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Entering Hades: The Double Life of a Serial Killer Mass Market Paperback – April 7, 2009
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From Publishers Weekly
Starred Review. Austrian Jack Unterweger was many things to many people—celebrated author, well-known bon vivant and loyal friend. To prostitutes plying their trade in Vienna, he was a ruthless killer. When he hanged himself in his jail cell after being convicted of murder in 1994, Unterweger brought to a close a story of cold-blooded murder that crossed social boundaries and international borders. As told in page-turning, savagely intimate style in this debut by translator and editor Leake, Unterweger's vicious killing spree comes alive in horrifying detail. Released from prison in 1990 for an earlier murder, Unterweger quickly began killing again. Passing himself off as a journalist, he took to calling the relatives of his victims. At 5:00 p.m. the same voice called back and said, 'They lie in the place of atonement, facing downward, toward Hades, because otherwise it would have been an outrage.' His 1991 murder of a hooker in Los Angeles proves his undoing as the American police, working with Austrian authorities, track him down. Leake gets bogged down in the minutiae of the 1994 trial in Vienna, but this is a minor glitch in an otherwise cracking good true-crime tale that, while demonstrating respect to the victims, conjures a character in Unterweger that readers will not soon forget. (Nov.)
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Praise for Entering Hades
A New York Times Book Review Editor’s Choice
“A finely scrupulous account…Unterweger’s idiosyncrasies stand out even within the idiosyncratic world of serial killers. John Leake has written the definitive book—dispassionate, superbly detailed—on Jack Unterweger. Of its subject, no more now needs saying, beyond the words with which Leake ends his story, citing the wife of the Vienna detective who spent years unraveling the case: ‘Thank God, he’s dead.’”—The New York Times Book Review
“[A] fascinating book.”—Los Angeles Times
“A story…that is too wild even for fiction...a propulsive narrative that has the feel of a thriller.”—Philadelphia Inquirer
“This anatomy of an antihero describes a psychopath worthy of Patricia Highsmith's fiction—a Mr. Ripley with media savvy.”—Playboy
“One heart-stopping turn after another.”—Entertainment Weekly
“Entering Hades achieves a cinematic quality...But unlike Silence of the Lambs, Unterweger's story is real...compelling.”—Penthouse
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Top customer reviews
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But what I found most terrifying about the book was the fact that, in some small way, I came to feel about Jack the same way many of these women did; his charm was oozing out of every word, even through second-hand retellings and after translation. That is no small feat- especially when we know he is a mass murdering lunatic. I found myself grinning at some of his antics in spite of myself.
Having said all of that, I obviously regard him as a despicable monster, and have no sort of qualms about him killing himself (I loved the hypothesis of him doing it for attention and the guard not intervening, he seemed way too narcissistic to actually want to commit suicide). Truly a gem in the true crime genre that everyone should read.
In short, a very good true crime book about a most disturbing protaganist, particularly considering that this is the author's first book. I look forward to future books from this author.
Most recent customer reviews
I hope John Leake reads this. First it is amazing that an American is able to write such a book with an in depth understanding of the unique government...Read more