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The Shadow Hunter Mass Market Paperback – June 1, 2000
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From Publishers Weekly
Recluse Raymond Hickle has his sick sights set on Kris Barwood, the stunning Los Angeles news anchor. Meanwhile, freelance private detective Abby Sinclair is hired to stalk the stalker. She moves into Hickle's apartment building, befriends him, spies on him and draws out the deepest secrets from himAall in the hopes of stopping him from eventually killing Barwood. Hickle's secret informant, Barwood's cheating husband, Sinclair's suspicious lover and a botched stalker case from four months ago further complicate matters. The story appears as if it's going to climax near the three-quarters point of the book, but then Prescott (Comes the Dark) plants a series of twists and turns that keeps his novel going strong for more than 100 additional pages. In fact, so convincing is Prescott's prose that it's initially difficult to accept that the primary plot surprise isn't a bluff by one of the main characters. By the time all the shadows have been hunted, only two are captured and killed. But while a low body count may be uncommon in some modern-day thrillers, the technique works in Prescott's favor, enabling him to weave brilliant elements of psychological horror into the standard hunter-and-hunted story. Agent, Jane Dystel. (June)
Copyright 2000 Reed Business Information, Inc.
About the Author
Michael Prescott was born and raised in New Jersey and attended Wesleyan University, majoring in film studies. After college, he moved to Los Angeles to pursue a career as a screenwriter. In 1986 he sold his first novel, and has gone on to pen six thrillers under the name Brian Harper and ten books as Michael Prescott. He has sold more than one million print copies and is finding a large new audience through e-books. Fan-favorite character Abby Sinclair, the “stalker’s stalker” first introduced in The Shadow Hunter, has since appeared in three more books. --This text refers to the Audio CD edition.
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It is no wonder our society is becoming so completely illiterate when this quality of writing is considered acceptable for publishing and purchasing. I have seen low quality fan fiction with better form than this. Disappointed does not even begin to cover it.
Raymond Hinkle, the stalker was an obsessive nonconformist who'd botched a case four months earlier, but this time he steps out of the shadows after Abby, a stalker of stalkers, got on his case. Years ago, he had stalked a young actress, but now his obsession was the star of a local network news team in L. A., a more accomplished celebrity. "Most likely, there had been others, all famous or striving for fame. He was drawn to beautiful women, but beauty was not enough for him. There had to be stardom or the promise of it. Stars were golden people, and he desperately wanted to be one of them...For him, all of life was prom night, and he was the only one going stag."
He didn't want these starlets to know he existed. He wanted to kill them for what they represented, his failure as a man who could be loved and find a woman of his own. Abby gets too close to the truth, as he confides in her as a neighbor, but a certain someone is keeping him informed via email exactly what Abby's game is. Then, she become a potential victim, even though she does not fit his ideal profile of someone to covet.
Michael Prescott has written IN DARK PLACES, COMES THE DARK and LAST BREATH. He is good at inducing terror and dangerous situations, making you feel like you are there. He admits that he went from a rough synopsis to the finished book with the help of his fans. How nice to be so humble.
I liked Abby and felt there was enough depth to her to move the plot and root for her, though there could have been more in terms of background. The writing was good and the pacing was also fine. There was also a big twist in the plot, that I didn't see coming, though at least one reader thought it was predictable. The problem for me was that I found it to be not believable. I didn't believe the motive of the surprise villain. It just seemed farfetched. There were also too many lucky breaks, both for Abby and the villain. In the end, I just didn't buy it. I won't say that it wasn't an interesting read. And, for a free suspense thriller, I am giving it a qualified positive review. It's just a bit unbelievable and not really noteworthy enough to give 4 or 5 stars. My real rating would be three and a half stars. Most readers will enjoy this book and not be bored, but it doesn't quite hit the mark.