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THE BREAKER

Walters, Minette.

2,977 ratings by Goodreads
ISBN 10: 0399144927 / ISBN 13: 9780399144929
Published by Putnam., NY:, 1999
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About this Item

HC in dust jacket. 1st Printing. This copy signed by Walters on a tipped-in page. A fine copy in a fine dust jacket. Bookseller Inventory # 10366

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Bibliographic Details

Title: THE BREAKER

Publisher: Putnam., NY:

Publication Date: 1999

Signed: Signed by Author(s)

Edition: 1st US edition

About this title

Synopsis:

The acclaimed international bestselling author hailed by The San Diego Union-Tribune as a "virtuoso of psychological suspense" spins a hypnotic tale of mystery and intrigue.

Twelve hours after a woman's body is washed up on a deserted shore on the south coast of England, her traumatized three-year-old daughter is discovered twenty miles away, alone and apparently abandoned.

But why was Kate killed and her daughter, a witness to her brutal rape and murder, allowed to live? How did the murderer know that the child was unable to speak? And why would Kate, who had a terror of drowning at sea, willingly board a boat?

The obvious suspect is a young actor, a handsome loner obsessed with pornography, who lies about his relationship with Kate. What's more--his sailboat, Crazy Daze, is moored just yards from where the toddler is found.

But as the investigation progresses, police attention shifts to the woman's husband. Was he really on a business trip to Liverpool the night she died? Was Kate indeed the "respectable woman" he claims her to be? Did he love her or hate her?

More disturbing, perhaps--why does his little daughter scream in horror every time he tries to pick her up?

Minette Walters is "a superior storyteller who plumbs psychological depths with an acuity that will have readers enthralled," raved Publishers Weekly of The Echo. With The Breaker, she confirms her position as one of the true masters of crime fiction.

Review:

The nude body of a 31-year-old woman washes up in a secluded cove on the Dorset coast; at the same time, her 3-year-old daughter is found wandering alone in the streets of a nearby town. The woman, Kate Sumner, was raped and choked before being thrown into the water, and traces of Rohypnol, the so-called date-rape drug, are found in her bloodstream. There are just three suspects in the crime: Kate's husband, William Sumner, a tortured and sexually frustrated man; a handsome, charming but also very disturbed young actor named Steven Harding; and Tony Bridges, a teacher whose friendship with Harding is complicated by jealousy and anger.

Out of these basic ingredients, Minette Walters--the reigning alchemist of the British psychological thriller--has spun another complicated story of passion and repression. In the introduction to the reviewer's edition, Walters says: "Each character is portrayed in depth, and the solution lies in understanding what goes on inside their heads." This is true, up to a point. But what Walters doesn't mention is the sly, slow, and occasionally devious way she doles out the information needed to reach that understanding. You have to weigh the evidence of tidal charts and forensic tests. You must also decide whether the little lies of the characters add up to a big guilt. It's a plausible ending, but you may feel a bit manipulated. Other examples of Walters's alchemy: The Dark Room, The Echo, The Ice House, The Scold's Bridle. --Dick Adler

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