From Publishers Weekly
With this seventh entry, Walker's series about FBI forensic pathologist Dr. Jessica Coran moves from original paperback to hardcover, presumably in a bid to absorb some of the Patricia Cornwell overflow. But turgid writing, heavy-handed atmospheric padding and a plot swollen with predictable turns would seem to seriously limit those aspirations. "Each time I look on such evil, twisted, unconscionable and despicable acts perpetrated on a human being, I begin to believe that nothing might ever rival what I must deal with before me," laments Inspector Richard Sharpe of New Scotland Yard in an early--and typical--burst of tortured rhetoric. "Yet... yet some fiend always finds a new twist, a new evil beyond anything you or I might ever have imagined possible, and this certainly proves the case here." Toward the end of the year 2000, a religious cult in London has begun to kill people by the ancient and extremely uncomfortable method of crucifixion--possibly as a prelude to Christ's Second Coming. Dr. Coran, though busy in Virginia on a man ripped apart by rabid dogs, flies off to London to help Sharpe with his even more interesting case--thus giving Walker the chance to trot out numerous clich?s about Anglo-American linguistic confusion. As the British body count rises to five, readers learn how to remove a human tongue and read a message branded on it, and meet an elderly priest/psychiatrist who talks like a cross between Yoda and the Exorcist. Coran, whose love life has taken a back seat to her work, manages to keep Inspector Sharpe's mind away from all the evil long enough to get him into the sack, before becoming a candidate for crucifixion herself. Anyone who stays around this long might begin to wish they'd waited for the paperback.
Copyright 2000 Reed Business Information, Inc.
After almost 10 years in paperback, Walker's Jessica Coran series makes its hardcover debut. A particularly sadistic killer is crucifying his victims in London, and New Scotland Yard asks FBI forensic pathologist Coran, well known for her uncanny knack for catching serial killers, to lend them a hand. It's hard to breathe new life into the serial-killer story, but Walker keeps our minds off the tired premise by moving the tale along at a good clip and by constructing an airtight plot. The English setting also helps to make the story seem fresh. One quibble: the dialogue spoken by the British characters sounds like it came out of a guide to English idioms. That aside, though, this is a satisfying and disturbing thriller that should please fans of the series. David Pitt