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Publisher's Summary

"This novel breaks brilliant. It's hard to tell what's the best part of The Killing Lessons: the sweaty-palm plot that races along like a squad car on a high-speed pursuit, the breathtaking depictions of the characters, good and bad, or author Black's inimitable style. My vote? All three." – Jeffery Deaver, New York Times bestselling author of The Skin Collector and Solitude Creek

In their isolated country house, a mother and her two children prepare to wait out a blinding snowstorm. Two violent predators walk through the door. Nothing will ever be the same.

When the two strangers turn up at Rowena Cooper's isolated Colorado farmhouse, she knows instantly that it's the end of everything. For the two haunted and driven men, on the other hand, it's just another stop on a long and bloody journey. And they still have many miles to go, and victims to sacrifice, before their work is done.

For San Francisco homicide detective Valerie Hart, their trail of victims-women abducted, tortured and left with a seemingly random series of objects inside them-has brought her from obsession to the edge of physical and psychological destruction. And she's losing hope of making a breakthrough before that happens.

But the murders at the Cooper farmhouse didn't quite go according to plan. There was a survivor, Rowena's ten-year-old daughter Nell, who now holds the key to the killings. Injured, half-frozen, terrified, Nell has only one place to go. And that place could be even more dangerous than what she's running from.

In this extraordinary, pulse-pounding debut, Saul Black takes us deep into the mind of a psychopath, and into the troubled heart of the woman determined to stop him.

This audiobook includes an interview with the author.

©2015 Glen Duncan (P)2015 Macmillan Audio

What members say

Average Customer Ratings

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  • Kathleen
  • Marshfield, WI, United States
  • 10-17-15

After several Ho-Hum books, it's back to twisted, broken criminals tormenting their human prey with high octane gore.

This Audio book was very well performed, each character's voice clear and delineated from one another. The plot was a bit predictable, though quite nicely woven, exploring the psyche of the killers: a peek at the ruination of the Good committed by people who were supposed to nurture and protect the boys, now grown serial murderers. The author explores a taste of the psyche of the victims who die and the victims who will live as they are wounded, captured, and waiting for what they feel is certain death. Life well lived-- what's that?Ready to die? Fight, flight. Superhuman efforts to save others. For all that, this book has PLENTY of gore and strange twists for readers
that appreciate books such as Silence of the Lambs. There is motivation and method as the killers move along. This book won't make readers better people. But it will entertain those of us who enjoy a creepy, gory tale that probably could happen in real life.

7 of 7 people found this review helpful

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Really really well written!!!

If you could sum up The Killing Lessons in three words, what would they be?

Engaging nailbitting fun

What did you like best about this story?

I love the way the individual character plots are woven in to each other. The people are real. The story is fightening.

Which character – as performed by Christina Delaine – was your favorite?

Vanessa is my favorite. She is uniquely likable.

Any additional comments?

The narrator does an amazing job!!!!

3 of 3 people found this review helpful

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Compelling

An interesting plot and well-developed characters. Some of the violence was salacious and a bit too contrived.

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

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This is a great read!

This book was a hard to put down read. It kept ahold of you until the very end!! One of the best I've read in a long time!

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

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I couldn't stop!

This book was amazing. I found myself listening every spare moment I had and struggled to pace myself to make it last longer. Exciting, suspenseful, creepy and dark. Absolutely loved it!

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

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There are Two or Three Novels In Here

I have not actually finished this book yet. I think I will eventually, because I am stubborn. But I have read enough to know that in my mind any hype this book got, and it has garnered quite a bit of positive hype, was undeserved.

The book starts off with a bang. A single mother, at home with her two children in a fairly isolated home realizes she has made a very big mistake. At least in her mind what transpires is her fault, although it really isn't. And I became wrapped up in the first story line that sprung from the first page. The problem is the book has way too many characters with primary storylines. Multiple plot lines that probably each deserve their own book. But the story is so choppy and jumps from character to character and continually introduces more characters, that there isn't enough time or attention spent on any one character so they are almost all unsympathetic, unlikeable and forget-able.

I understand how the multiple characters all come together and the relationship between the plot lines. But there are just too many people to care about any of them. Another problem is this is a detective story. And the criminals are really bad criminals. Unfortunately, the detective is as dislikable and as unsympathetic as the criminals. Maybe more so. And she has the annoying habit of bursting into a rapid mumbling of the disjointed clues that may be easy to read and understand in print, but I am listening to it and whenever the narrator launches into another burst of this incoherent mumbling, I have to stop reading for a while.

There are the bones of a strong mystery/detective/suspense book here. There may be the bones of 2 or 3 good books here. There is just way too much for a single book. The audiobook is almost 15 hours long. If he had kept it to 7 hours, it might have been a really good book.

10 of 14 people found this review helpful

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Gripping book

I listened every chance I got! The detail is extraordinary and sometimes shocking, but this made the story so real.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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Great book!

This was a great listen! It was full of suspense and just a great story that held my attention. It is worth the money/ credit.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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PERFORMANCE IS AWFUL

Would you say that listening to this book was time well-spent? Why or why not?

I think the book would have been better if it were "read" better. The narrator read so fast in the beginning, it was hard to understand what she was saying, and hard to development who the characters were.

Would you be willing to try another book from Saul Black? Why or why not?

I think the story was pretty good, so I would try another book from Saul Black. I truly think the narrator was the true issue with the book.

How did the narrator detract from the book?

She read too fast and in a tone that was hard to hear at times. In the beginning, there were parts where I felt like I was choking because the narrator was reading so fast, I didnt feel like I could take a breath. And the words were all mumbled and hard to understand what was going on.

Was The Killing Lessons worth the listening time?

Eh... Not really. The performance was awful.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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Too many characters

I could not finish this audible book. It felt like there were two or three books going on at one time. I would get interested in one story and the author would switch to another. The story is told through the thoughts of the various characters which made the action difficult to follow.
The book maybe better in a written format where the reader could flip back a few pages to straighten out the plot. The narrator reads fast and whispers a lot - makes the story even harder to follow.