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When his own goddaughter becomes the latest victim of a serial killer wielding an ice pick, New York City Detective Frank Janek knows he must get inside the mind of a serial killer to locate this monster. Reprint.
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Always an inventive suspense-writer, Bayer outwits himself here with a fractured, Rube Goldberg-like thriller that pits the cop-hero of his first big seller (Switch, 1984) against an unlikely serial killer. As before, middle-aged NYPD homicide detective Frank Janek proves a most winsome protagonist, valiant yet vulnerable. And as in Blind Side and Pattern Crimes, Bayer starts seductively, with a moving prelude that highlights Janek's humanity as the cop takes his first vacation in ten years, in Venice, and falls in love with a German tourist. Janek's idyll is shattered by a phone call informing him that his beloved goddaughter Jess has been slain- -latest victim of a serial killer wanted by the FBI. Trading on old debts, Janek gets assigned to the case as an FBI adjunct (solid detailing of FBI-NYPD rivalry here); his inspired investigation uncovers dread secrets (e.g., that Jess had joined a sex-club) but also a prime suspect: Jess's therapist, man-hating Beverly Archer. However, while breaking into Archer's home for clues, Janek is near-fatally wounded by one of Beverly's patients, a convicted murderess whose room yields strong evidence of her guilt as the serial killer. So far, so brilliant; this is Bayer at his most suspenseful and resonant--but then the narrative veers into overplotted excess, as Bayer reconstructs the genesis and execution of the killings from Archer's point of view (in a shrill, unconvincing voice), and then from that of the murderess, who turns out to have been programmed by Archer to avenge past shames. And when the narrative returns to Janek, his trapping of Archer involves a ploy so far-fetched and a denouement so poetically just as to defy credulity. So: by turns enthralling and just plain silly--a spirited but strained miscalculation by an author who more often than not has been right on the mark. -- Copyright ©1991, Kirkus Associates, LP. All rights reserved.From Publishers Weekly:
Bayer brings back Switch protagonist Frank Janek in this uneven thriller with close parallels to Thomas Harris's Red Dragon. Celebrated NYPD lieutenant Janek is called home from vacation--and a pleasant romantic entanglement--after his goddaughter is found stabbed to death and sexually mutilated in Central Park, the latest victim of a serial killer. Devastated and determined to find the killer, Janek is kept off the case because of his personal involvement and because the matter is now under FBI jurisdiction. He gets around these obstacles by means of his old amorous ties to his boss, Kit Kopta, and the clout of his success in the Switch case--a reference Bayer makes too often. Early revelation of the slayer's identity is likely to disappoint readers, who may also be put off by gratuitous descriptions of gruesome murders. A potentially tricky ending doesn't live up to its promise, and while occasional passages display the animated, original writing style of Bayer's earlier books, this yarn is far too tidy to captivate.
Copyright 1991 Reed Business Information, Inc.
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Book Description Jove, 1992. Mass Market Paperback. Condition: New. Seller Inventory # DADAX051510843X
Book Description Jove, 1992. Condition: New. book. Seller Inventory # M051510843X
Book Description Jove, 1992. Mass Market Paperback. Condition: New. Never used!. Seller Inventory # P11051510843X
Book Description Jove. MASS MARKET PAPERBACK. Condition: New. 051510843X New Condition. Seller Inventory # NEW7.2211273