A Killer in the Wind

( 4 )

Overview


Three years ago, Dan Champion uncovered a criminal syndicate run by a kingpin known only as the Fat Woman. Champion infiltrated her world of murder, obsession, and perversity, but the case also broke him. He began hallucinating and taking drugs.

Now, Champion is a small-town detective, hoping the ghosts and hallucinations are finally behind him. Then one night he is called to examine the body of a woman who has washed ashore. To his surprise, he recognizes the woman as ...

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A Killer in the Wind

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Overview


Three years ago, Dan Champion uncovered a criminal syndicate run by a kingpin known only as the Fat Woman. Champion infiltrated her world of murder, obsession, and perversity, but the case also broke him. He began hallucinating and taking drugs.

Now, Champion is a small-town detective, hoping the ghosts and hallucinations are finally behind him. Then one night he is called to examine the body of a woman who has washed ashore. To his surprise, he recognizes the woman as Samantha, someone he dreamed about during his dark period—a woman who doesn’t exist. Soon Champion is haunted by a team of expert killers who want to make sure he never finds the truth. The ghosts of the dead are all around him, and Champion has to find out who murdered them, or risk becoming one himself.

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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher

"If you haven’t read Andrew Klavan, you’re in for a treat. He tells vivid stories with a conversational style that’s deceptively simple but does not waste a word."—Charlotte Observer

“Evokes the gritty classics of Cornell Woolrich and Jim Thompson while spinning its own brand of hard-boiled psychological suspense. Among its other distinctions, this book gives us a detective who is tough enough to outlast the most bizarre encounters but isn't too tough to be gripped with fear.”—Kirkus Reviews

“Taut, frightening . . . The edgy story complements a lead character whose fragile memory can’t always separate the real from the imaginary.”—Publishers Weekly

"Dark, violent, seasoned with wit and fueled by anger."—Books and Culture

“Klavan is worthy to be mentioned with Keith Ablow, Jonathan Kellerman, Andrew Vachss, James Patterson, and even Stephen King.”—Huntington News

Publishers Weekly
This taut, frightening psychological thriller from Edgar-winner Klavan (The Identity Man) charts the efforts of Dan Champion, a deputy in Tyler, N.Y., to find a criminal who may not exist. Three years earlier, as an NYPD detective, Dan infiltrated a sex trafficking ring that specialized in children, killing one of the organizers. But the ringleader, known only as the Fat Woman, eluded him. If she is real, no one has actually seen her. The case broke something in Dan, who, aided by his drug use, immediately began seeing visions of Alexander, a little boy, and of Samantha, a beautiful redhead. Now, Dan’s dreams bump against reality when a naked, semiconscious Samantha turns up on a river bank with an enigmatic message for Dan: “They’re coming after us.” Soon Samantha vanishes from the hospital, and assassins start stalking Dan. The edgy story complements a lead character whose fragile memory can’t always separate the real from the imaginary. Agent: Robert Gottlieb, Trident Media. (Jan.)
Kirkus Reviews
Dan Champion is a disgraced NYPD vice cop whose successful handling of an evil child-sex-trade operation was compromised by his pumping five bullets into a prime suspect while on powerful hallucinogens. Now working as a small-town detective, he is revisited by the case via ghosts, including that of a beguiling mystery woman who warns him to run for his life. At least Champion thinks they're ghosts. What starts out as a supernatural mystery turns into a chilling noir rooted in heightened realism when, spurred by his long-suffering girlfriend, Champion investigates repressed traumas in his own past. He was an orphan "adopted" along with other 6-year-olds by the infamous Fat Woman and headed for a terrible end. So powerful is Z, the drug he takes to recover mental images crucial to his investigation, that he spends a stretch of time not knowing whether what he's seeing is real or imagined. Does there really exist this enormous blob of womanhood without a face? Did he ever know and fall in love with Samantha, the purest embodiment of love? And what about the skeleton-faced killer with the spine-tingling promises to subject Champion to a permanent state of torture? Streaked with violence and gloom, this stand-alone, from the author of the Weiss and Bishop series (Damnation Street, 2006, etc.) and the youth-oriented Homelanders series, evokes the gritty classics of Cornell Woolrich and Jim Thompson while spinning its own brand of hard-boiled psychological suspense. Among its other distinctions, this book gives us a detective who is tough enough to outlast the most bizarre encounters but isn't too tough to be gripped with fear.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780802122254
  • Publisher: Grove/Atlantic, Inc.
  • Publication date: 1/14/2014
  • Pages: 304
  • Sales rank: 423,606
  • Product dimensions: 5.40 (w) x 8.10 (h) x 0.90 (d)

