From Kirkus Reviews
Between Red Dragon and The Silence of the Lambs, Thomas Harris has a lot to answer for, having invented the serial-killer monster who specializes in ultragory, agonizing deaths. This latest from Pearson (Simple Simon, 1996, filmed as Bruce Willis's Mercury Rising) is a pale copy of Harris's method and characters, without a syllable of his stylishness. The Jodie Foster character here is FBI agent Ariel Grace, 29, whos working on Task Force Five when she's reassigned to Task Force Ten. Ariel considers this a terrible drop in prestige, but it happens because she got too close to unmasking the FBI's fifth most wanted killer on its list of the Top Ten. Number five is Mills DeVane (Teddy Donovan), an agent working undercover as a serial killer to help nab narcotics traffickers. Number ten on the list is Michaelangelo, a madman who prides himself as an artist at murder and sends descriptions of his work to the Metropolitan Museum of Art. Who is this well-spoken villain? About halfway through, we discover that Michaelangelo is Mickey Strange, the victim of a drunken doctor who missed with his snippers when he went for the umbilical cord. Mickey's million-dollar award for his departed penis has grown to $11 million and will thus support his artistic endeavors, although he can't get over the childhood pain of being called Mickey Dickless and now likes to cut off, cut up, and creatively re-member his victims: one female postal worker's bloody parts, for instance, become a Calder mobile in her post office. And thats maybe the one death we can tell you about without getting laughably grotesque. You see, Mickey has set out to murder everyone on the Top Ten list, so he can be top serial killer, as opposed to number ten. Not without storytelling energy. Sold to Warner Brothers, with a nod from the book clubs, and with foreign rights going like hotcakes. -- Copyright ©1999, Kirkus Associates, LP. All rights reserved.
About the Author
Ryne Douglas Pearson is an accomplished novelist and screenwriter. He is the author of several novels, including Cloudburst, October's Ghost, Capitol Punishment, Simple Simon, Top Ten, The Donzerly Light, All For One, and Confessions. He is also the author of the short story collection, Dark and Darker. His novel Simple Simon was made into the film Mercury Rising. As a screenwriter he has worked on numerous movies. The film Knowing, based on his original script, was released in 2009 and opened #1 at the box office. Receiving Four Stars from Roger Ebert, who branded it 'among the best science-fiction films I've seen', it went on to earn more than $180 million worldwide. He has also done uncredited work on films such as the remakes of The Day The Earth Stood Still and The Eye.
Despite the often 'dark' nature of his novels and films, Pearson has been noted to have a 'sweet, disarming quality' by Entertainment Weekly-an accusation he has been unable to shake. When not writing he is usually thinking about writing, or touting the wonders of bacon in online conversations. He is addicted to diet soda and the sound of his children laughing. A west coast native, he lives in California with his wife, children, a Doberman Kelpie and a Beagle Vizsla.