Author: Chris Carter
Author website: http://chriscarterbooks.com/books.htm
Publisher: Simon & Schuster
Website of publisher: simonandschuster.co.uk
Publish Date: 1st August 2009
Genre: Crime / Thriller
Length: 403 pgs
Reviewer: Sassy Brit
The Crucifix Killer starts with a fast paced teaser and hook, moves back to five weeks earlier where we are drawn into the lives of experienced Homicide Detective Robert Hunter and his rookie partner, Carlos Garcia, and their involvement with a sick killer who methodically plans and savours slow torture and mutilation in some delightfully enterprising yet grotesque ways. But the murderer, nicknamed The Crucifix Killer because of the double edged cross he carves on the neck of each victim as his modus operandi, has already been captured and executed. Did they catch the wrong person or are lives being taken by a copycat killer?
Assigned to the case again, Hunter, becomes the target of the killer’s games; each time a murder is about to happen the killer phones him personally with a riddle to solve in order to save the next victim’s life. Under pressure from the bosses, and against the clock, Hunter and Garcia diligently search for clues to the killer’s identity and motives, but he’s clever, always one step ahead of them and finding concrete evidence proves to be an impossible desperate task.
Through his characters, Chris Carter really involved me; I felt the detectives frustration as time began to run out, and despaired when another seemingly “impossible to overcome” obstacle got in the way. Hunter, has his share of problems; alcoholism, a dead ex-partner, and fears of the possibility that his new girlfriend, Isabella, could become a target. Young Garcia struggles to keep the required balance between his demanding new job and his relationship with his wife.
Even a secondary character, D-King, big-time pimp and drug dealer, will have you rooting for something that is illegal and imorral. It is claimed that Chris Carter can easily rival similar writers of this genre, such as Deaver (for plot) and Reichs (for tension), to me this is not just hype. The author is as sharp as his killer’s blade and provides well-written evidence of a true storyteller; great plot twists, subplots and high-tension through multi-layered characters. Plus ingenious redherrings to throw the reader off course, as does the killer with Hunter and Garcia. When the killer’s identity was finally revealed, I didn’t see it coming. In addition, Carter studied psychology and criminal behaviour, and it shows in the cleverly entwined details. If you like to be taken by surprise and held tight, unable to stop reading or sleep well until the killer is caught, then this is the story for you. Brilliantly, icky.
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