It’s been a while since I’ve read such a good and gripping psychological thriller. Extraordinarily orchestrated, a battle of two psychology majors – one a serial murderer, the other an LA PD forensic profiler. I felt like I was watching Hannibal Lecter in action again.
Detective Robert Hunter is called bythe FBI to interview a man highly suspected as being a serial killer, as he was found with two bodiless heads in his car. He is adamant that he will only speak to Hunter. What Hunter finds is a man he knows, a man he called ‘friend’ for years, a man who was his roomie during his college days.
What follows is a horrendous story of abductions, torture, and brutal killings over the last 25 years. This is not for the faint of heart. The killings are extremely graphic in their descriptions. Hunter is having a hard time balancing what he knows against what he’s hearing ….. until the antagonist describes how he killed a particular woman that Hunter was close to.
Most of us have heard the nature vs nurture debates about those who do horrendous things to their fellow human beings. What does it say about a man who consciously sets out to become a serial killer … to kill as many people as he can … in as many varied ways…and then documents his thoughts and feelings?
One of the things I best enjoyed about this book is that the reader really gets to know Robert Hunter. In the previous books of the series, you don’t get a sense of the real man .. other than his job is his life and he is quite good at it… and he’s a genius. This book gives the reader a glimpse of how he was as a young man and how be became the man he is.
Least favourite parts: **Spoiler** Really? He had to kill his fiancée? They could not have found another way to keep Hunter involved and emotionally attached to a resolution of the case? Did he really wanted to prove that murdering someone is purely a matter of psychosis and not choice? That Hunter had to restrain himself on several occasions from killing Lucien rather than just doing it and be done with it and prove a moral high ground in doing so? I would not have faulted him if he did…
Favourite parts: The fact that Hunter took the time to explain some of the effects of different things like dehydration and prolonged isolation. I also loved the low-mo description of different scenes – very movie-like. I loved the gore too. Example:
It was a perfect shot. The bullet hit Ghost on his left temple. Its hollow point cavity was immediately filled with fluids and tissue, forcing it to mushroom as it began travelling past the cranium wall and across Ghost’s brain, savagely ripping apart everything in its path.[…] Half of the right side of his face exploded out as if an alien being had hatched out a large egg. Bone, blood, brain matter and skin splattered against the wall and the control console to his right, covering everything in a sticky, gooey red mess.
About the Author
Born in Brazil of Italian origin, Chris Carter studied psychology and criminal behaviour at the University of Michigan. As a member of the Michigan State District Attorney’s Criminal Psychology team, he interviewed and studied many criminals, including serial and multiple homicide offenders with life imprisonment convictions.
He now lives in London.