Meet the Author


Andrew Klavan is the internationally bestselling author of thirteen novels, including True Crime, which was made into a film by Clint Eastwood, and Don’t Say a Word, made into a film starring Michael Douglas. He has been nominated for five Edgar awards, winning twice, and is the author of the Homelanders series for Young Adults, which have been optioned by Summit Entertainment (“Twilight”). His essays and op-eds on politics, religion, movies and literature have appeared in the Wall Street Journal, The New York Times, The Washington Post, and The Los Angeles Times. He lives in Southern California.
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Customer Reviews

Average Rating 4
( 4 )
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Sort by: Showing all of 4 Customer Reviews
  • Anonymous

    Posted July 11, 2013

    Average

    Not as good as I expected. Would have benefitted more if it had been written in third person. And overall it had a sexist tone to it and characters were limited to gender stereotypes.

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  • Posted February 20, 2013

    more from this reviewer

    Dan Champion is a former undercover cop that was looking to bust

    Dan Champion is a former undercover cop that was looking to bust the mysterious "Fat Woman." During the operation he comes upon a dealer of human flesh, specifically young children. Champion ingratiates himself with the dealer and is able to set up a sting operation. Dan has also got hooked on a powerful narcotic called "Z" which causes him to have realistic hallucinations. One of these episodes happens during the sting causing Dan to go beyond the law in performing the operation. This gets him kicked off the force.

    During his cold turkey come down from the Z he goes through a rough spell and meets his neighbor "Samantha" who helps him clean up his apartment and get through the tough time. When he is back to normal he is not sure if he imagined Samaantha or not but uses logic to deduce that she couldn't have been real. Still Dan is in love with Samantha.

    Three years later and Dan is working for a Sheriff in a small town. He gets a call of a "floater" that has washed up on the lake shore. Dan goes to the scene and is shocked that the floater appears to be Samantha and she has a message for him that they are in danger. Dan cannot figure out how his imagined Samantha could be real but he is soon on the run as a bunch of bad guys are chasing him and it appears that the Fat Woman may be behind it.

    This book was a little slow going and confusing until about a hundred pages in but then it becomes riveting and I was constantly guessing as to what has led to what is going on and who Samantha really is. There is incredibly scripted tense scenes especially when Dan seems to be on the verge of being killed by the bad guys. Even though the author uses third person to narrate I still could almost hear my heart pounding a few times.

    I would have given the book a full five stars but held off a star because of the slow beginning and the fact that through it all Dan is a dark character with some evil streaks in him. I felt he fell too easily into the drug habit at the beginning of the book, which is not the smartest move an undercover cop can make.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Posted January 12, 2013

    more from this reviewer

    There is a long history of hard-boiled detectives, but Dan Champ

    There is a long history of hard-boiled detectives, but Dan Champion is unlike any of them in this eerie novel. To begin with, he doesn’t know who he is. Specifically, he has wiped from memory his early childhood and the experiences he underwent. However, he became a top-notch homicide detective with the NYPD until it became advisable for him to leave after shooting a suspect.

    So he hooks up with a small sheriff’s department in upstate New York, again showing his talent in law enforcement. Then the body of a woman washes up on the shores of the Hudson River, bringing his past to the fore, and the plot thickens.

    There can be no question that Andrew Klavan can construct an interesting and unusual story. He has proven that several times. But in the case of this book, perhaps, he has overdone the bizarre. There is plenty of violence and psychological suspense, often straining credulity. The story thrives on Champion’s inability to distinguish between fantasy and reality. And therein lies the rub: Is that a plus or minus for the reader? On the whole, it is an asset, and therefore the book is recommended.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted January 11, 2013

    Excelle nt

    Good plotline great characters

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
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