Posts Tagged ‘Serial Killer’

The Red Queen Dies by Frankie Y. Bailey

November 14, 2013

redqueenIn the first of what I hope will be a series, we meet Hannah McCabe a biracial cop, working the streets of Albany, NY in 2019. McCabe’s Albany is similar to ours, but not identical, Elvis retired in 2000. There are reports that the US Government covered up a UFO sighting in 2012. Scientists have created a drug called Lullaby that allows the user to forget traumatic events. The one thing that hasn’t changed is man’s inhumanity to fellow man.

McCabe’s most pressing case is the one currently getting the most press attention: the murder of two young women in their twenties with sodium phenol. McCabe searches for a link between the two victims, but keeps coming up empty. The only connection is the women are about the same age and the manner of their death. What is driving the killer and why use such an unusual method.
When a third victim is found who was killed with the same drug, the cops assume it must be the same killer. The victim this time was an older well-known actress, Vivian Jessup. Jessup’s defining role was the Red Queen in Alice in Wonderland on Broadway. Jessup, now trying her hand as a playwright, was in town working on a trial run of her latest play at the University of Albany.

As McCabe and her partner dig further into the case a slim lead brings them to Ted Thorton, one of the richest men in the country and a good friend to the Albany mayor. Therefore, Thorton must be to be treated with kid gloves. Can they find the killer before he or she kills again? McCabe wonders if Alice in Wonderland might somehow hold the key to unlocking these murders, but what is it and will she find it in time?

Meet the Mystery Writers! Authors Frankie Y. Bailey, Jane Cleland, and Donna Andrews, are on tour visiting North Regional Library, Cameron Village Regional Library and West Regional Library. Mystery maven and local blogger Molly Weston will facilitate the panel discussion and audience Q&A.  Registration requested.

Cameron Village Regional Library Friday, November 15 at 2:30 p.m.
West Regional Library  Saturday, November 16 at 10:30 a.m.
North Regional Library Monday, November 18 2:30 p.m.

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The Other Woman by Hank Phillippi Ryan

November 12, 2013

otherwomanHank Phillippi Ryan is an award winning television investigative reporter. Hank Phillippi Ryan is an Agatha, Anthony and Macavity award winning mystery author. Whatever Hank Phillippi Ryan does, she does very well. Most recently this includes her first suspense thriller novel, The Other Woman. A first rate suspense thriller that is a finalist for the Mystery Writers of America Mary Higgins Clark Award.

Jane Ryland’s life is in disarray. She has refused to reveal her source in a high profile prostitution case, resulting in a million dollar judgment against her. Jane has been sent packing from her high profile job as a Boston TV investigative reporter and is now reduced to writing puff pieces for a newspaper. Needless to say, things aren’t working out well for Jane right now.

Trying to rebuild her professional life and overcome the stigma of being “Wrong Guy Ryland”, Jane is researching an article about the wife of Massachusetts Senate candidate Owen Lassiter. She notices the frequent appearance of a very attractive young woman at many campaign events. Is she the candidate’s other woman?

Worlds collide when Ryland begins to investigate the candidate’s possible affair and Detective Jake Brogan attempts to solve a series of murders terrorizing Boston. Is there a possible connection?

After reading The Other Woman you will certainly want more of Hank Phillippi Ryan’s books. Don’t overlook her traditional mystery series Prime Time, Face Time, Air Time and Drive Time featuring Charlotte McNally. You won’t be disappointed as these have earned Hank Phillippi Ryan many awards.

If you like Lisa Scottoline, Hallie Ephron and Mary Jane Clark then The Other Woman is for you.

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The Killer’s Wife by Bill Floyd

September 16, 2013

I love books that give the reader an unusual point of view. When you hear about some heinous crime on the news, the focus is on the victims or the murderer—but don’t you always wonder what the axe murderer’s mother is thinking? Or his wife? That is what author Bill Floyd explores in his novel The Killer’s Wife.

Nina Mosley slept beside her husband Randy for years, never knowing of what he was capable. When Randy is convicted of a series of killings, Nina is both shocked by the depths of his depravity and ashamed of her ignorance that allowed the gruesome crimes to continue. Why didn’t she question Randy’s implausible explanations for the random scars appearing on his body? How could she ignore the strange coincidences surrounding the murders announced on the news?

In an attempt to escape public scorn and prying press, Nina changes her name and moves across the country to Cary, North Carolina, with her son Hayden. This is where Floyd starts his novel—six years after the court sends Randy to death row, and Nina, now Leigh Wren, is confronted in the supermarket by the father of one of Randy’s victims. “I know what the police said, how it was all your husband,” Charles Pritchett sneers, “But you were never cleared to my satisfaction, not by a long shot.” Nina panics that her identity will be exposed, just as her life has settled, and she is beginning to feel secure. Then Pritchett hits her where she is most vulnerable: “Where is Hayden tonight, Nina? You should keep a closer eye on him. I didn’t keep a close enough watch over Carrie, and you know what happened to her.”

