The Assailant [NOOK Book]

Overview

CO-ED SLAIN. That’s the call that brings St. Louis Police Lieutenant George Hastings to the downtown banks of the Mississippi River, where Reesa Woods has been strangled and dumped. The hard-charging Hastings is no stranger to murder, but he’s stuck without any leads until a second body—also strangled—turns up across town and he knows he’s chasing a monster.

A talented doctor with an otherwise ordinary and enviable life, Raymond Sheffield has ...

See more details below
The Assailant

Available on NOOK devices and apps  
  • NOOK Devices
  • NOOK HD/HD+ Tablet
  • NOOK
  • NOOK Color
  • NOOK Tablet
  • Tablet/Phone
  • NOOK for Windows 8 Tablet
  • NOOK for iOS
  • NOOK for Android
  • NOOK Kids for iPad
  • PC/Mac
  • NOOK for Windows 8
  • NOOK for PC
  • NOOK for Mac
  • NOOK Study
  • NOOK for Web

Want a NOOK? Explore Now

NOOK Book (eBook - First Edition)
$7.99
BN.com price

Overview

CO-ED SLAIN. That’s the call that brings St. Louis Police Lieutenant George Hastings to the downtown banks of the Mississippi River, where Reesa Woods has been strangled and dumped. The hard-charging Hastings is no stranger to murder, but he’s stuck without any leads until a second body—also strangled—turns up across town and he knows he’s chasing a monster.

A talented doctor with an otherwise ordinary and enviable life, Raymond Sheffield has some very dark needs. His first victims are targets of opportunity, but his ambitions go far beyond that. He’s formed a taste for killing, and his only interest is in getting better at it.

As the violence mounts, the line between upstanding citizens and their secret desires gets thinner and thinner in this thrilling game of catch-me-if-you-can from acclaimed crime novelist James Patrick Hunt.


Read More Show Less

Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly

Colorless characters and a recycled plot line undercut Hunt's third procedural to feature Lt. George Hastings of the St. Louis police (after 2008's Goodbye Sister Disco). Assigned to look into the strangulation of a prostitute, Hastings doesn't get far on the case before a second hooker turns up dead. Those expecting a whodunit may be dismayed to learn about a quarter of the way into the story that the killer is a local surgeon, Raymond Sheffield. Eager to be recognized for his crimes, if only under the moniker "Springheel Jim," Sheffield calls journalist Cliff Llewellyn to tip Llewellyn off that the two slayings are linked, that there's now a third victim-and that a public library book on Jack the Ripper contains a vital clue. Hastings is a competent enough investigator, but the reader has little basis to believe that without Sheffield's revealing phone call Hastings would ever catch the killer. (June)

Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.
Library Journal

In his third outing (after Goodbye Sister Disco and The Betrayers), Lieutenant George Hastings of the St. Louis PD is called out when the strangled corpse of a co-ed high-priced escort is discovered dumped on the banks of the Mississippi. When another woman is found strangled to death, Hastings suspects there might be a serial killer on the loose, but the city's powers-that-be want a quick end to the case. While the serial killer plot is not particularly fresh, Hunt's nail-biting storytelling keeps readers in its grip until the end. For those who like John Sandford and remember David L. Lindsey's Houston homicide detective Stuart Haydon.


—Jo Ann Vicarel
Kirkus Reviews
Lt. George Hastings, St. Louis Homicide, locks horns with a man whose fondness for killing prostitutes extends to women who think they aren't. The first victim, Reesa Woods, works as a high-end escort to put herself through college and set a little aside. When she leaves visiting New York banker Geoffrey Harris, she has no idea that he's her final client. When her strangled corpse turns up on a foul section of the Mississippi bank, Hastings (Goodbye Sister Disco, 2008, etc.) finds no physical evidence, no associates eager to cooperate with his investigation and no sign that the killer has made any mistakes. After Adele Sayers, a second escort, is found strangled outside the city, a joint task force is appointed to coordinate city and county inquiries. Though he's second in command among the SLPD participants, Hastings gets nothing out of the task force but some serious friction with its head, Chief of Detectives Ronnie Wulf. By rights, the murder of realtor Marla Hilsheimer, clubbed instead of strangled, ought to break the case wide open because it clearly departs from the pattern. But it does no such thing. Neither does the gloating letter the killer sends the St. Louis Herald. Instead, both Hastings and Reesa's colleague Rita Liu have a series of convenient hunches that pay off. As usual, Hunt writes a mean sentence and keeps up the pace so smartly that his growing number of fans won't look too closely at the holes in the detective work or the disappointingly conventional presentation of the assailant.
From the Publisher
Advance Praise for The Assailant

“Equal parts thriller and procedural… [The killer’s] cat-and-mouse game with Hastings is carefully and disturbingly rendered.… Darkly entertaining.”

