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The Dead Letters [Kindle Edition]

Tom Piccirilli
3.9 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (20 customer reviews)

Print List Price: $5.99
Kindle Price: $5.12
You Save: $0.87 (15%)
Sold by: Random House LLC

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Book Description

BONUS: This edition contains an excerpt from Tom Piccirilli's The Last Kind Words.

Five years ago, Eddie Whitt’s daughter Sarah became the victim of a serial killer known as Killjoy, and Whitt vowed to hunt him down—no matter what the cost. But the police have given up. And Killjoy has stopped killing…and in some bizarre act of repentance has begun kidnapping abused infants and leaving them with the parents of his original victims.

The only clues to Killjoy’s identity lie in a trail of taunting letters. And even as they lead Whitt to a deadly cult—and closer to his prey—he begins to suspect that, like his wife, he’s losing his grip on reality: Sarah’ s dollhouse is filled with eerie activity, as if her murder never occurred. As dark forces rise around him, Whitt must choose—between believing that evil can repent…and stepping into a trap set by a killer who may know the only way to save Whitt’s soul.

Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

Five years ago Eddie Whitt's 5-year-old daughter was murdered by a serial killer. Dubbed "Killjoy" by the press, the killer ultimately claimed 21 child victims before disappearing without a trace. Eddie, having long since lost faith in law enforcement, has devoted his life to finding Killjoy, who still torments Whitt with a constant string of ranting letters. But Eddie, like the Nassau County cops, is at a lost to explain the murderer's new modus-operandi: kidnapping infants from abusive homes and giving them to families whose children he killed a half-decade before. No matter how repentant Killjoy may seem, the long-suffering Eddie is determined to hunt him down. Suspense keeps dogged pace with the dark, churning emotions of Eddie; Piccirilli does a scarily precise job delving into the mind of a man so overcome with grief that his irrational actions begin to mirror those of the killer he pursues. Although Piccirilli can push his characters' behavior over the top (Eddie is so crazed with frustration and anger that he gnaws sections of his car until his teeth break), his story keeps the pages turning through to the chilling, poignant end.
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

About the Author

Tom Piccirilli is the author of fourteen novels, including A Choir of Ill Children, November Mourns, and Headstone City, all available from Bantam Spectra. He has been a World Fantasy Award finalist and a four-time Bram Stoker Award winner. He lives in Denver, Colorado.

Product Details

  • File Size: 450 KB
  • Print Length: 400 pages
  • Page Numbers Source ISBN: 0553384074
  • Publisher: Bantam (September 26, 2006)
  • Sold by: Random House LLC
  • Language: English
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Lending: Not Enabled
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #926,165 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
10 of 11 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Another Great Tom Piccirilli Novel November 19, 2006
Format:Mass Market Paperback
Piccirilli writes dark. His novels are full of dread, sadness, and his characters often have little hope. They are all misfits of some kind and all of them have lost something. It could be their limbs, their lifestyle, their freedom, their sanity, normalcy, or a loved one. In this book it's the loss of a child that haunts the protagonist.

The plot concerns a man who has dedicated his life to finding the serial killer who murdered his daughter, and then other children. The killer smothered his daughter in her bed while she slept with her own pillow. After several more killings, a twist comes into the case. The killer starts kidnapping children from abusive homes and then brings them to the families of the children he killed.

This novel has all of the characteristics you come to expect from a Piccirrilli novel. A main character filled with tremendous loss of some kind, guilt, and a need for closure or acceptance. It has some really strange people in it in the form of a wacky cult who's involved with their own serial killings whose members who are as odd and deadly as they come. The story has supernatural elements with both the wacky cult and the main character himself to keep horror readers adequately enthused. And it has an ending that defines a Piccirrilli novel.

I enjoyed this novel much more than Headstone City. Its plot was straightforward without a lot of sub plots or distractions. Its mood was sullen and depressing giving punch to the chills and very thrilling portions of the story. And the story itself was disturbing enough to make me come back to it in my mind after I finished the last page.
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8 of 9 people found the following review helpful
Format:Mass Market Paperback
Tom Piccirilli's novels just get better and better and The Dead Letters is no exception to that theory. HisownPicSelf drew me into the story with his tragic "hero" Eddie Whitt, a man with a dead daughter and an insane self-abusive wife.

Being a father myself with a young daughter, I can relate to the wide range of emotions that Eddie goes thru and that makes this novel real for me.

Great scenes, bizarre characters, superb dialogue and a nice satisfying sad ending, this novel really had me close to tears several times.

Do yourself a favor and pick up a copy, read it and tell me why I'm wrong.

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10 of 13 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Hardcore literary thriller December 5, 2006
Format:Mass Market Paperback|Verified Purchase
I ran into Tom Piccirilli's work several years ago with a little cult

horror gem called "Hexes" and was absolutely amazed at the quality

of the writing. Here was a guy writing literate cult horror. Since

then, I've read pretty much everything he's written and have

watched his stories slowly change from cult horror to taut thrillers.

And his writing just gets better and better...

Tighter than a drum, with sentences as clean as steel, so

beautifully polished they make you want to shout. Or maybe scream. I

was so seriously impressed with Dead Letters that I read it twice.

Well, the first time I just raced through to find out who the bad

guy was and missed a lot. The second time I revelled in the prose itself,

in the characterizations,in the oddities.

