Dangerous Behavior

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From an Emmy award-winning author comes a high-voltage psychological thriller, whose film rights have already been sold to Paramount/Scott Rudin. Charged with suspense and powered by canny intelligence, Walter Marks's taut debut crime novel pits the rigorously trained and disciplined mind of a promising young psychiatrist, David Rothberg, against the acute, if warped wits of a convicted murderer in a maximum security prison. As the unseasoned doctor strives to determine whether a prospective parolee—Victor ...
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Read once. Pages in great condition - no writing. Only minor shelf wear on dust jacket - nothing major. Free delivery confirmation with every order. Fast shipping from our ... non-smoking home. 2009BN044 Read more Show Less

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Overview


From an Emmy award-winning author comes a high-voltage psychological thriller, whose film rights have already been sold to Paramount/Scott Rudin. Charged with suspense and powered by canny intelligence, Walter Marks's taut debut crime novel pits the rigorously trained and disciplined mind of a promising young psychiatrist, David Rothberg, against the acute, if warped wits of a convicted murderer in a maximum security prison. As the unseasoned doctor strives to determine whether a prospective parolee—Victor Thomas Janko, once known as the Baby Carriage Killer, and now, after years in solitary confinement, a celebrated prison artist—"if released, would behave in a manner dangerous to others," he finds himself drawn unwillingly into the psychological quicksand of his enigmatic subject's phobias and fantasies. A guard at New York's Vanderkill Upstate Correctional Facility has no doubts about Janko's guilt or danger: he's often heard the prisoner boast about his crime. And the prison priest tells David that Janko is evil incarnate. Janko himself claims to have no memory of committing the gruesome murder that captured headlines nationwide, while his girlfriend Daisy maintains that Victor, a loving man, could never kill anyone—and that she can prove it. Each of them, however, has a hidden agenda, and all of them complicate the issue that confronts David, on whose increasingly clouded judgment rests the parole of a possibly seriously disturbed man. What complicates matters even more for David as he tries to penetrate the mysterious case of Victor Thomas Janko in this riveting crime thriller are the demons he confronts within himself—demons that may prove to be the agents of his own destruction.
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Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly
Broadway composer and lyricist Marks strikes a dull note in this debut psychological thriller set in the environs of a New York State prison. Psychiatrist David Rothberg is trying to determine whether Victor Janko, the notorious baby carriage killer, should be paroled after 15 years behind bars. In his initial consultations, Rothberg detects little threat from Janko, a model prisoner who spends most of his time painting beach landscapes. Janko insists he has no memory of the crime for which he was sentenced the stabbing death of a young mother while her baby watched from a nearby carriage and, indeed, some evidence points to his innocence and toward another suspect. Yet Rothberg finds himself pulled in another direction by prison officials who claim they have heard Janko brag about the crime. Right on cue, a key fact emerges that turns Rothberg from prison shrink to dogged investigator, hunting for the real killer in New York City. Just when it seems that Marks is about to build to a heady finale, the plot peters out disappointingly. Some readers, however, will have grown bored earlier on. In spite of Rothberg's unusual profession and some quirky traits he suffers from migraines, drives a converted Checker cab and cares for a pet turtle he has a remarkably spiritless interior life. "If only I could get a resolution to the mystery of Victor Janko," he thinks at one point. "But how?" Readers may well have stopped wondering. Agent, Henry Morrison. $100,000 advertising. (Nov.) Copyright 2002 Cahners Business Information.
Kirkus Reviews
Dr. David Rothberg was a hotshot resident at Bellevue who could have had his pick of psychiatric jobs. When, for reasons of his own, he picks New York's underfunded Vanderkill Prison, his boss, Dr. Benjamin Caldwell, wastes no time in tossing him in with the sharks: suicidal depressives, schizophrenics, garden-variety fakes, and Victor Thomas Janko. The Baby Carriage Killer, who, 15 years ago, pleaded guilty to slashing Agnes Rivera to death in front of her toddler daughter, is coming up for his first parole hearing, and overworked Caldwell, who's barely met Janko, wants David to testify. Stung equally by Caldwell's animus against the model prisoner, an obsessive-compulsive who's taken up photorealist painting, and his insistence that David's testimony stick to computerized predictions of Janko's likely behavior, David fights to meet directly with Janko and is soon drawn into exactly the protests of innocence Caldwell had warned him about. The smug sadism of veteran guard Stevie Karp; the impassioned pleas of Daisy Leszczynski, Janko's uninhibited librarian girlfriend; Father Emile Toussenel's matter-of-fact statement that Janko is evil-everyone around the prisoner (except for attractive night nurse Kim Cavanagh, whose attention is obviously reserved for the new psychiatrist) is so sure, in their contradictory ways, what he's up to that soon David feels as paranoid as his most disturbed patient, incapable of telling whom he can believe or what motives everybody around him has for feeding him the stories they do. Tightly written, and the two-steps-forward-one-step-back plot generates considerable suspense. A promising debut for Hannibal Lecter fans. $100,000 ad/promo
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780786710430
  • Publisher: Avalon Publishing Group
  • Publication date: 11/28/2002
  • Series: Otto Penzler Books Series
  • Pages: 320
  • Product dimensions: 6.32 (w) x 9.04 (h) x 1.08 (d)

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