The Architect: A Novel [NOOK Book]

Overview


West Crosse is a stunningly brilliant, strikingly handsome architect with a love of ideal beauty and a commitment to achieving it at any cost. But the rich, powerful families who secretly engage him to design their homes don't know his dark side: Crosse can't stop at designing their dwellings. He needs to make their lives more perfect, too, even if it means a gut rehab of the family, even if the final design takes years to achieve--murdering an abusive spouse, a toxic lover, a predatory business partner or an ...
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The Architect: A Novel

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Overview


West Crosse is a stunningly brilliant, strikingly handsome architect with a love of ideal beauty and a commitment to achieving it at any cost. But the rich, powerful families who secretly engage him to design their homes don't know his dark side: Crosse can't stop at designing their dwellings. He needs to make their lives more perfect, too, even if it means a gut rehab of the family, even if the final design takes years to achieve--murdering an abusive spouse, a toxic lover, a predatory business partner or an unwanted child. As Crosse is about to embark on the master work or his creative life, the FBI puts Frank Clevenger on the case, and the ultimate cat and mouse game begins.


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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781429901130
  • Publisher: St. Martin's Press
  • Publication date: 4/1/2007
  • Series: Frank Clevenger, #6
  • Sold by: Macmillan
  • Format: eBook
  • Pages: 320
  • Sales rank: 67,659
  • File size: 324 KB

Meet the Author


Keith Ablow received his medical degree from the Johns Hopkins School of Medicine and completed his psychiatric residence at New England Medical Center in Boston. A forensic psychiatrist, he serves as an expert witness in legal cases involving violence and has evaluated and treated murderers, gang members and sexual offenders for the Commonwealth of Massachusetts. His essays on psychiatry and society have appeared in the Baltimore Sun, the Boston Herald, Discover, USA Today, U.S. News & World Report and the Washington Post. He is the author of several works of nonfiction and of the novels Denial, Projection and Compulsion, and Psychopath. Ablow lives in the Boston area.

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Read an Excerpt


Chapter One
August 10, 2005, 3:20 p.m.
 
A map of the United States glowed on the flat-panel monitor at the front of the room.
 
“You’ll remember the first two bodies were found in Darien and Greenwich,” FBI analyst Bob White, a forty-something former street cop, said.
 
Two stars glowed over Connecticut.
 
“August and October, 2003. Both deep in the woods. The bizarre condition of the corpses got headlines, but things quieted down within a couple months.” He cleared his throat, but his gravelly voice didn’t change. “Until last year,” he said. “The third body. A twelve-year-old boy in Big Timber, Montana.”
 
Another star.
 
“He crossed state lines, we got involved. Now, two more in the last six months: Southampton, New York . . .”
 
A fourth star.
 
“Ironwood, Michigan.”
 
A fifth.
 
“The press is all over us.”
 
Forensic psychiatrist Frank Clevenger, forty-nine, looked over at Ken Hiramatsu, the agency’s chief pathologist. “Tell me about the bodies.”
 
Hiramatsu motioned the control room for the next series of images.
 
The screen filled with what looked like a photo from Gray’s Anatomy.
 
“His dissection is beyond competent,” Hiramatsu said, with what sounded like admiration. “In each victim, a different organ or vessel or joint is masterfully exposed. In Darien, it was the heart of a twenty-seven-year-old woman.”
 
Clevenger could see the sternum and rib cage of the victim had been neatly cut away, the muscles and fascia beneath them held back by silver nails, giving a full view of the heart, freed even from the fibrous, pericardial sac that normally clings to it like a glove.
 
“He goes deep,” Hiramatsu said, motioning the control room again. “He wants to see everything.”
 
The image on screen changed to a close-up of forceps holding open a window cut into the left ventricle, revealing the aortic and mitral valves. It changed again to show a second window onto the tricuspid valve, inside the right ventricle.
 
“You get the idea,” Hiramatsu said. He twirled a finger in the air. The slides began cycling.
 
Clevenger watched one image of meticulous carnage after another. A section of abdominal wall excised to reveal the kidney of a teenage boy, the renal artery and ureter brought into view by threads tied around them, pulled tight and anchored by silver nails. The right hip of a middle-aged woman open to show the neck and head of the femur, with the gluteus medius, quadratus femoris, and iliopsoas muscles stripped clean. The jugular veins and carotid arteries of a beautiful, thirty-something woman. The spine of a man face down in a bed of leaves.
 
“The spine is the one from Michigan,” Hiramatsu said. “His most accomplished work.”
 
Clevenger glanced at him.
 
“In its attention to detail,” Hiramatsu said quickly. “Each and every spinal nerve tied off. The vertebral arteries pristinely dissected. Not one of them torn. Not even a nick.”
 
“Any evidence of sexual abuse?” Clevenger asked.
 
“None,” Hiramatsu said.
 
“Cause of death?” Clevenger asked.
 
“Poisoning.” Hiramatsu said. “We found traces of chloroform and succinylcholine in every body.”
 
Chloroform was a sedative-hypnotic agent. Succinylcholine was a potent paralytic. Just three milligrams would freeze every muscle in the body, including the heart.
 
“We’ve thought about a surgeon,” Dorothy Campbell, an older, elegant woman who ran the profiler computer system, said. “The blade is consistent with a scalpel.”
 
“You’d think he’d get enough in the O.R.,” Clevenger said.
 
