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The Edge Hardcover – July 12, 1997
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From Library Journal
Olshaker's talent for medical thrillers, evident in Unnatural Causes (Morrow, 1986. o.p.), makes this a first-rate thriller general readers will not be able to put aside. Having written the PBS series Mind of a Serial Killer, Olshaker has taken his knowledge and crafted a totally convincing work whose unexpected twists and jolts make it unforgettable. Detective Cassandra Mansfield of the Washington, D.C., police department pursues someone who is gruesomely murdering young women with the precision of a surgeon. The killer's style is reminiscent of a notorious murderer who committed suicide months before. However, the murderer's brother is a practicing neurosurgeon with a questionable past. Mansfield races against time to find the killer before he strikes again. For popular collections.
Alice DiNizo, Raritan P.L., N.J.
Copyright 1994 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to an alternate Hardcover edition.
In this fast-moving, enjoyable, though explicitly violent yarn, the titular edge is that of the mind-brain frontier, and Sandy Mansfield, detective on the Washington, D.C., police force, finds herself working on both sides of it. Victims appear periodically: one had her heart cut out while alive, another was tortured to death, a third unwillingly played the role of St. Sebastian, and the last was burned to death. Major suspects include Neville Ramsey, torturer and artist (though the case against him appears flawed because he died before the first murder); Chris Taylor, an actor; and Nicholas Ramsey, Neville's brilliant, inventive neurosurgeon brother. A break-in at Sandy's apartment nets the thief a pair of blue bikini panties and a pendant, and when those items turn up on subsequent murder victims, Sandy and her colleagues start feeling antsy. Four anonymous letters indicating that the killer is regularly observing Sandy and thinking of adding her to the death toll increase the tension. When everything is finally sorted out, the reader realizes that, once again, the whole is more than the sum of its parts. William Beatty --This text refers to an alternate Hardcover edition.
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There are some major inconsistencies, however, that keep it from being a true "5" thriller. For instance, letters are being sent to Mansfield after each of the killings, urging her on. However, when it seems as if one of the killings is a copycat crime, she still gets a letter with the main killer taking credit. A big plot faus pax in an otherwise tightly written medical thriller. The ending is rather overblown, but it works okay, and I guess one can't help but wish Ms. Mansfield well.
The book moves well and the dialogue is terse and believable.