Booklist

Praise for Goodbye Sister Disco

“Hunt unspools this gripping plot at breakneck speed. Not a word seems wasted, whether in breathtaking action sequences or in back-story sketches of the book’s various players.”

The Wall Street Journal

“Hunt’s roller coaster of a crime thriller has it all—great characters, plenty of action, and a nail-biting ending.”

Library Journal (starred review)

“The superbly drawn characters in this mix of thriller and police procedural would do Joseph Wambaugh or Michael Connelly proud.… Another fine piece of work.”

Booklist (starred review)

Praise for The Betrayers

“Densely woven, economical and utterly assured. Hunt plots like a veteran of urban warfare.”

Kirkus Reviews

Read More Show Less

Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781429990219
  • Publisher: St. Martin's Press
  • Publication date: 6/9/2009
  • Series: Lieutenant George Hastings , #3
  • Sold by: Macmillan
  • Format: eBook
  • Edition description: First Edition
  • Edition number: 1
  • Pages: 336
  • Sales rank: 367,140
  • File size: 239 KB

Meet the Author


JAMES PATRICK HUNT, a practicing lawyer, was born in Surrey, England. A graduate of St. Louis University and Marquette University Law School, he is the author of two previous Hastings novels and now lives in Tulsa, Oklahoma.

Read More Show Less

Read an Excerpt


Chapter One

"Ashley?"

The young woman of twenty-two slowed her walk. She heard the name called again and then she turned to look at the caller. "Ashley," he said. "It is you. Hey," he said. Smiling now. Ashley waited to see if she recognized the man. Well dressed and professional. A soft, almost feminine way about him. He had not called to schedule an appointment tonight. But she thought she might have remembered him from before. A convention ...? She gave him her working smile anyway. The all-American college girl smile.

"Hey," she said, her voice bright without being warm.

The man said, "What are you doing here?"

"Just, you know, chilling."

Some of them liked it when you used kids’ words. Chilling, hanging, balling. Middle-aged men with money, wanting to feel young. She could help them with that sort of thing. Anything to move things along.

The man smiled at her. And some part of her recoiled at that. His toothy smile beneath his spectacles. Discomforting, even from a customer.

They were standing on Market Street in downtown St. Louis. A November evening, the threat of cold rain in the air. The Cardinals had won the Series a few weeks earlier and the city was relatively quiet.

The girl’s name was Reesa Woods, but when she was on duty she was called Ashley. She had left a hotel room at the Adam’s Mark only a few minutes earlier. The client had been an old man, older than this guy in front of her. Sixty at least. He had made a lot of money in something called options and he was from England or Australia or someplace like that. He had dressed well and he had been a gentleman. She had been with him before. Tonight, he had done it to her only once, but then asked her if she would stay with him for a second hour and told her he would pay for it. Pay for her company. Another $450. Ashley had agreed to do so.

For the second hour, the old man was back in his clothes and had actually started to lecture her about her career options. Her future. He told her that she was a courtesan, not a prostitute, and there was a difference between the two. He told her that she had been born in the wrong country and probably the wrong century. He told her that she would have made a good Frenchwoman and that he meant that in a good way.

Reesa "Ashley" Woods had heard this sort of thing before. An old, lonely man with money, perhaps he wanted to believe she was something more than she was. A French courtesan as opposed to a girl from Springfield, Missouri, who had simply gotten bored with small-town life and a creepy, abusive boyfriend and had left it all behind as soon as she finished high school.

She had enrolled in classes at the University of Missouri, St. Louis (UMSL), starting with twelve hours for the semester and soon scaling it back to six because it was harder than she’d thought it would be. She believed she was smart enough to handle the load, but she felt there was no hurry.

When she was twenty, she took a job as a dancer at a strip club near the airport. It paid well with tips, and after a few months of that she was asked to have a drink with an older woman who looked a little like Jacqueline Bissett. Older, but sexy and mysterious. The woman’s name was Bobbie Cafaza and she was the madam of what she said was the most exclusive escort service in the St. Louis area. One of the first questions she put to Reesa Woods was, "Are you using drugs? Don’t lie to me, because if you do, I’ll know it."

Reesa said she was not.

Bobbie said, "That’s good. Because I can’t have that in my house. I won’t have it. At least half the girls who work at these strip clubs are addicted to coke or heroin. But I don’t see the signs with you."

Reesa said she wouldn’t touch it.

Bobbie Cafaza, at that time, was the madam of four escort services. But the one she had in mind for Reesa Woods was Executive Escorts, which was a part of Tia’s Flower Shop. She told Reesa that their clients were not street-corner bums but high-class: doctors, lawyers, CEOs, and politicians. She told Reesa that she had that college, fresh-girl look that the clients were after.

