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The Killing Club: A Mystery, Based on a Story by Josh Griffith Hardcover – February 16, 2005


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Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

The authors of this elaborate thriller-spoof are an odd team: Walsh is a fictional character from the soap opera One Life to Live and Edgar-winner Malone is the ABC show's former head writer. The book has nothing to do with the TV program or its characters. Marcie herself isn't even a character. But on the actual television soap, the character Marcie will be writing a book - this book - as part of the show, and there will be eerie echoes of Marcie's plot - this plot - on the show. The book's heroine is 20-something Jamie Ferrara, a police homicide detective in the small New Jersey town of Gloria. When one of Jamie's high school buddies is killed in what looks like an accident, Jamie is reminded that during her senior year, she and the victim belonged to the Killing Club, in which members designed strategies for killing people they didn't like. When Jamie realizes that the accident victim invented his own murder scenario, she starts investigating. Walsh/Malone craft an interesting plot spiced up by the Peyton Placeâ€"like antics of Gloria's residents. At one point, Jamie asks herself, "Was there anybody in Gloria... who wasn't cheating on a spouse?" Kind of like Llanview, where One Life to Live takes place. If "author" Walsh is killed off on OLTL, she can always make a new career writing readable, enjoyable mysteries, as long as she teams up with Malone.
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From Booklist

Murder gets personal for Gloria, New Jersey, police detective Jamie Ferrara when an old friend from high school is killed. In short succession, several other friends follow, all of whom were members of the Killing Club, a high-school group that planned the murders of people who bugged them. Is the killer someone who supposedly committed suicide years ago? The only person Jamie can rule out is herself. This book has an odd genesis. "Author" Marcie Walsh is a character on ABC's One Life to Live (both ABC and Hyperion are owned by Disney), and Malone, along with being a celebrated novelist, is the show's recently departed writer. Cross promotion with ABC Daytime is planned and apparently will take place even though Malone is no longer with the show. Fortunately, the book can stand on its own without the gimmicks. Malone, an Edgar winner, struts his stuff here. The twists twist well, the characters have just the right amount of depth, and Malone's splendid use of detail enables him to create a fascinating, multidimensional community. Ilene Cooper
Copyright © American Library Association. All rights reserved
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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 288 pages
  • Publisher: Hyperion; First Edition edition (2005)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1401301568
  • ISBN-13: 978-1401301569
  • Product Dimensions: 5.5 x 8.2 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 13.6 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 3.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (41 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #2,803,083 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Customer Reviews

The ending is boring, too.
TRL22
I don't want to give the ending away but,please, is that a reason to kill so many people?????!!!!
K. Gaborski
HIs stories are amazing arcs of intrigue and his characters have depth.
zanderfan

