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  • gilwilson 9:49 PM on May 18, 2018 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: bill hodges, crime, , ,   

    “Mr. Mercedes” By Stephen King 

    18775663Mr. Mercedes
    By: Stephen King
    Narrated by: Will Patton
    Series: Bill Hodges Trilogy, Book 1
    Length: 14 hrs and 22 mins
    Release date: 06-03-14
    Publisher: Simon & Schuster Audio

    A few years ago I could proudly say that I had read every single Stephen King book written.  This was about the time he “retired.”  Well, Mr. King did not retire but I slacked off reading his books. (I went off on an Isaac Asimov & Frank Herbert binge about that time).  Last year I was looking for something to read and found out he had written somewhere near a thousand books since retiring.  (Maybe I exaggerate.)  So time to catch up again.

    I start out by jumping into his retired detective Bill Hodges trilogy which this was the first.  It felt like slipping in to those old worn slippers that feel so comfy.  By no means am I saying Stephen King is old an worn, it’s just that he’s so darn comfy.  I find it easy to get into his writing style, the Stephen King tropes, and the characters that are fully developed before you even read their backstories.

    In this book, Bill Hodges, a recently retired detective, has several unsolved cases that just seem to bug him.  While contemplating his lonely life he sits in front of the TV in an easy chair and  idly toys with a loaded gun.  One of Hodges’ major unsolved cases is labeled the Mercedes Killer.  Someone stole a Mercedes and ran it through a crowd killing several.  Now the Mercedes Killer begins taunting Hodges.

    Investigating the case again Hodges gets help from some unlikely assistants.  Jerome, the kid down the street, a student getting ready for Harvard and handyman to Hodges. And the borderline personality disorder cousin of the woman whose Mercedes was stolen.  As is perfect with any Stephen King novel the unlikely trio fight time to stop Mr. Mercedes from killing again.

    Will Patton once again delivers a Stephen King audiobook with perfection.  Patton has become another favorite audiobook narrator of mine.  Between him and Scott Brick, I will listen to anything they narrate.


    Publisher’s Summary
    In a mega-stakes, high-suspense race against time, three of the most unlikely and winning heroes Stephen King has ever created try to stop a lone killer from blowing up thousands.

    In the frigid pre-dawn hours, in a distressed Midwestern city, hundreds of desperate unemployed folks are lined up for a spot at a job fair. Without warning, a lone driver plows through the crowd in a stolen Mercedes, running over the innocent, backing up, and charging again. Eight people are killed; fifteen are wounded. The killer escapes.

    In another part of town, months later, a retired cop named Bill Hodges is still haunted by the unsolved crime. When he gets a crazed letter from someone who self-identifies as the “perk” and threatens an even more diabolical attack, Hodges wakes up from his depressed and vacant retirement, hell-bent on preventing another tragedy.

    Brady Hartfield lives with his alcoholic mother in the house where he was born. He loved the feel of death under the wheels of the Mercedes, and he wants that rush again. Only Bill Hodges, with a couple of highly unlikely allies, can apprehend the killer before he strikes again. And they have no time to lose, because Brady’s next mission, if it succeeds, will kill or maim thousands.

    Mr. Mercedes is a war between good and evil, from the master of suspense whose insight into the mind of this obsessed, insane killer is chilling and unforgettable.

    ©2014 Stephen King (P)2014 Simon & Schuster

  • gilwilson 5:30 PM on March 12, 2018 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: crime, , , , smuggling,   

    Storm Front (Virgil Flowers, Book 7) By: John Sandford 

    Storm Front (Virgil Flowers, Book 7)51zfwgxB1TL._SL500_
    By: John Sandford
    Narrated by: Eric Conger
    Length: 9 hrs and 21 mins
    Release date: 10-08-13
    Publisher: Penguin Audio

    It’s amazing how many fun stories you can read when you branch out from your norm. For the longest time I was a pure Horror/SciFi only reader. Those two genres pack the punch needed to escape the real world, and that’s what I do when I read. Sure there are some classics that I’ve read but only until recently have I been branching out. It’s funny, it all started with the L. Ron Hubbard pulp fiction re-releases by Galaxy Press that started me on this road.

