The bodies of four men have been discovered in the town of Bradfield. Enlisted to investigate is criminal psychologist Tony Hill. Even for a seasoned professional, the series of mutilation sex murders is unlike anything he's encountered before. But profiling the psychopath is not beyond him. Hill's own past has made him the perfect man to comprehend the killer's motives. It's also made him the perfect victim. A game has begun for the hunter and the hunted. But as Hill confronts his own hidden demons, he must also come face-to-face with an evil so profound he may not have the courage - or the power - to stop it....
©1995 Val McDermid (P)1996 ISIS Publishing Ltd.
"Complex...powerful...psychologically terrifying...impossible to put down." (Publishers Weekly)
"Exciting, rapid-fire...a satisfying descent into the territory of a twisted mind." (Booklist )
"Compelling and shocking…." (Minette Walters)
I'll admit I didn't listen to much of this book - the sexual serial killer who is the narrator was just too creepy and ugly for me to listen to for very long. If this wasn't a part of a 3-for-2 special, I'd return it as un-listenable for me. I'd heard very good things about this author and was trying to test out one of her books, and perhaps it wouldn't have been so bad if I was reading it rather than listening to it - with the tone of voice and inflections that brought it to life. I might try out another of her novels, another time, but this was was too much for me.
I like to follow series. This is probably the most consistent in quality story to story. Thus far not a dud in the lot. I gave this one a 4 but for me they all come very close to 5 stars. I highly recommend this series for extended reading.
I don't know about you, but why are there so so so many 5 star reviews. I LOVE books, but so few are 5 star.
Tony is not very likable, the story was very predictable. Previous reviews about the graphic nature were in my opinion correct. However, it was at least engrossing in a way.
I am getting tired of every new police procedural and/or detective novel being about a serial killer, move on to something else.
Whew! I'm glad that the book has ended. I listened to it in audible and the narrator put so much evil into his voice that you felt like you were part of the torture. Very dark and hard to listen to BUT exceptionally well done. I got hooked on McDermid when I read her recent novel about Karen Pirie, female detective. I found out that she had a series with a psychological profiler partnered with a female detective inspector and wanted to find out about the series with the first book. It's a good thing I started with the beginning. I expect future books are not quite as dark as this one but serial killers are nutters and this particular one has the murder squad running around with no clues. That is until Dr. Hill finishes his profile. Then the interesting stuff begins. Who is his phone sex caller? Will he and Carol, the inspector, become a couple? Will they track down the killer? Wow! This is a powerful story BUT be sure you are up for dark and specific torture scenes. Like the torture used in the inquisition. McDermid is a powerful author who uses her words to describe whatever she is writing about with exquisite detail. She is terrific.
Graham Roberts is a terrific narrator. His voices are truly evil but his accents capture the essence of the killer, the cops, and Tony. He is what made the words thrum with malice.
The Universe is full of magical things patiently waiting for our wits to grow sharper.
I hated this book. I've listened to 3 other books by this author and really liked them. This was the first of a series. I will not read any of the others in the series.
Not one of these.
I could not tell one character from another. The voice sounded like a madman for all of the characters.
Fascinatingly imperfect protagonists.
The characters are all so very *human* ... the reader is left to wonder whether the next page will mean triumph or failure for the players involved (as there are plenty of opportunities for both)!
Any scene where Tom "Popeye" Cross gets shut down! I HATE that guy!
I laughed AND cried! And very few books have the powerful kind of magic required to get an emotional response from me. This is definitely one of those few
I was very skeptical about this one after reading some of the more negative reviews. Frankly, I believe anyone who finds this title too graphic must be merely too sensitive for the genre.This wasn't ripe with unnecessary gore, as some reviews seem to suggest. The historical accounts of ancient torture methods are fascinating in the context of the story; the author's research is extensive and impressive. While the story DOES depict pain and punishment, the actual narrative of the carnage is limited. Anyone who loves the tale of a psychological profiler (like an episode of "Criminal Minds") will not be bothered by this presentation.
Although I appreciate Val McDermid's talent, it's not my cup of tea. Always excellent writing and clever storytelling, but very, very dark. Graphic scenes, deeply disturbing sociopaths. Each time read one of her books, I can't stop because they are compelling, but I do regret it when I'm done, because they are grim and it sticks with you. If you like that sort of story, then she's amazing. However, I want to sleep at night.
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