I don't want to stretch this review out to thousands of words which

you won't read. You want me to tell you whether or not this book is

worth reading. That is the value of this review, both to Amazon and

to the author. Hell, yeah, it's worth reading. My semi-autistic son

read it in two days and couldn't put it down. The story itself is a

killer. A serial child murderer who turns into a kind of Robin Hood,

stealing children from bad homes and placing them on the doorsteps

of the parents whose children he's killed? How much worse than this

does it get? Our hero in this story is a guy called Eddie Whitt,

who was the first victim of the guy he unknowingly dubbed

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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Im not exactly sure what to say about this book.... August 16, 2008
Format:Mass Market Paperback
I have tried to read it twice, the first time I got maybe fifty pages in because I had no clue what was going; the only thing I got out of it was that it was a very dark and depressing novel of a serial killer who is taking children and giving them back to the parents of the children he murdered originally. okay. The second time I read it I got about 150 pages in, I had an idea of what was going on now but I still couldn'd get passed the depression and dark atmosphere that Picccirilli created. Im giving this book 4 stars because I think thats exactly what Piccirilli was intending. A very dark, atmospheric and depressing read. It had the same feel as "The Straw Men" by Michael Marshall but that wasn't as nearly dpressing as this. I definitley will read the rest of the book one day but at this point and time im just not ready.
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5 of 6 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Well plotted out... a mystery until the end. October 10, 2006
Format:Mass Market Paperback
Piccirilli really personalizes the psychoses of the players in this novel, spinning even the smallest parts into 3-dimensional characters. Very unpredictable, it kept me guessing until the very end.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars One of Piccirilli's best
I"m a huge fan of Tom Piccirilli, so picking a favorite is tough. But this ranks right up there with his best. Read more
Published on October 18, 2012 by ByRichard
3.0 out of 5 stars Picirilli's worst
Well written, as usual, but stretched to the limit, the end result being that it gets rather boring and full of unnecessary details. Read more
Published on September 7, 2012 by Bordeaux Dogue
5.0 out of 5 stars Another Awesome Piccirilli Novel
While I don't remember what first turned me on to reading Piccirilli, it's super easy to figure out why I keep reading him. Read more
Published on January 2, 2012 by Mike Kazmierczak
4.0 out of 5 stars A great suspense writer
So far, this is tho only book I have read by Tom Piccirilli, but it is more than enough to make me want to read more. Read more
Published on May 16, 2009 by Drew Balfour
3.0 out of 5 stars Not really my thing, I guess
I bought this because I read Midnight Road and thought it was great.

But, this book just didn't live up to expectations. Read more
Published on April 20, 2009 by Lynn McNamee
5.0 out of 5 stars Master of Modern Noir Literature
While there's definitely a chance we've all read a few too many novels in which a serial killer figures in the plot, there's yet still something new a writer can do with them,... Read more
Published on November 13, 2008 by W. D. Gagliani
1.0 out of 5 stars boring
its by far not what the cover texts and customer reviews said. a rather volatile and boring thing. i m sorry i bought this book. its a pity.
Published on June 8, 2008 by Hans Sefranek
1.0 out of 5 stars Getting through this was like a chore!!
What, are you people crazy? This had to have been the dullest, most unenjoyable book I have read all year! Read more
Published on December 5, 2007 by CARMEN
5.0 out of 5 stars Jolts and thrills and shrills
The Dead Letters is a deliciously dark style of suspense with the right element to create a masterpiece that only Bram Stoker award-winner, Tom Piccirilli could. Read more
Published on July 1, 2007 by Joseph McGee
5.0 out of 5 stars Dark Fiction's Most Consistent Writer

Tom Piccirilli has been on quite a role over the last few years and he deserves all the accolades he's been getting. Read more
Published on June 15, 2007 by William M Miller
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More About the Author

Tom Piccirilli is the author of more than twenty-five novels including A CHOIR OF ILL CHILDREN, SHADOW SEASON, THE COLD SPOT, and THE LAST KIND WORDS. He's a four-time winner of the Stoker Award, two-time winner of the International Thriller Award, and has been nominated for the World Fantasy Award, and twice for the Edgar Award. Marilyn Stasio of The New York Tims Book Review called THE LAST KIND WORDS, "A caustic thriller...the characters have strong voices and bristle with funny quirks." New York Times bestselling thriller writer Lee Child said of Tom's work, "Perfect crime fiction...a convincing world, a cast of compelling characters, and above all a great story" And Publishers Weekly extols, "Piccirilli's mastery of the hard-boiled idiom is pitch perfect, particularly in the repartee between his characters, while the picture he paints of the criminal corruption conjoining the innocent and guilty in a small Long Island community is as persuasive as it is seamy. Readers who like a bleak streak in their crime fiction will enjoy this well-wrought novel." Keir Graff of Booklist wrote, "There's more life in Piccirilli's THE LAST KIND WORDS (and more heartache, action, and deliverance) than any other novel I've read in the past couple of years." And Kirkus states, "Consigning most of the violence to the past allows Piccirilli (The Fever Kill, 2007, etc.) to dial down the gore while imparting a soulful, shivery edge to this tale of an unhappy family that's assuredly unhappy in its own special way."

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