Nina decides to lay low for a while in hopes that things will settle down. As mutilated murder victims start turning up in the news, however, Nina flashes back to Randy’s creepy fetish. Has Pritchett’s obsessive need for revenge brought him to Randy’s depths? Where is Hayden tonight?

Floyd spends some time getting into Nina’s mind at the beginning of the book, so the reader really understands the character. When the action starts, be prepared to set aside some time, because you will not want to put this book down.

Bill Floyd along with several other local authors will be at West Regional Library on September, 24th, please visit our website for more details.

 Find and reserve this book in our catalog.

The Surgeon by Tess Gerritsen

June 24, 2013

The SurgeonThe Surgeon is a top-grade thriller from Tess Gerritsen (the jaw-chattering Gravity, 1999, etc.), a former internist who gave up the stethoscope to raise kids and write chillers. This is the first book in Jane Rizzoli and Maura Isles series. TNT launches a new TV series based on these characters.

Dr. Catherine Cordell is the main character in this chilling tale. ER trauma surgeon Catherine Cordell first met the killer, called ʺThe Surgeonʺ by Boston newspapers, down in Savannah, where she was his last victim. Luckily for Catherine, after being raped she got a hand free from the cord binding her to the bed, cut herself loose with a scalpel, reached under her bed, grabbed a pistol, and seemingly killed Andrew Capra, the inept medical student about to pluck out her womb. Unable to bear Savannah where everyone seemed to know she’d been raped, Catherine transferred to Boston, holed up for nearly two years, then took a job as a trauma surgeon without disclosing her past.  Good grief! More wombless bodies start showing up in Boston. Did she really kill Andrew? Now, in Boston, as another hot summer begins, he appears to have miraculously returned and embarked once again on his grisly mission: he rapes women, and then surgically removes their wombs. The really awful part is he removes the womb while the naked woman lies awake and can see his power over her. Then “The Surgeon” leaves one victim alive as an ER birthday present for Catherine, so that she can sew up spilled bowels while working through her own rape trauma.

As two intrepid detectives—Thomas Moore and Jane Rizzoli—investigate, Cordell begins to doubt her own memories (or lack of) and discovers that not even her OR is safe.  In the process, detective Tom Moore and Cordell fall in love. But the head of the homicide unit sends him off to Savannah ostensibly to investigate the Capra murder scene but in reality to get him away from Cordell.  Jealous, plainfaced, snappish young Jane Rizzoli, the only female on Boston Homicide, leads his investigation. While perusing Capra’s class picture in an Emory Medical School yearbook, Moore finds the key to both the “surgeon” and his motivation. Back in Boston, Rizzoli mistakenly kills an unarmed assailant, gets dismissed to the Boston equivalent of Coventry, but ultimately saves Cordell from the “surgeon,” though she almost loses her own life.

Gerritsen fans know by now what to expect from her: a fascinating story with a gripping plot and believable human characters. Sharp characters stitch your eye to the page. An all-nighter.

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Above Suspicion by Lynda LaPlante

March 26, 2012

This first book in a new series by the author of Cold Heart introduces a young female detective who is starting off her career in the homicide division.  Anna Travis is determined to live up to her father’s reputation and advance in the London police force.   She is excited to be put on a team that has been trying to catch a serial killer who has preying on local prostitutes for over 5 years.   Suddenly, the killer switches to a young female student and the police fear he is escalating.

Finally, a new lead surfaces which points to a very successful actor, Alan Daniels, but all of the evidence is circumstantial. Daniels seems somewhat enamored of Anna, though.  Detective Chief Inspector Langton, the head of the murder team decides the only way is to have Anna try and get closer to the actor.  Anna feels uneasy with this and is unsure about her feelings for the actor or her feelings for Langton.  Is he an innocent man being targeted unfairly, or is she his next target?

La Plante’s strength is in her knowledge of how difficult police work really is.  The description of the ups and downs of an investigation and the tedious checking and rechecking of every detail that is required to solve a large murder case is realistic, yet La Plante is able to make this all suspenseful.  Anna is an interesting character who has great determination but is not perfect or some kind of super hero.  I think La Plante still writes some of the best mysteries to be found.  There are now six books in the series and they seem to be getting better and better.

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Leaving Atlanta by Tayari Jones

February 15, 2012

 “It was the end of summer, a summer during a two-year nightmare. African American children around Atlanta were vanishing, and twenty-nine would be murdered by the end of 1981.”  When I read the synopsis of this book I knew I had to listen to it.  Even though I was young, I clearly remember my parents talking about the Atlanta child murders.