    Back in 2013 I received on of John Sandford’s novels from Penguin Audio, and for the longest time it sat on my “not-sure-whether-or-not-it-is-my-cup-of-tea” shelf. This is a shelf of audiobooks that sound intriguing but I’m not yet familiar with the author or whether I will like the story. I go to this shelf when I’m not sure what I want to hear. Many times I have started a book from this shelf and have been let down and not able to finish the book. Since then all Sandford novels are in my to be read shelf.

    Sandford first intrigued me with his Lucas Davenport series “_____ Prey” all the books are 2 word titles and the second word is Prey. Lucas Davenport is an investigator with the Minnesota Bureau of Criminal Apprehension. So basically, he catches criminals. After Sandford’s Prey novels became hugely popular, he launched these Virgil Flowers stories back in 2007. Virgil helped Lucas on a few of his criminal pursuits and became a fun character.

    Before I get into a summary of the book, I have to send out all the adulations to the narrator, Eric Conger. Conger narrates all of the Sandford audiobooks I’ve listened to and he has me hooked. Conger seems to take on the persona of either Virgil Flowers or Lucas Davenport. His voice is a perfect match and whenever I pick up a hard copy of the book to read, in my head I hear Conger’s voice. I’m hoping to discover some other readings by Conger soon.

    In this book Minnesota state investigator Virgil Flowers is working on a case involving Florence ‘Ma’ Nobles and her sons selling counterfeit antique lumber. Part of the reason that Virgil is working so hard is that Ma is very attractive and flirting with him. Sure enough, just before the fun happens Lucas Davenport calls with a new case.

    A Lutheran minister named Elijah Jones who is dying of cancer stole an ancient inscribed stone called a stele from an archaeological dig in Israel and smuggled it home to Minnesota. The Israelis want it back and have dispatched an antiquities expert to bring it back. Simple all Virgil has to do is be the tour guide, pick up the terminally ill minister, and locate the stele. Davenport assures Flowers that he’ll back on his counterfeit lumber case in to time at all. In cop stories no time at all usually means after a couple of weeks of investigation and a few hours of risking your life.

    The plan is to auction the stele off to the highest bidder to get the money needed to care for Jones’ wife suffering from Alzheimer’s after he dies. The stele’s inscription has historic implications that could be very damaging to Israel so Hezbollah has sent a representative to try and obtain it for propaganda purposes. Also coming into the hunt are a couple of Turks that would kill you just as soon as look at you.

    After lots of double crossing and misleading clues and some public media spotlight Virgil solves the case, but not easily.

    Publisher’s Summary

    The thrilling new novel in the number one New York Times – bestselling series.

    In Israel, a man clutching a backpack searches desperately for a boat. In Minnesota, Virgil Flowers gets a message from Lucas Davenport: You’re about to get a visitor. It’s an Israeli cop, and she’s tailing a man who’s smuggled out an extraordinary relic – a copper scroll revealing startling details about the man known as King Solomon.

    Wait a minute, laughs Virgil. Is this one of those Da Vinci Code deals? The secret scroll, the blockbuster revelation, the teams of murderous bad guys? Should I be boning up on my Bible verses?

    He looks at the cop. She’s not laughing. As it turns out, there are very bad men chasing the relic, and they don’t care who’s in the way or what they have to do to get it. Maybe Virgil should start praying.

    ©2013 John Sandford (P)2013 Penguin Audio

  • gilwilson 3:38 PM on January 5, 2013 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: asperger's syndrome, , , , , , crime, , , , ,   

    “Colin Fischer” by Ashley Edward Miller & Zack Stentz 


    “Colin Fischer”
    by Ashley Edward Miller & Zack Stentz
    Read by Jesse Eisenberg
    Published by Penguin Audio
    Running time: 4 hrs, 16 mins.

