The first Robert Hunter thriller, from the Sunday Times bestselling author of One by One and An Evil Mind
When the body of a young woman is discovered in a derelict cottage in the middle of Los Angeles National Forest, Homicide Detective Robert Hunter finds himself entering a horrific and recurring nightmare. Naked, strung from two wooden posts, the victim was sadistically tortured before meeting an excruciatingly painful death. All the skin has been ripped from her face - while she was still alive. On the nape of her neck has been carved a strange double-cross: the signature of a psychopath known as the Crucifix Killer.
But that's impossible. Because two years ago, the Crucifix Killer was caught and executed. Could this therefore be a copycat killer? Or could the unthinkable be true? Is the real killer still out there, ready to embark once again on a vicious and violent killing spree, selecting his victims seemingly at random, taunting Robert Hunter with his inability to catch him?
Hunter and his rookie partner are about to enter a nightmare beyond imagining.
This is a book that I really enjoyed reading. I found myself drawn into the story from the first gasp I let out in the first shocking chapter to the last "Oh My God" that I uttered in the very last pages. It is absolutely one of the best police procedural thrillers I have ever read.
Mr Carter has a very fertile imagination, especially where gruesome crime scenes are concerned. No murder is like the other and thanks to the author's descriptions, I found myself wincing more than once and feeling as though I was actually there in the same room with the victim. All characters and dialogues are also very realistic.
Ex child prodigy detective Robert Hunter (who is also a criminal profiler with a PhD) and his new rookie partner Carlos Garcia from the LAPD Robbery Homicide Division are called to a horrific murder scene. The victim is a young woman who was sadistically tortured and left to die a very slow, painful death. She is found in an abandoned cottage tied to two poles.
"He likes to watch them suffer, he wants to savor their pain."
A symbol has been carved on the victim's body. A shocked Hunter recognises the symbol as being that of a serial murderer known as the Crucifix Killer. But wait!! The Crucifix Killer was arrested and executed two years earlier after having murdered seven people. Is this a copycat killer? But the symbol was never made public to the media. No one knows about it. How could this be?
"Another phone call - another victim."
Then a second victim displaying the same symbol is found, murdered in an equally horrendous but different way. Hunter and Garcia are desperate to catch this monster. But with no clues it won't be easy. The killer knows well the business of killing and never leaves a trace. Hunter knows that the killer is out there lurking, watching and playing games with him.
The story left me guessing till the very end. Like Hunter and Garcia I was clueless. This shows the author's ability in weaving a brilliant plot. At the end I could see all puzzle pieces brought together and all of a sudden everything made sense.
I couldn't believe that this is Chris Carter's debut novel. To say that it's brilliant is an understatement and I am really glad to have discovered this author.The fact that I have already bought the next two books in the series shows how much I liked this thriller. Needless to say...Highly recommended!!!