Chris Carter, July 2017, 496 pages, Simon & Schuster UK, ISBN: 147115632X
Reviewed by Amanda Gillies.
(Read more of Amanda's reviews for Euro Crime here.)
This is the eighth book in Carter's excellent series featuring LAPD detectives Hunter and Garcia and it is simply fantastic: riddled with tension, plot twists and nastiness, the story is gruesome enough to give you nightmares and addictive enough to keep you up late as you simply must know who did it. Carter takes you on an emotional roller-coaster ride and leaves you exhausted at the end.
The story is chilling enough to give Hollywood blockbusters, like Saw, serious competition. It starts with the brutal demise of a decent, sweet, young woman and goes downhill from there. The killer adds a unique twist to his approach as he video calls the close friend or partner of his victim and, after asking questions that give the recipient of the call a fleeting feeling they might be able to save a life, graphically kills their loved one in front of them.
Hunter is completely stuck. He has no real leads, as the killer is extremely good at covering his tracks, and spends many sleepless nights going over things. The killer is also patient and meticulous. Starting with notes made of letters cut from newspapers, he stalks his victims for months, terrifying them, until making his move. One thing is for sure - the killer doesn't waste time and the discovery of a second victim a few nights later takes things up a level. Hunter needs results, especially when the husband of the second victim decides to start an investigation of his own. Hunter has a sharp mind and a keen eye for detail. You really hope he can get to the bottom of this one but, at the same time, really can't see how he can. With his boss anxious for results and the killer upping his game, the pressure is on for Hunter to deliver.
Chris Carter is Brazilian born and writes about cases in America. He qualifies for Euro Crime as he currently lives in London. In his past life he worked in Michigan as part of the District Attorney's Criminal Psychology team. There is no doubt that his experience adds an edge to his work and brings his killers shockingly to life. His opening chapters in this latest novel are first rate and leave you in no doubt that this is going to be an excellent book!
Amanda Gillies, August 2017.