Bobbie said, "There are escorts and there are whores. I run a professional outfit. When you’re working, you wear a dress or a skirt. No shorts or pants. If you’re standing on a street corner and you look like a whore, you’re not doing it right. You need to look like you could be working for these men. Or with them. Like you’re about to go to one of their meetings. That’s what they’re paying for. The illusion. Do you have a tattoo?"

"No," Reesa said.

"Good. Get one and you’re fired. When can you start?"

Reesa quit the strip club and started a week later. Now she had been with the Flower Shop about a year. In that time, she had netted about ninety thousand dollars, all of it tax free. She owned a secondhand Mercedes convertible and had an attractive apartment in the Central West End. She believed that her working, "Ashley" identity was separate from that of Reesa Woods.

Walking away from the hotel, downtown on an evening that was turning cold, was she Ashley or was she Reesa Woods wanting to get home and take a shower?

The man on the street was sort of hovering around her now. "You keeping busy?"

She knew what he meant by that. Asking if she was working. "Yeah. How about you?"

"Oh, I was down here for a meeting. Bunch of pointy heads talking about administrative procedure. You know how that can be."

"Yeah," she said, though she had no idea what he was talking about. She was used to going along.

He said, "Are you busy now?" He was smiling at her again.

"Well," Reesa said, "you’re supposed to go through the agency, you know."

"Oh, is that how it works?" he said, and Reesa picked up a bit of scorn in his voice. Like he needed to tell her he wasn’t stupid. Creep. He said, "Can’t you do things on your own?"

Reesa sighed. "Look, I can, but . . ."

Jesus, he was starting to pull his hand out of his pocket. A roll of bills.

"Christ," Reesa said. "Don’t pull out money here."

"Oh. Sorry." He put it back in his pocket.

"Jesus," Reesa said.

"Well," he said, "if you’re in such a hurry."

Shit, Reesa thought. Bobbie fired any girl caught freelancing. Bobbie’s view was that she took good care of her girls, and if any of them thought about not reporting jobs to her, thought about skimming for themselves, they could go stand on the street corner with the rest of the whores because she’d fire their little asses pronto. Reesa believed she would too. But hell . . .

Reesa said, "I can give you an hour. Okay? That’s it."

"Sounds great," the man said.

He walked her to his car. He opened the door and shut it after she got into the front seat.

It was when she got into the car that she started to worry. Because the car didn’t really fit the man. It was a secondhand Ford Crown Victoria. Stripped, utilitarian, and plain. She expected him to have a Jaguar or a BMW. A secondhand car, but the man was wearing a nice suit and a Burberry raincoat. They didn’t go together. A small alarm went off then. She could hear Bobbie’s counsel from the earliest days: You sense danger, you get out of there.. . .

Reesa said, "Where did we meet before?"

The man kept his eyes ahead, on the road. They were south of the I-64 overpass now, heading toward the loading docks beyond Laclede’s Landing.

The man said, "The pharmaceutical wine-and-cheese party. It was a couple of weeks ago."

"Oh," she said. And now she was looking at him again. "So you’re a doctor?"

He nodded, smiling again. Pleased with himself.

And Reesa said, "Is this your car?"

"It’s a loaner," the doctor said.

Soon they were stopped. And she could sense the Mississippi River not far off. Dark and cold and abandoned buildings were on both sides of them. And he had shut off the ignition to the car, and Reesa was not liking this at all. She was not the sort to work in cars. Hotel rooms, homes, apartments, that was her thing. She thought about her purse and the small mace dispenser inside, hoping she was wrong.

"Hey," she said, putting some harshness in her words because often that tone could put guys like this in their place. Particularly the professional ones who worried about exposure and scandal.

"Hey," she said, "I don’t like this."

That’s when she noticed him pulling on the black gloves. Not looking at her as he pulled them on, and then when they were pulled tight, he turned and punched her in the face.

The force of the blow did not knock her unconscious. In her last few seconds, she started to wish that it had.

Excerpted from The Assailant by James Patrick Hunt.
Copyright © 2009 by James Patrick Hunt.
Published in June 2009 by St. Martin’s Press.

All rights reserved. This work is protected under copyright laws and reproduction is strictly prohibited. Permission to reproduce the material in any manner or medium must be secured from the Publisher.

