Lieutenant Ben Tolliver faces his deadliest challenge ever, as he becomes the target of a twisted but brilliant killer whom he apprehended years ago and who now is determined to frame Ben for a brutal rape and murder.
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They keep moving NYPD's Lieutenant Ben Tolliver around--now he's in Special Investigations--but it doesn't matter; all he keeps drawing are serial sex killers like Edward Razek. Razek is a real romantic. He brings flowers and a condom to his tryst with Jan Peterson, then shares some soothing endearments with her before he rapes and strangles her. His motive? For one thing, he's a hardcase nutcase--something the cheeseheads at the Stanipac Hospital for the Criminally Insane were too lily-livered to realize when they declared him completely cured nine years after his last little experiment in homicide. But besides having some unresolved hostility toward women, Razek's got a grudge against Tolliver, who arrested him last time, and is determined to frame him for his current spate of killings. Tolliver, of course, isn't taking Razek's behavior lying down; he immediately recognized the signature postmortem treatment of Jan Peterson's corpse. But when he confronts his quarry, Razek, now a wildly successful commodities trader whose boss suspects nothing, laughs in his face. It's the old race between the dogged cop and the game-playing killer--a race that's handicapped by the fact that the killer, even though his alter ego, ``the thing,'' tells him that he's ``the number-one player of all time,'' is only moderately clever in executing his murderous plans, and Tolliver, who ought to realize what he's up against, isn't much smarter. The real handicap, though, is Harvey's dependably penny-dreadful writing, which purges every character of the slightest subtlety (Razek is a comic-strip bogeyman, his psychiatrists a bunch of wimps who think Megan's Law is unconstitutional, Tolliver's newscaster girlfriend a good- looking cipher stenciled Threaten Me Last) that might make this familiar saga worth caring about. Not as floridly sadistic as Tolliver's other cases (Mental Case, 1996, etc.), but still no place you'd want to spend a weekend. -- Copyright ©1997, Kirkus Associates, LP. All rights reserved.From Booklist:
A beautiful, successful New York businesswoman is the victim of a deranged killer--raped, strangled, mutilated. NYPD detective Ben Tolliver realizes that the victim is a former lover. He also recognizes the m.o., which bears an uncanny similarity to the work of Edward Razek, a psychopath recently released from the state mental institution, supposedly cured. Tolliver doesn't buy it, but Razek is now a commodities broker with political clout. Ben is told to back off or else. He chooses or else. This is a top-notch, fast-moving thriller with all its ducks in a row: dogged, moral hero; scummy, evil-genius villain; and a frustratingly blind police department made up of self-serving politicos. The only flaw is a predictable, abrupt conclusion. But readers should hop on Harvey's train anyway: the ride is great, even if the destination is the same old place. Wes Lukowsky
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Book Description St Martins Pr, 1997. Hardcover. Book Condition: New. book. Bookseller Inventory # M0312151004
Book Description St Martins Pr, 1997. Hardcover. Book Condition: New. Bookseller Inventory # DADAX0312151004
Book Description St. Martin's Press, 1997. paperback. Book Condition: new. Advance Reading Copy 1997 NY: St. Martin's Press Advance Uncorrected Proof, mint, new/unread in plain red wrappers. Bookseller Inventory # HARDEAD16
Book Description St. Martin's Press, 1997. hardcover. Book Condition: new. First Edition Hardcover Book 1997 NY: St. Martin's Press First edition, first printing, new/unread in flawless dust jacket. Each dust jacket is protected in an acid-free archival quality acetate cover. Bookseller Inventory # HARDEAD11
Book Description St Martins Pr, 1997. Hardcover. Book Condition: New. Never used!. Bookseller Inventory # P110312151004