One Two Buckle My Shoe

3.73 avg rating
( 101 ratings by Goodreads )
 
9780061013256: One Two Buckle My Shoe

He steals little boys and kills them, thriving on the mothers' anguish. He is the Chocolate Man, a methodical serial killer who has already abducted seven children. But with number eight the Chocolate Man makes a terrible mistake: the child he takes is a little girl. Desperate and confused, this obsessive psychopath doesn't know what to do next--and neither do the police.

While they scramble to predict the Chocolate Man's next move, terrified yet resourceful nine-year-old Emily Lookinland struggles to survive the clutches of a madman who is both grown-up monster and lonely child. And, caught in the middle of it all is Emily's grief-torn mother, a woman propelled by vengeance and hope, who will stop at nothing to rescue her daughter.

"Gripping suspense and a moving psychological portrait.. Turns the stereotype of the unstoppable, mechanical serial killer upside-down."
- Publishers Weekly

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Review:

The subject, a notorious child molester called "The Chocolate Man" by the media because he lures his victims with candy, has already kidnapped and killed seven little boys. Now, by mistake, he grabs a smart, tough little girl named Emily Lookinland from a New York City park, and doesn't know what to do with her. The oddly touching relationship between Emily and her abductor is the heart of this thoughtful, exciting new thriller from the author of the equally intense and intelligent Blood Music, which is available in paperback.

From Kirkus Reviews:

An effectively moody and engrossing exercise in urban terror that fulfills the promise of Hunter's Blood Music (1993). George Riehle, a seemingly inoffensive liquor store clerk in Queens, is the sociopathic predator the media has dubbed The Chocolate Man. Using candy bars as bait, he has in less than two years kidnapped, sexually molested, and murdered seven adolescent boys. Two days before Christmas, the compulsive George feels the need to strike again. In the heat of the moment, however, he makes a consequential error, abducting a precocious nine-year-old girl named Emily Lookinland who had wandered away from her mother Lauren in Rego Park. Disoriented by the unexpected break in an established pattern, the wanted man does not quite know what to do with himself or his frightened but levelheaded captive. But as the NYPD task force created to apprehend The Chocolate Man swings into action and Laurie (a single mom) copes with a frenzied, intrusive press corps, George (an obsessive counter who talks to himself) and Emily form a relationship of sorts. Among other things, she learns that he has never wanted to hurt children, only mothers (because his all but ignored him). Acting on tips from observant or suspicious neighbors, the cops close in on George, but it is a distraught Laurie who forces the issue, locating him on her own. Events come to a violent conclusion during a high-speed chase down the Long Island Expressway on a snowy Christmas morning when Emily and her beloved mother must rely on one another for the gift of life. A first-rate tale of suspense set in an evocative working- class milieu, with a down-any-street villain whose psychic torments visit untold horrors on the innocent. -- Copyright 1997, Kirkus Associates, LP. All rights reserved.

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Hunter, Jessie Pritchard
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