This book is told through the eyes of fifth grade classmates, Tasha Baxter, Rodney Green and Octavia Harrison. When the book opens it is the start of a new school year and we are first introduced to Tasha Baxter, who is your typical preteen girl struggling to fit in with her peers while trying to cope with her parent’s recent separation.  One evening while Tasha, her mother and sister are having dinner and watching the news the faces of nine African American children flash across the screen, all of them had been abducted and possibly murdered.  The abductions hit close to home for Tasha when one of her classmates becomes the next victim.

Rodney Green is the quiet boy in class who has been feeling invisible since the birth of his 5-year-old sister. In his father’s eyes Rodney cannot do anything right. He sometimes wonders what would happen if he suddenly disappeared and if his family would miss him. Rodney‘s only sense of satisfaction comes from stealing candy from the store near his school. Rodney’s candy spree ends when his father finds out he has been stealing. Mr. Green humiliates Rodney by disciplining him in front of his classmates and teacher. Frustrated and embarrassed from the day’s events, Rodney takes an alternate route home. Will he make it home safely or wander into the company of the wrong person?

Finally, we meet Octavia Harrison, ostracized and teased by the majority of her classmates because of her appearance. Octavia has no friends and normally eats lunch alone. The only occasional friend and lunch companion Octavia has is Rodney Green. Octavia is very anxious after the recent abductions of her classmate and neighbor. Octavia ventures to the park one afternoon by herself and has an encounter with a man she thinks is the kidnapper. After this incident, Octavia’s mom is extremely afraid for her daughter’s safety and sends her to South Carolina with her father.

I thoroughly enjoyed this audio book. Author Tayari Jones paints a vivid picture of the characters, events and settings while the narrator brings it to life. I was easily pulled into the world of these fifth graders and I felt like I was one of their fellow classmates. While listening to this book I was fearful for the children and parents and hopeful that the missing children would be found unharmed.

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Darkly Dreaming Dexter by Jeff Lindsay

December 30, 2011

 Serial killers scare me.  Just the idea of them gives me the creeps.  Why then, you must ask, did I pick up a book about serial killers?  Well, I had heard that Dexter was a little different.  And trust me, “a little different” is putting it nicely.

Dexter Morgan is likable, funny, mild-mannered, and blends in entirely as a nondescript human being.  The only thing different about him, according to Dexter himself, is that he probably lacks a soul.  Because of this tiny defect, Dexter is a serial killer.  But, don’t be put off, he’s one of the good guys. He only kills those truly deserving; the bad guys who earn death by their heinous crimes.  And Dexter’s job as a blood splatter expert on the Miami Police Department put him in prime place to keep up his helpful habit.  But, then a serial killer emerges that commits such perfect crimes that Dexter finds himself intrigued or even jealous.  When the killer’s style veers too close to Dexter’s own particular activities, Dexter doesn’t know whether to be frightened or flattered.  And starts to doubt his own innocence in the whole matter.

I was quite surprised that I enjoyed Dexter as much as I did.  The book is a perfect balance of humor, horror, and intrigue.  There is just enough horror (i.e. cut up bodies, unknown killers, and general creepiness), yet there is enough of something else to keep it from being full on horror.  For me, the humorous, self-deprecating, often ridiculous narration by Dexter keeps your from being pulled in too far.  The author, Jeff Lindsay, has managed to create an entirely unique idea and one can tell why the series of books and the show based upon them are wildly popular.

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The Snowman by Jo Nesbo

July 28, 2011

Lots of books claim to be creepy but really, how many of them actually are? In the opening pages, a young boy discovers someone has built a snowman on the lawn outside his house. How festive, you might be thinking, but this snowman is facing inwards, looking into the house. And when the little boy goes upstairs to his room, it seems as if the snowman’s coal eyes have moved, and he is now looking up at him…

This is the first of this author’s books I’ve read, so this is my first introduction to the protagonist, Police Inspector Harry Hole. I like his sometimes unconventional ways of investigating and the fact that he does things pretty much the way he wants to do them even if his superiors disagree. New detective Katrine Bratt helps Harry with the investigation, even though some of the others in the police department think she’s too inexperienced.

There are many twists to the plot in The Snowman, and so many who could be suspects or who could actually be the snowman. The plastic surgeon has reason to be a suspect and then again, Norway has never really had a serial killer, although Harry was responsible for catching an aboriginal serial killer in Australia. The Norwegian police think that things like serial killers only exist in America.

There are some sparks of wisdom in this novel that I wanted to share with you. One of the characters says, for example: “Our generation has turned itself into servants and secretaries of our children. . . There are so many appointments and birthdays and favorite foods and football sessions that it drives me insane.”  Anybody who has observed the frantic scrambling of parents to organize endless play dates and activities for their children will have to agree with this observation.

I enjoyed this book quite a bit and recommend it highly. Of course, it didn’t hurt that snow was mentioned pretty much on every single page making this summer heat somewhat more bearable.

Cool down by finding and requesting this book in our catalog.

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