Black Lightning

Black Lightning

3.9 18
by John Saul
     
 

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John Saul knows how to make the blood run cold and the heart race wild with fear. Now the author of the New York Times bestsellers Creature and The Homing delivers his most chilling novel yet, a gripping story of a convicted serial killer sentenced to death--and hell-bent on revenge.
For five years Seattle has been seized in the terrifying grip of a monster as… See more details below

Overview

John Saul knows how to make the blood run cold and the heart race wild with fear. Now the author of the New York Times bestsellers Creature and The Homing delivers his most chilling novel yet, a gripping story of a convicted serial killer sentenced to death--and hell-bent on revenge.
For five years Seattle has been seized in the terrifying grip of a monster as black as evil itself: a sadistic serial killer who methodically lures his victims to grisly deaths in order to satisfy a twisted passion.
For five years journalist Anne Jeffers has pursued this horrifying story like a woman obsessed--following the killer's capture, trial and appeal--crusading to keep the wheels of justice churning toward the electric chair, never believing the prisoner's steadfast denials of guilt.
Now the day of execution has come. A convicted killer will meet his end. Anne believes her five-year nightmare is over.
Until, within days, a similar murder stuns the city, forcing Anne to face some disturbing questions: Was the wrong man put to death? And is she to blame? Or did he have an accomplice who longs to continue a bloody legacy? Is a copycat killer at work? But how could any imitator so uncannily re-create all the gruesome hallmarks of a murderer's modus operandi, details kept completely secret from all but the police?
As the murderer stalks his next victims, creeping ever closer to her, Anne cannot help but feel an icy unease, a haunting sense of connection to these unspeakable crimes. And, relentlessly, she hears the eerie echo of the dead man's last words to her: "Today won't end it. How will you feel, Anne? When I'm dead, and it all starts again, how will you feel?"
In Black Lightning, John Saul strikes with a novel as electrifying as a jagged bolt from a pitch-dark sky, proving once again his inimitable genius for suspense.


From the Hardcover edition.

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Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly - Publisher's Weekly
Fast pacing and skillful narrative misdirection make this supernatural thriller one of Saul's (The Homing) best-and one of his few not to focus on children in peril. Richard Kraven, the novel's heavy, is as nasty as they come: he eviscerates his victims before they die, in the misguided hope of learning the mystery of life. He also seems to be extending his murder spree after his execution in the electric chair. At least that's what reporter Anne Jeffers tries to prove to the incredulous Seattle police as the killings strike ever closer to her home and family, apparently in retaliation for her help in putting Kraven behind bars. Saul ratchets up the suspense by intercutting chapters told from the points of view of Anne, detective Mark Blakemoor and a serial murderer who thinks of himself as ``The Experimenter.'' He complicates matters by introducing another murderer and by raising suspicions about Anne's husband, Glen, who suffered a heart attack at the moment Kraven died and now experiences blackouts that coincide with the killings. Saul depends on remarkably unobservant cops and a contrived occult explanation to tie all the subplots together, but he sustains the mystery of the killer's identity and motives throughout. Literary Guild and Doubleday Book Club selection; major ad/promo; simultaneous Random House AudioBook; simultaneous release of The Homing in mass market paper. (Aug.)
Library Journal
While Saul's horror fiction isn't likely to be discussed in many graduate literature courses, odds are that each of his new novels will appear on the New York Times Best Sellers list. In his latest, a serial killer terrorizes Seattle.
School Library Journal
YA-Sufficient detail is provided to enable participation in this horror puzzle. The last person convicted-murderer Richard Kraven asks to see before dying is Ann Jeffers, the newspaper woman who had kept his name and crimes in the public consciousness for five years. ``Today won't end it...I'm sorry I won't be here to see you suffer when you finally realize you were wrong about me,'' he says. Brutal murders, perhaps copycat, perhaps at the hands of an accomplice, resume. At first, Ann accepts the changes in her husband following his heart attack. Gradually, they both begin to question what is happening. Soon readers will be more concerned with how things transpire than with who is responsible. Teens seeking a deliberately told tale that promises to raise them to the edge of their seats should find satisfaction in this story.-Barbara Hawkins, Oakton High School, Fairfax, VA
Ray Olson
Onstage, tramps wait for Godot. In real life, psycho-killer thriller fans wait for Hannibal Lecter. But Tom Harris takes his sweet time, which is one reason "Red Dragon" and "Silence of the Lambs" stand head, shoulders, and lots of the torso above the competition. Somewhere near the belt line comes cut-rate horrormeister Saul's latest. It begins with serial killer Richard Kraven going to the chair. Just before he does, he has a last word with the reporter who led the cry for his execution, Anne Jeffers. He says he's not guilty and only regrets not getting to watch her die. Just as Kraven's croaking, Jeffers' architect husband, Glen, has a totally unexpected, near-fatal heart attack. And then, after two years' hiatus (the time between Kraven's apprehension and execution), murders awfully like the ones Kraven died for start up again. What's more, Glen's not the same as before the heart attack--he's colder and subject to horrifying, bloody nightmares--and Anne's getting some "tres" creepy anonymous messages. Say, you don't think that something downright supernatural's going on? Well, this "is" a John Saul opus, and really one of his better efforts. Until Hannibal comes home, it's worth psycho-killer thriller fans' attention.

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Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780307775061
Publisher:
Random House Publishing Group
Publication date:
11/17/2010
Sold by:
Random House
Format:
NOOK Book
Sales rank:
131,454
File size:
2 MB

Meet the Author

John Saul, the author of seventeen novels of terror and supernatural suspense, lives in the state of Washington and on the island of Maui.


From the Paperback edition.

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