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Shimmer (A Detective Sam Becket Mystery) Hardcover – September 1, 2009

4.0 out of 5 stars 2 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

British author Norman's terrifying third thriller (after Last Run) to feature African-American homicide detective Sam Becket introduces a memorable villain, Cal the Hater, a psychotic male prostitute whose demented epistle of his joy-giving exploits is one of the book's highlights. The discovery of the body of a young Asian man in a rowboat off South Beach puts Sam and his Cuban-American partner on the Miami Beach, Fla., police force on the killer's trail. As creepy as Hannibal Lecter, Cal (short for Caligula) strangles and/or stabs his victims, then uses bleach to cleanse the wounds. Sam gets a break when his friend Mildred Bleeker, a homeless woman, reports seeing an angel of death near the crime scene. Meanwhile, Sam's white wife, Grace, and her visiting sister must contend with their blackmailing stepbrother. Norman keeps the pace taut as the action builds to a shock-a-roo ending. (Oct.)
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.


For fans of heart-palpitating, nail-biting psychological thrillers, Norman's latest (following Ralph's Children, 2008) will be just the ticket. Miami detective Sam Becket is back, this time in a case that is as gruesome as it is puzzling. An unidentified man's body is found in a rowboat, which is floating in the water off the beach. Sam and his partner, Martinez, are called to the scene, and despite being tough cops, they are shocked by the state of the mutilated body. When a second body is found just days later, similarly mutilated, Sam and Martinez figure they have a serial killer on their hands. Becket is as tough and canny as they come but likable and principled, too. Norman's complex, terrifying, shock-a-minute plot, coupled with her ability to keep readers on the edges of their seats from first page to last and her skill at showing the dark underbelly of life in sunny Miami, make this one a must-read page-turner. Recommend it to fans of Ridley Pearson and Chelsea Cain. --***Booklist, 1st July 2009

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Product Details

  • Series: A Detective Sam Becket Mystery (Book 3)
  • Hardcover: 212 pages
  • Publisher: Severn House Publishers (September 1, 2009)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0727867849
  • ISBN-13: 978-0727867841
  • Product Dimensions: 5.7 x 0.9 x 8.7 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 14.9 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (2 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #9,417,091 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Format: Kindle Edition
Miami Beach police detective Sam Beckett's case begins with a body discovered in an abandoned rowboat. The victim had been strangled, then beaten and whipped after death.

As he and his partner Al Martinez begin their investigation, Beckett's wife Grace is abruptly visited by her sister Claudia from Washington State. Clearly something is wrong. Claudia eventually reveals that she is being blackmailed over a brief affair she had. Beckett struggles to handle both cases, one business, one personal, rushing to Chicago tracking the blackmailer, while the murder investigation heats up in Miami.

I found this novel to be inconsistent. Parts of it were exciting and riveting, while others dragged and confused. Though the two plot threads appear to draw together, it never seemed logical. The motivation of the murderer and the reasons for the bizarre treatment of the victims is not adequately explained. The suspenseful ending was well done, but the story was left unfinished, hinting at a sequel.

A fun read, but not outstanding. Considering how much I loved my first experience reading Ms. Norman, this was disappointing, but not enough to turn me away. I'll be back.
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Format: Kindle Edition
Reading the series ,think this is # 4 , it was great detective book , I just am finding hard to swallow at how much bad stuff a family can endure . It's always Sam and his family in some mess , but I can't put it down , ready for the next one
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