    I think that this book had “too big to fail” written all over it, it’s got an Oscar nominated actor reading the audiobook, it is written by two people who were the screenwriters for “Thor” and “X-men: First Class,” a hero with Asperger’s Syndrome and a facial expression guide on the cover of the hard copy version. What could go wrong? Well, absolutely nothing. This book is a big win and once again proves that Young Adult readers always get the best books aimed at their age group.

    Penguin Audio listed this book as one of their upcoming releases and the first thing that grabbed me was the authors listed. Being a comic book fan, this got my attention immediately then seeing that this was a an older version of Encyclopedia Brown with some Sherlock Holmes thrown in made it that much more interesting. Then throw in that the main character, Colin Fisher, has Asperger’s Syndrome, I knew it would be not only very interesting but fulfilling and I immediately requested a copy.

    Recently the BBC did two seasons of a television series version of Sherlock Holmes, “Sherlock”, which explained that the genius behind the deductive reasoning of the famous detective was due to having Asperger’s Syndrome. Asperger’s Syndrome is an autism spectrum disorder that is characterized by significant difficulties in social interaction, alongside restricted and repetitive patterns of behavior and interests. In this book many aspects of Asperger’s syndrome are observed in Colin that are humorous, those are: he has a vicious dislike for the color blue, he cannot stand to be touched, he needs index cards to recognize facial expressions and does not get humor. These all combine in Colin Fisher to create a very quirky genius detective.

    It’s Colin’s first day in High School and he feels he’s armed for the worst, with his notebook for jotting down observations, his collection of cards with various facial expressions and his intellect. But that all goes to pot (literally) within the first few minutes when his nemesis, Wayne Connelly dunks Colin’s head in the toilet. So much for High School being different.

    Some things have changed however, Colin’s nerdy female friend returns from the summer having had the full effect of puberty hit head on. In other words; she left middle school a nerd, but comes to high school as a hotty. Throughout Colin’s school life she has always been a friend to him. When her friends bring her a cake to school to celebrate her birthday, the school’s peaceful atmosphere is forever shattered when a gun is fired amid a scuffle between boys wanting to get some of the cake.

    The gun is found on the cafeteria floor with a smudge of frosting by Colin, to which he simply replies, “Interesting,” while all of the other student’s run out of the cafeteria in fear for their lives. The school officials immediately put the blame on Wayne Connelly, but Colin knows better and sets out to prove his nemesis’ innocence.

    Putting the powers of Asperger’s Syndrome to work, Colin is able to find the real owner of the gun and create some humorous situations that can only happen to Colin. One of the fun things about this audiobook is that whenever a situation arises that needs further explanation or just that something reminds Colin of a fact he knows, there are footnotes. In the production of this book all footnotes and Colin’s journal entries are produced with a slight reverb-type effect that gives the listener the feel that this occurs within Colin’s brain. Nice production trick that makes this book very interesting. By the way, there are several footnotes that range from in depth explanations of Asperger’s Syndrome, the doctor for whom the syndrome is named after, various logical thinkers in history and fiction and sharks.

    Speaking of the production, Jesse Eisenberg (who starred in “Zombieland” and “The Social Network”) narrates the audiobook and in my opinion has the vocal fortitude and acting talent to bring the character of Colin to life. He is able to deliver parts of the story with the proper emotional level and yet,when portraying Colin, is able to be the non-emotional Asperger’s Syndrome personality that makes Colin tick.

    All in all this is an extremely fun book for all ages, to prove that, I had the audiobook playing during one of my family’s out of town shopping adventures, and everyone in the car; my 12 year-old son, my wife and myself were quite and absorbed by the story. This was yet another audiobook which my son would not let me listen to unless he was present. We all had a blast with this story, and from the way the book ended with a hint of ongoing adventures, look forward to many more Colin Fisher stories.

    • Lucy 10:36 PM on January 5, 2013 Permalink | Reply

      I thought this book was really fun too, and I loved Jesse Eisenberg’s narration. That’s great that your whole family could enjoy listening to it with you!