“Maybe some hotshot fired for drugs or malpractice,” White said. “Out to show everyone just how competent he is.”
 
“Possible,” Clevenger said.
 
“What we know for sure,” White said, “is that he’s got a ticket. All five victims are from serious money, even the kid.”
 
“He can’t meet these people by chance,” Campbell said. “They know him. They trust him.”
 
“Do they know each other?” Clevenger asked.
 
“The husband of one victim and the father of another served on the board of National Petroleum together,” White said. “We could never make anything of it.”
 
“Other leads?” Clevenger asked, looking around the table.
 
A few seconds passed in silence before White cleared his throat again. He winked. “If we were making a lot of headway, you wouldn’t be here.”
 
Copyright © 2005 by Keith Ablow
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Customer Reviews

Average Rating 4.5
( 12 )
Rating Distribution

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Sort by: Showing all of 13 Customer Reviews
  • Posted February 19, 2012

    good, but bad presentation

    I enjoyed reading this eBook, this is one of the authors I follow. However, the presentation for this eBook was terrible. A simple spellcheck of the scanned copy would have eliminated about 90 percent of the numerous typos, misspacings and other grammatical errors I found. I could understand the text, but it made it difficult to read. Come on,BN, you can do better.

    3 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted December 9, 2008

    more from this reviewer

    strong psychological thriller

    He is one of the most brilliant architects the world has ever known, a virtuoso who believes that he knows what would suit the client more than the client does. He is not listed in any phone book and most people have never heard of him. He was a member of the secret society known as the Order of Skull and Bones and gets his referrals from them through word of mouth. His talent is such that he was picked to design a new museum in the White House because the president was also a member of the secret society and trusts him implicitly. --- However, this fine architect, believing he has God¿s blessing, is also a cold blooded murderer who kills a person from his client¿s family when the victim makes the lives of their relatives miserable. Forensic psychiatrist Frank Clevenger is called in to profile this serial killer. Frank also tries to help his troubled son Billy who looks like he is going to be serving time as he battles his drinking and drug problem. --- West Crosse is one of the most sinister villains since Hannibal Lechter. What makes him so frightening is he believes he has a calling to kill those who destroy the perfection of a family and is rational enough to know that if he kills his last victim, he will die almost immediately. Frank is also at his best with his own demons and second guessing himself so he comes across as the more realistic character, one that elicits sympathy from the reader. Keith Abbot has once again shown that he is the master of the psychological thriller. --- Harriet Klausner

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted October 26, 2008

    more from this reviewer

    Jennifer Wardrip - Personal Read

    Ablow's Frank Clevenger series began with an appearance by this forensic psychologist back in 1998 in Denial. In every subsequent book, we get a great thriller story interspersed with Clevenger's own personal trials, and THE ARCHITECT is no different. <BR/><BR/>The main storyline of this book, that of an architect who believes he's doing God's work by reshaping the lives of the people he builds houses for, is definitely overshadowed by the story of Clevenger himself. His own battle with alcoholism (reminiscent of that of Lawrence Block's Matthew Scudder), his on-again-off-again very realistic relationship with his FBI girlfriend, and the tightrope he walks with his adopted son, Billy, take front row. <BR/><BR/>Although the bad guy in this book keeps the story fresh and the plot intense, to me it was the underlying story of Clevenger and his life that held my real interest. I was left at the last page not with the feeling of "good, the bad guy is dead," but that of "what's going to happen to Billy?" <BR/><BR/>I guess you could say I'm hooked.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted October 23, 2007

    Another Great Clevenger Thriller

    Ablow's Frank Clevenger series began with an appearance by this forensic psychologist back in 1998 in Denial. In every subsequent book, we get a great thriller story interspersed with Clevenger's own personal trials, and THE ARCHITECT is no different. The main storyline of this book, that of an architect who believes he's doing God's work by reshaping the lives of the people he builds houses for, is definitely overshadowed by the story of Clevenger himself. His own battle with alcoholism (reminiscent of that of Lawrence Block's Matthew Scudder), his on-again-off-again very realistic relationship with his FBI girlfriend, and the tightrope he walks with his adopted son, Billy, take front row. Although the bad guy in this book keeps the story fresh and the plot intense, to me it was the underlying story of Clevenger and his life that held my real interest. I was left at the last page not with the feeling of 'good, the bad guy is dead,' but that of 'what's going to happen to Billy?' I guess you could say I'm hooked.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted August 14, 2007

    Intense and draws you in

    I really enjoyed feeling Clevenger's pain throughout the book. i was able to relate to him on a more personal level becuase as a regular person, i have some of the same thoughts he has. in between each intense scene you were thrown from page to page with details leading to the next detailed 'work of art'

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  • Anonymous

    Posted March 2, 2007

    A thriller book lover!

    This book seemed promising for a thrilling reading experience. It was a good story but it should have had more depth and discription. It seemed a little to basic to be a thriller but I would consider it a good read.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted January 9, 2012

    No text was provided for this review.

  • Anonymous

    Posted November 27, 2010

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    Posted August 14, 2011

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    Posted August 22, 2010

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  • Anonymous

    Posted June 26, 2009

    No text was provided for this review.

  • Anonymous

    Posted April 25, 2012

    No text was provided for this review.

  • Anonymous

    Posted November 1, 2008

    No text was provided for this review.

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