I'm particularly interested in the role of anxiety in the formation of social issues - in life and in fiction. I explore the way communities sometimes embrace oversimplified expanations for evil in On Edge and how anxiety becomes a device for the suppression of dissent in In the Wind.

Good crime fiction is immensely satisfying. It's entertaining, has well-paced, involving stories and intriguing characters. It provides that little rush of adrenaline - which, as Val McDermid has said, is "a fabulous drug. It produces a great high, it's legal and it's free." For many readers, crime fiction is reassuring because in the end order is restored. But the best crime fiction does more than reassure. It helps form our understanding of social issues, and by drawing us into an exploration of that which disturbs us, it can give our deepest fears narrative form and meaning.

The photo of me was taken by author Mark Coggins at LCC Denver and is used with his blessing. You'll find some of his fine photography adorning his equally accomplished mysteries.

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Format: Mass Market Paperback
Traveling while on leave after being injured in the line of duty, Chicago cop Konstantin Slovo finds himself drawn into the investigation of a serial killer who is preying on children in a small Maine town, first by being picked up as a suspect, then being grudgingly consulted by the local PD. Slovo finds himself torn between wanting to help and wanting to get out of town as fast as he can, a decision made more complicated by the wildly varied reactions (suspicion, hatred, friendship, both professional jealousy and admiration) he receives from the locals. In the end Slovo finds that confronting the town's demons is the only way he will be able to move on and confront his own.

I found the writing to be refreshingly "real" and straightforward; all the people have believable reasons for their behavior and motivations, things don't always go well for the "hero", and there are no wild caricatures or stereotypes to be found.

Second book (not a sequel) from author is "In the Wind" (ISBN 0312374917).
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By A Customer on January 18, 2003
Format: Mass Market Paperback
In detective Konstantin Slovo, Barbara Fister has created an interesting off-center character, one whom I hope will appear in sequels. One of the joys of reading mysteries is that of observing someone who thinks differently from the way we usually do, in a way that inspires us to want to observe things more carefully (a la Sherlock Holmes) or to perceive human motivations less naively--and more realistically--than we customarily do (a la any of the hardboiled private eyes). Detective Slovo offers what I found to be a fascinating variation: he has an ability, displayed repeatedly, to adapt himself to the worldviews and emotional concerns and priorities of the people surrounding him, the better to draw out from them, as a kindred spirit, information they'd never volunteer to anyone who wasn't immediately perceived as being on their own psychological wavelength. (I wish I were as articulate in describing this as Fister is in demonstrating it!) It's something we can see him doing after he's already into the process--that is, after he's picked up on the "signs" the other character are giving him, in a way that you or I would have overlooked to begin with. This chameleon adaptation ability is the kind of thing that left me wishing, "Gee--I wish I could do that, and maybe I really _could_ if I were just more perceptive to other people's little signals"--analogous to the resolutions one forms after reading a Sherlock Holmes story. That result, to me, is the prime mark of an interesting detective--about whom I wish to read more. I am not, however, doing justice to Fister's detective in reducing him to this one remarkable trait, for this book is much more of a novel, a literary work with real insights into the dark regions of human character, than your basic "paperback mystery.Read more ›
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By A Customer on November 30, 2002
Format: Mass Market Paperback
This is a graphic and spell binding mystery of the search for a child killer in a small town which is still reeling from past pedophilia scandal. The main character is a gritty, seasoned detective, with realistic flaws and foibles. Unexpectedly caught up in a race to catch and stop the killer, he struggles with his own demons and the demons of the townspeople as their fear and anger drives them to turn on each other and the detective trying to help them. The twists and turns of the plot are engrossing and surprising. It is a great read!
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