By day, Harper Cole trades commodities over the internet from his isolated Mississippi farmhouse. At night, he is systems operator of E.R.O.S., an exclusive, sexually explicit on-line service that guarantees total anonymity to its rich and famous clientele. But now someone has penetrated E.R.O.S.'s state-of-the-art security...someone who has brutally murdered six celebrated women. Each time, the weapon and the city are different. And each time, the killer has claimed the same horrifying trophy. For Harper Cole, who has suddenly become the prime suspect, there is only one way to lure the elusive madman into the open. But Harper Cole has dangerous sexual secrets of his own. His daring plan will place everything and everyone he loves in the path of a brilliant, unstoppable killer...
Raymond Chandler once proclaimed that the first-person narrator should never turn out to be the villain in a good mystery or thriller. Luckily, the excellent writer Greg Iles has seemingly ignored Chandler's advice. Iles has created a character--Harper Cole, a futures trader and online pornographer--who could very well be the person killing off subscribers to his Internet sex service. Or is it Miles Turner, Cole's very odd colleague? If you thought that stalking a killer on the Internet had been done to death in books and bad movies, this one will have you pushing the reload button on your browser. Other Iles books in paperback include Black Cross and Spandau Phoenix.
When Harper Cole, a "Sys Op" for E.R.O.S., a sexual fantasy real-time chat room, learns about the murder of a member, he discovers that other female subscribers have also disappeared, and a cyber-thriller manhunt ensues. The faceless murderer, dubbed "Brahma," tells his part of the tale in a deep, melodic voice that entices the listener into a false sense of security, while Cole's passages are full of tension. Jay O. Sanders's emotional involvement keeps up the suspense in the hunt for the killer while juggling the implied eroticism of the characters' sexual exploits. Chat rooms, false identities, and technology form the basis for this thriller with a chilling twist. This is Greg Iles at his best. M.B.K. © AudioFile 2003, Portland, Maine-- Copyright © AudioFile, Portland, Maine