Signed Michael Pye Taking Lives

ISBN 13: 9781861591463

Taking Lives

 
9781861591463: Taking Lives

Martin Arkenhout, a seventeen-year-old Dutchman travelling across the States, kills his young American travelling companion, Seth Goodman, and adopts his identity. Some months later he takes - and takes on - other lives, adopting another passport, set of credit cards and identity. A decade and many lives later, now back in the Netherlands, he kills and becomes a young British art historian, Christopher Hart, and follows his plans to go to Portugal. But Christopher is being followed from London by Costas, another art historian, investigating the disappearance of a series of valuable prints from a priceless book, and before he leaves the Netherlands, Martin runs into his own mother on a tram. In the confusion of the moment he identifies himself as Hart, and for the first time Martin's series of seamless killings and identities runs into trouble.

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Review:

Martin Arkenhout, a young student from Holland, is taking a break from his studies to explore the United States and beyond. Tall, skinny, and somewhat unsure of his new surroundings, Arkenhout looks and acts like any other traveler. But this 17-year-old is no innocent abroad. He takes the concept of enriching one's life through travel to a terrifying new level, and gets his kicks from murdering various strangers along the way. What makes these killings even more grotesque is the fact that Arkenhout steals the identities of his victims in an attempt to displace his own persona. This perversity allows him to "invent himself" whenever the urge strikes. Yet one personality is harder to maintain then all the others--that of Professor Christopher Hart, who was an art teacher with a special affection for Dutch art and, apparently, a love for valuable manuscripts. The theft of one such manuscript gained the special attention of a private investigator, John Costa. Martin Arkenhout must now pay his own price for the professor's purported crime, and is hotly pursued across the globe.

Taking Lives is a bizarre masquerade ball where nothing is as it seems, and every character has a hidden past. The final reprise of this deranged dance reaches a brilliant crescendo, and keeps us hanging on until the very last, and very shocking, note. --Naomi Gesinger

From the Inside Flap:

Martin Arkenhout found his true calling on a lonely Florida highway -- with a sharp rock to the skull of an injured friend. He didn't just take the boy's life; he went on to live it. When that life became too risky, he found another, and another, changing his name, papers and style at will, until he chose the wrong life -- a scholarly thief on the run from the determined and troubled John Costa. The two men will meet, and there will be murder. But there is something much worse: the sweet seduction of taking another's life to be your own. Chillingly suspenseful, brilliantly executed and truly disturbing, Taking Lives is an entertainment to make you think and shiver.

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