  • gilwilson 1:42 PM on December 24, 2011 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , , , , , , crime, forensics, kate burton, kay scarpetta, , , patricia cornwell, red mist, ,   

    “Red Mist” by Patricia Cornwell 

    “Red Mist”
    by Patricia Cornwell
    Read by Kate Burton
    Produced by Penguin Audio

    Dr. Kay Scarpetta has been a staple in Patricia Cornwell’s novels since 1990 and this latest novel brings Kay to Georgia.  Dr. Scarpetta is a Forensic Examiner/Expert and in this 19th novel featuring her as the protagonist, she has agreed to meet with an inmate at the Georgia Prison for women.  The inmate is a convicted sex offender and mother of a vicious killer.  The woman is convicted of molesting then 12 year old Jack Fielding Scarpetta’s former deputy chief.  The daughter is the result of that relationship and is also the murderer of Jack Fielding.  Scarpetta’s quest is personal, but soon she finds herself roped into an investigation that could clear a woman, now on death row at the same prison, of murder.

    The author, Patricia Cornwell is a founder of the Virginia Institute of Forensic Science and Medicine, a founding member of the National Forensic Academy, a member of the Advisory Board for the Forensic Science Training Program at the office of Chief Medical Examiner, New York City, and a member of the Harvard-affiliated McLean Hospital’s National Council where she is an advocate for psychiatric research.   With these credentials you know you are getting an author that knows what she is writing about.  The science and techniques used in this book not only have that real feel, but Patricia Cornwell has not forgotten the general public and writes so that any person will understand even what could be the most technical jargon.  She keeps the science real but easily understood.  Not only that but Cornwell’s writing involves some unique techniques that capture the surroundings so all clues can be observed in this mystery.

    And example of this is when the people investigating the facts of a case over a dinner all are talking about the case throughout, but at times the listener/reader only hears thoughts in Kay Scarpetta’s head, while at the same time, we hear parts of the conversation and at other times we hear off-hand comments from her friend and detective Marino.  Marino comments on how he hates artificial sweeteners, which have nothing to do with the case but puts you in a very realistic scene. Very well done to make the story real.

    The reader of this audiobook, Kate Burton, does a superb job of vocalizing all the different voices and attitudes of each character, from Boston accents, Southern, New York and even an Australian, all performed clearly and effectively.

    “Red Mist” will engross you in a full investigation that may clear the woman on death row, but the possibilities of what may have actually happened may solve a spree of murders across the country, alert Homeland Security to possible terrorist activities and solve some burning questions from tragedies in Kay Scarpetta’s past.  I don’t usually start a series late but this time around I was curious and jumped right in.  Patricia Cornwell did an excellent job explaining the past histories of all the personnel involved and this novel serves well as a stand-alone piece in the Kay Scarpetta series.

  • gilwilson 10:39 PM on December 12, 2011 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , , , , , columbia university, crime, , diabetes, george guidall, investments, medical thriller, , , , , robin cook, stem cell research,   

    “Death Benefit” by Robin Cook 

    “Death Benefit”
    by Robin Cook
    Read by George Guidall
    Produced by Penguin Audio
    Approx 11.5 hours.

    Back in the ’70s Robin Cook had a huge best seller with his book, “Coma.”  I remember everyone just had to read this book (I was still into just monster books at the time).  Then the movie came out and again folks were excited.  Dr. Cook then went on to write many best sellers but “Coma” was the first one that came to mind.  I got the opportunity to listen to this book, “Death Benefit,” his latest creation, and had to ask myself, “Why haven’t I read anything by this guy before?”

    So here I plunge into a medical thriller, written by the man who pretty much perfected the genre, and I’ll tell you first hand, Dr. Robin Cook can keep you in suspense, while spinning a tale that involves science that could be happening now, and a story that could almost come out of today’s headlines.  I think I may have been intimidated before, knowing that he is an actual physician, I had assumed his writing would get real technical.  Well, I was right it does get pretty technical, but Dr. Cook has a way of telling the story and the science behind the story that becomes educational as well as entertaining.  The science behind this book involves  stem cells and the growing of human organs, and, well, let’s just say, I followed along pretty well.  I don’t consider myself a biology know-it-all, but I’m also not uneducated.  When it comes to biology I sit right about in the middle of that knowledge scale.  But, and here’s the good part, listening to the story told by Dr. Cook the science came easy and he wrote in such a way that anyone could grasp the ideas.

