A Killer in the Wind

A Killer in the Wind

4.1 6
by Andrew Klavan
     
 

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Three years ago, working vice for the NYPD, Dan Champion uncovered a sex slavery ring run by a kingpin known only as the Fat Woman. Obsessed with bringing her down, Champion infiltrated a world of sexual obsession and perversity. He broke the case, but the case also broke him. He started taking drugs and soon began to form hallucinations…a dead child prowling…  See more details below

Overview


Three years ago, working vice for the NYPD, Dan Champion uncovered a sex slavery ring run by a kingpin known only as the Fat Woman. Obsessed with bringing her down, Champion infiltrated a world of sexual obsession and perversity. He broke the case, but the case also broke him. He started taking drugs and soon began to form hallucinations…a dead child prowling the streets of New York…a beautiful woman named Samantha who would have given him the love he always wanted—if she’d only been real.

Now Champion is a small town detective, chasing burglars and juvenile delinquents, hanging out at the local tavern where he is romancing a waitress. The ghosts and hallucinations are finally behind him as he begins to rebuild his life. Then one night Champion is called to examine the body of a woman who has washed ashore. Yet when he looks at her face, he sees that it’s Samantha, the woman he dreamed about long ago...a woman who doesn’t exist.

Suddenly, Champion is haunted again, only this time it’s by a team of expert killers who want to make sure he never finds the truth: the truth about the dead child who wanders through his imagination; the truth about the lover who inhabits his dreams; and the truth about a killer who has been on the run — in the wind — for a lifetime. The ghosts of the dead are all around him, and Champion has to find out who murdered them, fast, or he could become one of them himself.

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Editorial Reviews

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.)
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

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:
9780802120670
Publisher:
Grove/Atlantic, Inc.
Publication date:
01/08/2013
Pages:
304
Product dimensions:
6.36(w) x 9.16(h) x 1.06(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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A Killer in the Wind 4.2 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 6 reviews.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I loved this book so much. It was a new author but i loved the book so much!!! The twist about Champion kept me freaking out, but it makes perfect sense. I highly reccomend it!!! Hes my new favorite author!!!!!!!!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Good plotline great characters
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
New author to me but I would read another book of hers. It is chilling because you do not know what is going to happen next - you think you do but no it doesn't happen. It is a must read for anyone that likes a mystery.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
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.
Kataman1 More than 1 year ago
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.
tedfeit0 More than 1 year ago
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.