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Good Morning, Killer Hardcover – April 22, 2003

3.5 out of 5 stars 30 customer reviews

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The Butterfly Garden
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Editorial Reviews

Amazon.com Review

FBI Special Agent Ana Gray returns in this complex, involving thriller about a dedicated officer's search for a serial rapist that proceeds alongside her passionate and obsessive love affair with a fellow cop, Santa Monica detective Andrew Berringer. Before their relationship culminates in a violent episode that leaves him clinging for life and her accused of attempted murder, the deviant who brutalized the teenage girl Ana has taken into her heart and under her wing has found another victim, and Ana's efforts to stop him before he kills her drive Smith's stunning narrative to a shocking denouement. But the author has additional surprises in store for the reader that involve Andrew's motivations for escalating their passion--to keep Ana from reopening a closed case involving bank robbery, fraud, and deception, which will lead her to reevaluate the man, and the obsession, that has brought her to the brink of personal and professional oblivion. While many authors who feature the same protagonist in all their mysteries simply serve up the same character in different scenarios in each new outing, April Smith expertly illuminates aspects of her heroine's psychological life and devotion to justice that deepen our understanding about who she is--a complicated, brave, multidimensional woman it is a pleasure to meet in this engrossing and powerful novel. --Jane Adams.

From Publishers Weekly

Intelligent and uncompromising, this second in a series by Smith reprises the successes of her acclaimed first thriller, North of Montana. Feisty, unconventional FBI Special Agent Ana Grey is teamed with tough but compassionate Police Det. Andrew Berringer on a kidnapping case involving Santa Monica teen Juliana Meyer-Murphy. Grey and Berringer continue the tempestuous personal relationship begun in Smith's first novel: "That's how we met. Working the same bank robbery, dubbed `Mission Impossible' because the bandit came in through the roof. We don't always catch the bad guys, but we're great with the nicknames." After Juliana is released alive but physically and psychologically devastated, the case becomes personal for Ana. Learning the harrowing particulars of Juliana's ordeal and observing the well-meaning but brutally invasive examinations the girl must undergo-described in clinical detail-she grows more and more obsessed with the demented killer/rapist, a charismatic ex-marine. As the chase intensifies, so does Ana's troubled relationship with Andrew. An argument that escalates into physical confrontation changes the lives of both when Ana pulls a gun and fires. While Ana is still in the middle of the fallout, the kidnapping case ends in a Silence of the Lambs-style standoff at the killer's private gallery of horrors. Smith's finely calibrated, unsentimental writing and tart humor make her a standout in the genre. She doesn't just tell a story; she illuminates the human condition through the pain and complex lives-and deaths-of her compelling characters.
Copyright 2003 Reed Business Information, Inc.
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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 368 pages
  • Publisher: Knopf; 1st edition (April 22, 2003)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0375412409
  • ISBN-13: 978-0375412400
  • Product Dimensions: 6.6 x 1.4 x 9.6 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.1 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 3.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (30 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #2,905,932 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

By William Skipper on September 17, 2011
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
GOOD MORNING, KILLER starts out as a solid procedural. A teenage girl has been abducted and sexually assaulted. Agent Ana Grey and her boyfriend Andrew Berringer, a local detective, team up.

At the midpoint, there's a plot twist that truly blew my mind. The novel shifts into a completely unique gear.

Ana Grey, a very competent agent but damaged individual, fascinates.

April Smith paints her creation into a corner from which escape seems impossible. She's a masterful writer.

I can't recommend this series more highly.
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
The story of the child abductor that Ana Grey, FBI agent is hunting with the assistance of the Santa Monica police department is riveting. Ana's relationship with one of the young victims adds dimension to Ana's character and engages the reader in the hunt and capture of the suspect.
The other characters in the story, however, are so thinly formed that they add no veracity to the rather incongruous turns in the story. One co-worker that had a friction filled relationship suddenly comes to Ana's aid, while another character moves from a bereaved widow to a crazy killer.
A truly unbelievable relationship is Ana's so-called obsession with Andrew Berringer of the Santa Monica PD. The reader is not given any opportunity to begin to understand Andrew or the relationship he has with Ana. It is difficult to believe that Ana risks her much loved career not once, not twice, but three times for someone that you can't really feel her connect with.
Overall, Good Morning Killer is a relatively quick read. The strength of the abduction plot is flawed by the sub-plot with Ana and Andrew. Although I enjoyed the book, I found I began skimming through the final portion.
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Format: Paperback
Newly initiated into the world of April Smith's LA-based FBI Special Agent Ana Grey, I was quickly absorbed by this thriller. A harrowing drama unfolds that threatens both the personal and the professional aspects of her life, Grey experiencing first-hand the dangers of mixing work with pleasure. Called in on the kidnapping of a fifteen-year-old girl, Grey will be investigating in tandem with her lover, detective Andrew Berringer, an old-fashioned cop with a reputation as a heart-breaker, a bad boy charm that fuels the heat between them. Vaguely troubled by his occasional unpredictability, Ana senses a kindred spirit, another lonely soul like herself in search of a safe haven. The apprehension of the kidnapper is tantalizingly within reach, but Grey's is deeply unsettled by the simultaneous unraveling of her relationship with Berringer in a series of conflicts over jurisdiction, fidelity and the secrets that shadow their most intimate moments. With head-spinning speed, Ana's affair and career implode, her dogged determination to bring a serial kidnapper to justice the only buffer against her nightmarish situation.

Smith deftly manipulates this blend of the personal and the professional to illustrate how the dark side of human nature hovers just below the surface, especially for those in law enforcement, where violence and risk are juxtaposed with the mind-numbing minutiae necessary for a thorough investigation. The actions of both Berringer and Grey serve as a cautionary tale for the personal risks of a profession where violence is a constant, the power of the badge seductive and the craggy landscape of the subconscious open to interpretation. Peopled with an authentic cast of victims, perpetrators, traumatized families, a vast network of law enforcement agencies and the human failings of those who live on the edge, Ana's slide into murky emotional territory isn't surprising, though it puts bother her career and her life in danger. Luan Gaines/2011.
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By A Customer on October 23, 2003
Format: Hardcover
I unfortunately have to agree with some of the other negative reviews of Good Morning Killer. I read North of Montana when it came out and loved it, and in fact re-read it to refresh my memory before settling in with this book. What a disappointment! I found myself unable to even finish the book (I basically just skimmed the last few chapters to get the general idea) as it deteriorated into an unbelievable mess. Ana's relationship with Andrew was not developed enough for me to want the details of the inevitable train wreck. While I like April Smith's writing style, this book's storyline was unbelievable. Also, I found myself wondering if the book's events were somehow supposed to take place BEFORE North of Montana, since there was no mention whatsoever of the fling with Donnato and the fact that he was supposedly getting a divorce at the end of North of Montana. And what about Poppy, whom we left dying in North of Montana? After such great efforts from April Smith, including Be the One, this one was a huge disappointment.
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Is suspense supposed to be freaky and weird and keep you on the edge of your seat? This book is the first 2 and fails miserably in the last catagory. I kept hoping she would tell me how it goes in 3 words or less so I could quit reading the silly book. If you like Ana, you can have her. She is smart, has good instincts in her job but is a total failure as a person. Is this what people are like today. Heaven help us. I know what happened and wish I had quit when I wanted to stop. It wasn't worth my time nor will it be worth yours to read these 354 pages.
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