    Before I go into the story, I would like to talk about the reader, George Guidall.  Mr. Guidall did a nice enough job reading the book and even did some nice vocal changes to match the characteristics of each character.  However, I think if I were the one casting a reader for this book I would have gone with someone with a 20 something female voice.  He did a nice enough job to keep the book interesting, but i just think it might have been better with a younger and female voice since the book centered around Pia Grazdani a fourth year medical student.  And many of the characters were younger.  Guidall matched perfectly with some of the older professors and the mobsters, but some voices just would have worked better otherwise.

    The story comes at you from two fronts to start out with.  First with the story of two financial investors that have come up with the latest scam since the bubble burst on sub-prime mortgages.  That scam being the buying up of life insurance policies of folks who may have a short time to live.  The person gets 15 percent of the policy value and the investors collect on the policy when the person dies.  These two investors go out an purchase policies of those with fatal illnesses, especially those with diabetes.  Knowing they won’t live long the investors make money off the dying.

    The second aspect of the story is that of Pia Grazdani, who through a troubled past has worked her way through college and is now on her 4th year of Med School at Columbia University.  Pia is taken under the wing of Dr. Tobias Rothman who sees Pia as he was and convinces her, that she is cut out exactly for research.  He gives her the chance to work with him and Dr. Yamamota on something that will revolutionize the medical industry, using stem sells to grow human organs that because the come from the tissue of the person needing the organ will not be rejected.  Thus creating a pancreas, for example, from a diabetic’s own cells and transplanting it and extending the life of the patient.

    When the investors get word of this research, they realize that 75% of their policies are on diabetics and that this could financially ruin them.  Soon Dr.s Rothman and Yamamota contract a rare strain of salmonella and die.  While it is written off as carelessness, since they were both working on research involving the salmonella strain.  Pia, however does not buy into this and she begins investigating on her own.  Her investigation leads to death threats on her self and a path that leads to a part of her past she has tried to put behind her.

    This non-stop thrillride will take you from the campus of a prestige medical school, to the offices of shady investment bankers to a new crime syndicate without taking a breath until the very end.

  • gilwilson 10:38 PM on September 22, 2011 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , , black mask, crime, , , , , ,   

    “Black Mask 1: Doors in the Dark -And Other Crime Fiction from the Legendary Magazine” Edited by Otto Penzler 

    “Black Mask 1: Doors in the Dark -And Other Crime Fiction from the Legendary Magazine”
    Edited by Otto Penzler
    read by Eric Conger, Oliver Wyman, Alan Sklar, Pete Larkin, and Jeff Gurner
    Produced by High Bridge Audio
    Approx 7 hours

    When I say the words “Pulp Fiction,” what comes to your mind?  Maybe the movie of the same name?  Keep that in mind because I’ve got a surprise for you.  For me the movie was the first thing that would come to mind, but recently I’ve been listening to audio books of stories from the days of the Pulp Fiction magazines.

    This latest audio book is a real gem.  “Black Mask 1” is the first in the series of stories turned to audio books from the “Black Mask” pulp that was printed between 1921 -1950.  These stories all have that great film noir/gumshoe detective feel and make for some great short stories.  In its hey day, “Black Mask” printed stories from some prominent authors of the day, and this first edition starts out with a bang with some great and fun stories.   Before we talk about those, remember the movie “Pulp Fiction?”  The movie was, in its early days, actually titled “Black Mask,” because Quentin Tarantino drew his inspiration from the pulp magazine.

    Each of the stories is read by a different narrator and each one does a superb job of reflecting the story’s emotion and the sound of the time.  If you close your eyes while listening to “Black Mask 1…” in your mind you can easily visualize a film noir gumshoe detective movie from the same era of these stories.

