First and foremost, a large thank you to NetGalley, Chris Carter, and Atria/Emily Bestler Books for providing me with a copy of this book, which allows me to provide you with this review.
Carter returns with his most thrilling novel yet, pitting LAPD Detective Robert Hunter against another devious serial killer. When two severed heads turn up at a small-town diner, the locals turn over the case to the FBI as fast as possible. With an unresponsive suspect, the Feds can do nothing to move the case forward. That is, until he gives them an out; send in Robert Hunter. Reluctantly, Hunter agrees to help when he realises that he has a personal connection to the suspect, his old college roommate, Lucien Folter. What begins as an attempt to rectify an apparent mistaken identity soon becomes the most horrific case that Hunter has ever come across. Spanning over 25 years, there are many bodies at countless murder sites, with proof at every turn that Folter is responsible. It is only when the possibility that a live victim remains that Hunter and his FBI counterpart, Agent Courtney Taylor, begin to race against the clock to crack the case wide open. If only they knew of this when the whole farce began. Carter ramps up his writing and morbid description in this story that will shake the reader to their core. As chilling as any Hannibal Lector novel, Carter delivers with a punch, right to the gut, in this fast-paced psychological thriller.
I stumbled upon Chris Carter, expecting an entertaining few novels that sought not only to intrigue, but also to pique my ever-growing interest into the macabre. With each successive novel, I was pulled deeper into the chasm of psychopathy and serial murder. Not only entertaining, but also highly disturbing, Carter leads the reader by the hand, then lets them drown in the detail, forcing all those who have taken the journey to rush to the end (part out of enjoyment, part to release themselves from its clutches). Just when I thought the books could get no better, Carter returns with something even more sadistic, hitting closer to home. An added bonus, as Hunter is closely tied to the killer, the reader gets more glimpses into this reclusive man’s past and what he was like prior to joining the LAPD. With short, teasing chapters, the book flows so well and left me to want “just one more chapter” before putting it down. Carter paints characters in such a way that the reader cannot help but want to learn more and delve deeper into the tale, all in the hopes of solving the crime and the mystery around it. Carter outdoes himself and will surely garner a number of new fans with this masterful piece of work.
Kudos, Mr. Carter for such a thrilling novel and so detailed a writing style. I could not put it down, worried that Hunter would get lost and taken over if I stepped away.