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The Cat Dancers: A Novel Hardcover – November 29, 2005

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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 341 pages
  • Publisher: St. Martin's Press; 1st edition (November 29, 2005)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0312333773
  • ISBN-13: 978-0312333775
  • Product Dimensions: 6.2 x 1.2 x 9.5 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.2 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 4.1 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (46 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #722,963 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

Starred Review. Deutermann's first chapter features the eponymous, anonymous cat dancer as he rappels down a cliff in the dead of night, swings into the cave of a 200-pound female mountain lion and snaps a picture of the enraged beast as she attempts to disembowel him. The scene then shifts to a pair of thugs, who, while attempting to rob a gas station minimart, shoot the Pakistani owner and cause a fire that incinerates a young soccer mom and her child. The scumbag perps skate on a technicality when judge Annie Bellamy points out they were never read their rights before confessing. That Deutermann (Firefly; Darkside) is able to fuse these two disparate plots is testament to his well-drawn characters, intelligent, realistic dialogue and top-notch writing. Lt. Cam Richter, of the Manceford County, N.C., Sheriff's Office, is in charge of the minimart case, which becomes much more complicated after he receives an e-mail attachment that shows one of the two freed killers, K-dog Simmonds, being electrocuted in what is clearly a home-made electric chair. Cam is soon headed into the backcountry of the Great Smoky Mountains on the trail of both a nest of vigilante killers and the elusive, possibly apocryphal Eastern mountain lion. Petrified readers will be checking under the bed and in the closets for any panthers that may have crept inside while they were glued to the pages. (Dec.)
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.


"A spellbinding novel of suspense…quite possibly his best."
--Nelson DeMille
"Gripping. . .Original and intense."
--Book Page
"Full of suprises...keeps you reading past your bed time."
--Charlotte Observer

Customer Reviews

My only problem is that the ending was not that satisfying.
Fred Rayworth
I read this book, but have listened to several of Deutermann's previous books on CD.
Michael D. Trimble
The suspense is constant and plenty of action keeps the reader glued to the pages.

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

17 of 19 people found the following review helpful By Jerry Saperstein HALL OF FAMETOP 500 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on January 2, 2006
Format: Hardcover
How's this for a hobby: swinging on a wire with hundreds of feet of air under you, trying to get a close-up photograph of a mountain lion? Deutermann starts off with a bang. And then he rachets up the suspense with a strict judge letting two confessed murderers off on a technicality. The victim's relatives aren't pleased and neither are the cops. The husband of one victim strikes Sheriff's Lt. Cam Richter as a bit too wound up.

Cam thinks of this when one of the two murderers us the subject of a video showing him being electrocuted. The other murderer disappears shortly thereafter.

Enter the FBI and the beautiful Indian computer whiz. Soon there's a theory that the vigilantes might be cops. The case takes on an added dimension when the liberal judge literally explodes. Oh, her honor happens to be Cam's ex-wife.

Deutermann constructs a Byzantine plot with lots of twists and turns. Too many in fact. Anticlimax after anticlimax is reached. Expectations are heightened, only to be dashed.

In short, Deutermann goes on for about 50 more pages than he needed to, robbing what could have been a great story of its full power. By the time the last page is reached, this reader had lost interest. Worse yet, Deutermann seems to be setting things up for a sequel.

Deutermann's characters don't have a lot fo depth, but that's fine for most of the book, because he keeps the story moving quickly with lots of action. But by the time you reach the point where the story should end, you're asking yourself "what is wrong with these people?"

"Cat Dancers" is far from a bad read, but Deutermann or his editor should have cut the last 50 pages or so. It would have made this good read a great one.

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10 of 11 people found the following review helpful By Gail Cooke HALL OF FAMETOP 500 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on November 29, 2005
Format: Audio CD
Being an audio book fan I'm always on the alert for a new release by a favored author or voice performer. When two favorites are paired it's a sure to be a hit with me! That's the case with "The Cat Dancers" by P.T. Deutermann as read by Dick Hill.

Dubbed a Golden Voice by AudioFile Magazine, Hill has been quoted as saying that he "takes a visual approach to narrating books," picturing scenes in his mind's eye. What a task that must have been when one thinks of the terrifying scenes in a wild mountain area where protagonist Cam Richter faces down a group that courts danger. Whatever his method, Hill delivers a spine tingling narrative, paced to leave listeners hanging on his every syllable.

It's a gripping story Deutermann has penned, not a pretty one. Citizens of a peaceful North Carolina town have seldom seen such a heinous crime - a gas station attendant is murdered as his station is robbed and the thieves also kill innocent people who were filling up their minivan. It's not long before officials have the murderous pair in custody. However, the shocker is when a judge releases them because they weren't read their rights.

It's not long before someone takes justice into his own hands. Richter and Sheriff Bobby Baggett are already under the gun, feeling pressure from relatives of the victims and townspeople alike. Then, an email arrives which directs them to a video showing one of the murderers being killed in a home-style execution. The video concludes with "That's one."

How many psychopaths are Richter and Baggett up against? Answers are found in the aforementioned wild mountain area.

Terrific thriller - exciting listening.

- Gail Cooke
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12 of 14 people found the following review helpful By Stephen Fleming on June 6, 2006
Format: Hardcover
First off, I *love* P.T. Deutermann's books. I have every one of them, most in hardback, and I have re-read several.

This one just infuriated me. The plot requires that three -- THREE -- incredibly unlikely coincidences occur, and no one NOTICES any of them.

To me, an author is allowed ONE such millions-to-one coincidence, as long as he or she notices it. "Of all the gin joints in all the towns in all the world, she walks into mine"... and you get "Casablanca." But to have THREE pass by with all the actors being oblivious... it becomes apparent that the author is just reaching into a bag and pulling out what he needs to advance the action. Then you add in the superfluous author-inflicted torture-puzzle at the end and... feh. I was ready for the book to be done. Which I've NEVER thought about any Deutermann before.

I gave it three stars because Deutermann is incapable of writing badly... but, oh, I wish he had diagrammed out his plot and noticed how often it required a miracle to occur...
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8 of 9 people found the following review helpful By Fast Eddie on November 29, 2006
Format: Hardcover
Deutermann is an excellent writer and I have enjoyed every one of his books. This story kept me reading long after I should have turned out the light and called it a day. Once, an author wrote, "I don't write pages that people don't read." Long boring descriptions of things incidental to the story fall in this category. Some of the descriptions of the river, the wilderness and the trips getting there at times weary the reader. I guess my biggest complaint with the story was the ending. Too many loose ends. Another chapter on Cam & Mary Ellen getting together maybe 6 months later, the wrap-up by the Feds on all of the Cat Dancers, and the aprehension of the computer wizard Jay Kay would have put it to rest. The dogs in the story were a great addition.
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