    The introduction to the audio book is written  by Keith Alan Deutsch and read by Eric Conger.  It gives a very nice history of the age of the pulps and especially that of “Black Mask” magazine.

    The stories included in this collection are:

    “Come and Get It” by Erle Stanley Gardner; read by Oliver Wyman.
    Erle Stanly Gardner was a self taught lawyer who took on the extra job of writing for the pulps to make up for the lack of money he earned as a lawyer, after a few years he turned his writing into full time and created the character, Perry Mason.  This story “Come and Get It” ran in the April, 1927 issue of “Black Mask” and features the character, Ed Jenkins.  Ed Jenkins is known to many as the Phantom Prowler, because he can never be caught.  This time around Jenkins is warned by a crook that a woman with a mole on her hand will try to kill him.  In trying to track down this woman, Jenkins discovers a plot by the local crime boss to steal the city’s best jewelry.  Jenkins sets out to foil the plot of the crime boss and the lady with a mole.

    “Arson Plus” by Peter Collinson (Dashiell Hammett); read by Alan Sklar.
    Peter Collinson (Dashiell Hammett) worked for the Pinkerton Detective agency and was one of the folks that brought down actor Fatty Arbuckle.  Published originally in the October, 1923 issue of “Black Mask,” and tells the story of a detective that comes in to investigate a shady arson which the local sheriff has considered the case closed.  The best part of this story is the reader in this case.  Alan Sklar’s voice fits the story perfectly and keeps you listening with what his cigar and gin soaked voice.

    “Fall Guy” by George Harmon Coxe; read by Pete Larkin
    George Harmon Coxe wrote in the sports, romance and sea stories but his best known works are his detective stories.    This story first appeared in the June, 1936 issue of “Black Mask,” and tells of newspaper photographer “Flashgun” Casey who gets called on to deliver ransom money for an old gal pal who had some photos taken when she was younger that she doesn’t want released.  You know the story, she was young, needed the money, so nude photos were taken.  Casey helps her out but finds out things are not all on the up and up.

    “Doors in the Dark” by Frederick Nebel; read by Pete Larkin
    Frederick Nebel created the stories featuring the tough detective Steve McBride and the wisecracking Newspaper reporter Kennedy.  Warner Brothers bought the McBride series and made nine films, in the movies Kennedy was turned into a woman by the name of Torchie Blaine and the object of her affections was McBride.  This story was originally published in the February, 1933 issue and tells the story of an apparant suicide of one of McBride’s friends.  But something doesn’t sit right with McBride so he investigates deeper even though every single clue only leads back to suicide.

    “Luck” by Lester Dent; read by Jeff Gurner    Introduction by Keith Alan Deutsch; read by Eric Conger
    Lester Dent created Doc Savage under the name of Kenneth Robison and was very successful with this series.  After Savage, Dent created the loner boatman Oscar Sail who is the subject of this story.  Originally published in the October, 1936 issue and is an earlier draft of one the Oscar Sail stories.    In this story Sail sets out to find some seedy characters, all the while setting up slot machines to pay off to some lucky gambler, never himself.

    Each one of these stories has its twists and turns that keep you guessing as to what happens next, which is what makes them so fun to hear. I know I’m looking forward to the next edition.

  • gilwilson 8:50 PM on July 7, 2011 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , , , crime, dearly devoted dexter, , jeff lindsay, , ,   

    “Dearly Devoted Dexter” by Jeff Lindsay 

    “Dearly Devoted Dexter”
    by Jeff Lindsay
    Read by Nick Landrum
    Published by Recorded Books (2008)
    Approx 9.5 hours

    My book choice process has no pattern to it.  This last time around was actually a recommendation from my nephew.  He handed me a paperback copy of “Dearly Devoted Dexter,” while asking if I had ever seen the TV series.  I had never seen the series but heard it was interesting.  After all a serial killer that works for the police and only chops up bad guys kind of grabs your attention.  Well, my nephew told me the books were really good and handed me this one.  I wanted to read the book but I had two other books given to me by publishers that had priority and I kept putting this off.  Finally I decide I couldn’t wait no more and found an audio book version and loaded it onto my iPod.  But then I had copies of audio books from publishers I had to get to and I found myself listening to this part time while listening to the other books.  Finally I got so interested in the story I had to put the others aside for a bit and dedicate myself to this one.