Read More Show Less

Recipe

Advance Praise for The Assailant

“Equal parts thriller and procedural… [The killer’s] cat-and-mouse game with Hastings is carefully and disturbingly rendered.… Darkly entertaining.”
—Booklist

Praise for Goodbye Sister Disco
“Hunt unspools this gripping plot at breakneck speed. Not a word seems wasted, whether in breathtaking action sequences or in back-story sketches of the book’s various players.”
—The Wall Street Journal

“Hunt’s roller coaster of a crime thriller has it all—great characters, plenty of action, and a nail-biting ending.”
—Library Journal (starred review)

“The superbly drawn characters in this mix of thriller and police procedural would do Joseph Wambaugh or Michael Connelly proud.… Another fine piece of work.”
—Booklist (starred review)

Praise for The Betrayers

“Densely woven, economical and utterly assured. Hunt plots like a veteran of urban warfare.”
—Kirkus Reviews

Read More Show Less

Customer Reviews

Average Rating 2.5
( 3 )
Rating Distribution

5 Star

(1)

4 Star

(0)

3 Star

(0)

2 Star

(1)

1 Star

(1)

Your Rating:

Your Name: Create a Pen Name or

Barnes & Noble.com Review Rules

Our reader reviews allow you to share your comments on titles you liked, or didn't, with others. By submitting an online review, you are representing to Barnes & Noble.com that all information contained in your review is original and accurate in all respects, and that the submission of such content by you and the posting of such content by Barnes & Noble.com does not and will not violate the rights of any third party. Please follow the rules below to help ensure that your review can be posted.

Reviews by Our Customers Under the Age of 13

We highly value and respect everyone's opinion concerning the titles we offer. However, we cannot allow persons under the age of 13 to have accounts at BN.com or to post customer reviews. Please see our Terms of Use for more details.

What to exclude from your review:

Please do not write about reviews, commentary, or information posted on the product page. If you see any errors in the information on the product page, please send us an email.

Reviews should not contain any of the following:

  • - HTML tags, profanity, obscenities, vulgarities, or comments that defame anyone
  • - Time-sensitive information such as tour dates, signings, lectures, etc.
  • - Single-word reviews. Other people will read your review to discover why you liked or didn't like the title. Be descriptive.
  • - Comments focusing on the author or that may ruin the ending for others
  • - Phone numbers, addresses, URLs
  • - Pricing and availability information or alternative ordering information
  • - Advertisements or commercial solicitation

Reminder:

  • - By submitting a review, you grant to Barnes & Noble.com and its sublicensees the royalty-free, perpetual, irrevocable right and license to use the review in accordance with the Barnes & Noble.com Terms of Use.
  • - Barnes & Noble.com reserves the right not to post any review -- particularly those that do not follow the terms and conditions of these Rules. Barnes & Noble.com also reserves the right to remove any review at any time without notice.
  • - See Terms of Use for other conditions and disclaimers.
Search for Products You'd Like to Recommend

Recommend other products that relate to your review. Just search for them below and share!

Create a Pen Name

Your Pen Name is your unique identity on BN.com. It will appear on the reviews you write and other website activities. Your Pen Name cannot be edited, changed or deleted once submitted.

 
Your Pen Name can be any combination of alphanumeric characters (plus - and _), and must be at least two characters long.

Continue Anonymously
Sort by: Showing 1 – 4 of 3 Customer Reviews
  • Posted May 16, 2009

    more from this reviewer

    A well written serial killer thriller

    St. Louis Police Homicide Lieutenant George Hastings leads the investigation into the strangulation murder of Reesa Woods, a high price call girl paying her way through college as an escort, whose body was found in the muddy banks of the Mississippi. The evidence is near zero and her associates refuse to speak. Soon afterward a second strangulation death, escort Adele Sayers, is found outside the city.-----------

    A regional task force is formed with George as number two as he and the team leader SLPD Chief of Detectives Ronnie Wulf bang heads. A third body with a different MO that of realtor Marla Hilsheimer is found clubbed to death. The killer gloats and taunts the cops with tips and clues to the St. Louis Herald reporter Cliff Llewellyn. Teaming up with Woods' associate Rita Liu, George struggles to prevent any more deaths from "Springheel Jim" as the killer calls himself to the media.-----------

    The latest Hastings police procedural (see GOODBYE SISTER DISCO and BETRAYERS) is a well written serial killer thriller, but uses the taunting PR fame grabbing by the psychopath that is typical of the sub-genre. The story line is fast-paced as the homicides and the taunting increase. Fans will enjoy the taunting in your face of THE ASSAILANT as even the members of the task force know that without the killer's help the case would remain hot.---------------

    Harriet Klausner

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

    Posted June 25, 2013

    No text was provided for this review.

  • Anonymous

    Posted May 21, 2011

    No text was provided for this review.

  • Anonymous

    Posted January 25, 2010

    No text was provided for this review.

Sort by: Showing 1 – 4 of 3 Customer Reviews

If you find inappropriate content, please report it to Barnes & Noble
Why is this product inappropriate?
Comments (optional)