In recent weeks, three young women have been brutally assaulted and murdered in the city of Philadelphia. Lt. William Fogarty, a time-toughened cop, hardened by personal tragedy, is shocked by the brutality of the crimes. His only lead comes from medical examiner Josef Tanaka. Half Japanese and half American, Tanaka, a skilled practitioner of the martial arts, claims to recognize the method used in the attacks: a karate strike known as nukite, or spear hand. Fogarty has nowhere else to turn. An unlikely combination, Fogarty and Tanaka, forced together by circumstance and neither completely trusting the other, they conduct a desperate hunt, trawling the city streets of Philadelphia and into the dangerous underbelly of the killing arts.
Pursuing the Mantis, a creature who uses the flesh of his victims in a sadistic, macabre ritual of self-purification, while Fogarty and Tanaka endanger the lives of those closest to them as they inch perilously close to the precipice of their own worst fears and weaknesses.
©1993 Richard La Plante (P)2012 Richard La Plante
"Mantis<\i> is an ice-pick in the brain, an exotic, erotic, breakneck police procedural." (Mystery Scene Magazine)
"La Plante's writing is intelligent and skillfully crafted as he peers into some very sick minds." (The New York Times Book Review<\i>)
"A very frightening book." (Booklist<\i>)
I actually bought this book for the narrator. Robin Sachs is, for my money, the best, now that David Case/Frederick Davidson is no longer with us. Found Sachs reading the Jo Nesbo books. Definitely value-added.
But the book!. The villain is one of the creepiest since Hannibal. And the good guys are complicated, beautifully developed characters. Talk about driveway moments. I actually did absolutely nothing the whole day that it took to listen. Zoos, insects, martial arts, police procedurals. It's all there.
I googled Richard La Plante, and see that he has two more books in this series. Hard to decide whether to just buy the books, or wait for them to appear on Audible. I HOPE the publisher will bring back Robin Sachs.
Good writing, original story and not really predictable. Really enjoyed it. Would love to see the sequel on audible. I had to speed up the narration a bit but I usually do that or else I start to drift. Probably needs it more so from this reader but not too bad. Overall worth your money or credit.
From face value this was a good read, the plot and characters moved along well. With being a long training Martial Artist I found the fighting side and training side rather farfetched. Found it hard to take it serious in parts, this I found a shame because as I said in general a good read.
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