    Yeah, the story is that intriguing.  After I got about halfway through this book I started looking up information on the author in preparation for this review and found out this was the second in the series of five (so far) books.   I was surprised because It didn’t seem any backstory was needed.  The author took the time to explain anything that had existed before and this story was a stand-alone story.  While I didn’t miss anything by not reading the previous book, I am definitely going back and reading or listening to the first book.  Jeff Lindsay wrote with a constant mystery and knew how to weave in every detail that in the end all the clues fell into place while at the same time I was on the edge of my seat with some great thrills, mystery and even a few chills.

    Dexter Morgan is a forensic blood spatter pattern analyst for the Miami Police Department.  That’s his day job.  By night and especially around the full moon his “dark passenger” takes over.  The “dark passenger” is a serial killer that lives inside Dexter.  Dexter has honed his talent through his life with the help of his foster-father who was a police officer.  He taught Dexter that his “talent” for killing can be used for good.  When a known killer escapes justice on a technicality Dexter can make sure the criminal can never do harm again.  Once Dexter has delivered his justice, he keeps a souvenir of a blood drop on a slide, which he keeps a collection of in his home.

    Dexter’s sister, Deborah, knows of Dexter’s darker side yet seems to ignore it for the most part.  Deborah has recently been taken off vice, where she had to always pose as a prostitute for sting operations, and moved to homicide where she now uses her talent along with help from her brother’s darker side to solve crimes.

    Dexter has an enemy in the form of Sgt. Doakes.  Doakes does not trust Dexter and does everything he can to make life hell for Dexter.

    Those are the main characters of the series that you need to know of so far.  Let’s talk about this book now.   The book opens with Dexter tracking down a child-killer/pedophile in order to serve his dark justice.  He investigates the killer by sneaking on to his boat to find absolute proof, the code of Harry (Dex’s father) says to always make sure.  When Dexter finds photos of the dead children and the man in the photos the same as the one he’s tracking Dexter has his proof and proceeds to chop the man in pieces, and keeping a drop of blood as a souvenir.  In the process Dexter realizes some other person was there taking the photos.  When the victim won’t tell him who it is Dexter searches for more clues.  Just as he finds who the 2nd party is a wrench is thrown into the works.

    Sgt. Doakes decides that he is going to catch Dexter.  To do so Doakes follows Dexter everywhere he goes and even parks outside Dexter’s home as if on a stake out.  This seriously inhibits Dexter’s plans to get the second man in his dark justice system.  This not only frustrates Dexter but also, and maybe worse, frustrates Dexter’s Dark Passenger.

    Soon though, a case comes up in that involves Doakes, Deborah, Dexter and a mysterious government agency.  A body is found with all the limbs removed and all facial features as well.  Leaving what Dexter refers to as a “squealing pillow.”  Some evil person has sugically removed all the limbs while the victim is alive and medicated (to stay conscious) and in front of a mirror so the victim can contemplate their hideous mutilation.

    Dexter, having been forced to suppress his own psychopathic urges by the suspicious Doakes, welcomes the distraction and begins to focus on hunting down the second possible child killer. However, Dexter finds himself drawn into the case of the mysterious “Dr. Danco” when his sister Deborah’s new boyfriend, detective Kyle Chutsky, turns out to be on the torturer’s hit list, as well as Sgt. Doakes.

    Amidst all the chaos, Dexter finds himself accidentally engaged to his girlfriend Rita, and begins to suspect Rita’s children Astor and Cody of having sociopathic tendencies of their own.

    The book is written in first person and the delivery of the reader, Nick Landrum is so perfect that you feel as if Dexter is talking to you directly.    I think I’m gonna go with audiobook versions of the rest of this series because Nick Landrum is so good at his job.

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