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

45 of 50 people found the following review helpful By Cathie J. Read on February 15, 2005
Format: Hardcover
I hate to say that I didn't expect a lot out of this book, but bought it more for the novelty (no pun intended) of it. As a viewer of One Life to Live I was curious to see if the book was more for plot purposes on the show or a real novel. I was pleasantly surprised! It is a delightful book, with lots of humor and enough mystery to keep me interested enough to read the whole book in one sitting.
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17 of 18 people found the following review helpful By B. Black on February 17, 2005
Format: Hardcover
So when I bought this book I was a little put off by the sticker on it relating to One Life to Live. All in all, I really ejoyed it. I had just finished a book that left my mind bogged down and this was the perfect answer. A light, quick, read with a good story line and a decent cast of characters. If you enjoy whodunnits and like a little humor with your mystery, you'll enjoy this book even though it was a little predicable.
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17 of 18 people found the following review helpful By B. Wheeler on February 22, 2005
Format: Hardcover
I am a big fan of the Soap One Life to Live and when I heard about the book being avaible to everyone I went to the bookstore and bought it. The book is very interesting. Yet it also keeps you in suspense as to who is behind it all. This is a great murder mystery and I would highly reccomend it to anyone of my friends.
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10 of 10 people found the following review helpful By Dr. Jake on March 24, 2005
Format: Hardcover
This book was better than I could've ever imagined. I myself do not like reading books because very few authors can pull off a good book. At first, I was THINKING I was going to be disappointed, because the author was a writer of a soap that doesn't always do its best, and it just seemed weird. However, I took a huge step and read it. There is humor, tons of mystery and suspense, a few affairs, common controversy, guaranteed shocks in every chapter, and a question you will ask yourself, who is killing the Killing Club and how close are they to the main character? This book is an easy read and will be liked by most, if not all.
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9 of 10 people found the following review helpful By Cardinal47 on March 20, 2005
Format: Hardcover
I read this novel and enjoyed it sort of as you would enjoy a chocolate sundae.The plot rolls along and you keep turning the pages as the characters keep getting killed off one by one. The police detective Jamie Ferrara is likeable. The author keeps setting up likely villains but they keep getting killed. The real villain is one you would least suspect. As someone else wrote, the motivation for the suite of murders is not particularly persuasive.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful By DRob VINE VOICE on January 30, 2006
Format: Hardcover
I did not realize when I bought this that it was a gimmick; i.e, written in conjunction with a soap opera. If I had, I probably would not have bought it and saved myself 3 hours that could have been spent reading something else. The characters were sterotypes, and I didn't like any of them except for Amanda (she was the only one who seemed to have any real personality.) The ending was predictable-- I figured it had to be the person that was being most completely ignored as a suspect and not the one that Jamie was convinced was the murderer or the one whom the author was quite obviously trying to point the reader toward (I don't want to give the ending away.)

That aside, I had a hard time getting past the ethical issues of the Police Detective, Jamie, investigating a case in which she had an obvious personal connection-- her main suspect is related to her by marriage, and she has a huge grudge against him-- and the fact that she was engaged to marry her boss- although why, I can't figure out as she really didn't seem to like him very much and treated him like dirt. A professional police officer would have recused herself from the investigation-- her excuse that she outranked Danny was flimsy at best.

While I didn't find the constant crude language as much of a turn off as some of the other reviewers have mentioned, I felt it was more for shock value than anything else-- let's show how tough Jamie is by having her throw the "s" word and the "f" word around a lot.

All that being said, I did like one thing and that is that Jamie was capable of taking care of herself, particularly at the end when she came face to face with the killer.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful By James N Simpson TOP 1000 REVIEWER on October 30, 2005
Format: Hardcover
Kathy Brier (writing as Marcie Walsh for some reason) and Michael Malone have come up with a pretty interesting idea for a story. A group of 12 unpopular New Jersey high school kids would hang out in an abandoned warehouse thinking up and writing down interesting ways they would murder their tormentors (teachers, popular kids, parents well everyone other than them really). They decided to call a halt to this practice when one of them committed suicide. Now more than a decade later members of The Killing Club are highly successful in their small town community, some have even moved away but one day they start turning up dead, murdered in ways which seem to be carbon copies of entries they wrote in the 'Death Book'. One of these former members, Detective Sergeant Jamie Ferrara has to firstly convince her colleagues, boyfriend boss, as well as the other members of the former The Killing Club, that there is a killer targeting them and then work out who the killer is before there are no more members left.

Sounds like a great story yes, and it will pass the time but it does drag on in parts and the characters aren't written well enough that you feel for them or care about them at all especially the lead character Detective Sergeant Jamie Ferrara. Dating her boss, Danny/Donny and other aspects really weren't needed for the story to flow and these factors played no major part in the story other than making it more unbelievable, complicated and boring at times. I also don't really understand why the main author Kathy Brier is writing under a pen name for anonymity when she sticks a huge portrait photograph of herself on the back cover. If you can get a copy from the library and there's nothing else around to read give it a look but there are a lot better novels out their. Read Hindsight by Barbara Rogan for a great serial killing class reunion thriller instead.
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