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Primal Fear Mass Market Paperback – April 2, 1994
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In Chicago, a sainted archbishop is murdered, mutilated, and dismembered in his rectory. Aaron Stampler, an angelic-looking young man, is found crouched in a confessional, covered with blood, clutching a butcher's knife, swearing his innocence.
Martin Vail is the brilliant lawyer every prosecutor and politician loves to hate. It is up to him to defend Stampler, the young human monster. But first he must uncover the horrifying truth about the crime.
From Publishers Weekly
Ringing dazzling changes on the suspense format he worked so successfully in Sharkey's Machine and four other thrillers, Diehl here focuses on the maneuvers of Chicago defense attorney Martin Vail, a prosecutor's worst nightmare. Vail has vexed the political machine by winning a multimillion-dollar brutality judgment against the city, county and state police, but the powers that be think they see a way to pay him back. After discovering the mutilated body of Archbishop Richard Rushman in the rectory of his church, police find Aaron Stampler cowering in a confessional, blood-soaked and gripping the murder weapon. It seems like an ironclad case--psycho slasher carves up "the Saint of Lakeview Drive"--and a hostile judge appoints Vail as pro bono defense attorney, hoping to publicly humble him. Vail is impressed by Stampler, a runaway from the bishop's haven, Savior House, and builds a maverick defense team to butt heads with vengeful prosecutor Jane Venable. PI Tommy Goodman digs up some nasty news about the bishop (not what the reader expects) and uncovers a childhood of abuse and mysterious deaths in Stampler's Kentucky hometown. Psychiatrist Molly Arrington blows the case wide open by unearthing a terrifying secret that Vail springs in court. Diehl builds delicious tension, keeping the reader off balance right up to the gavel-pounding finale. 50,000 first printing; major ad/promo; movie rights to Paramount; Literary Guild special featured selection.
Copyright 1992 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
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Top Customer Reviews
Aaron Stampler is a FANTASTIC character, not 2-dimensional like so many in popular fiction today. Fully realized, and VERY complex. IS he guilty? Does he really have multiple personalities? OR is he a genius PRETENDING to be a somewhat backwards inbred mountain outcast? These questions will be raised and it won't be until the INCREDIBLE conclusion on the VERY LAST PAGE that you will be treated to one of my all-time favorite endings.
'Primal Fear' ranks as one of my favorite books, and after you finish it, I'm sure you will agree that it deserved all of the praise it received. I have to admit, the following sequels to 'Primal Fear' just didn't do it for me. I tried, honest to goodness I TRIED to enjoy them as much, but it didn't happen. And if someone tells you that one of the sequel's are BETTER than 'Primal' DON'T BELIEVE IT. If you count yourself a fan of John Grisham, Steve Martini, Richard North Patterson or MY personal favorite legal thriller author: Phillip Margolin do yourself a supreme favor and pick this amazing thriller up and devour it TODAY.
Legal psycho thriller, with two great caracter developments, Vail,the flamboyant fiery defense attorney who is defending the teenager pro bono, and Aaron the defendant, who acts as an individual with two turning personalities, Aaron the gifted innocent hilbilly boy, and Roy the mean sadistic beast who cannot tell good from evil.
Then second half of the book where the ardent criminal trial unfolds, featuring lost of interesting questioning, is far more interesting and better writtten that the first half of the book which encompasses the heinous criminal act and ensuing investigation, the ending holds a great surprise, making the whole book worth reading.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
A must read.
This book kept me at the edge of my seat.Read more