Deviant Ways

( 24 )


Punctuated with one blisteringly violent and unpredictable twist after another, this pitch-perfect study of psychological terror spotlights two magnificent minds opposed in a no-holds-barred duel of cunning and depravity.

A master killer calling himself the Sandman is out for revenge. He's slaughtering not just one person at a time but whole families and whole neighborhoods, unleashing devastating explosions nationwide, and watching the horror unfold on a sophisticated network ...

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Punctuated with one blisteringly violent and unpredictable twist after another, this pitch-perfect study of psychological terror spotlights two magnificent minds opposed in a no-holds-barred duel of cunning and depravity.

A master killer calling himself the Sandman is out for revenge. He's slaughtering not just one person at a time but whole families and whole neighborhoods, unleashing devastating explosions nationwide, and watching the horror unfold on a sophisticated network of surveillance cameras. No one knows why he is committing his crimes, or where he'll strike next.

But one man — Jack Casey — knows this: the Sandman wants him in the middle of the case, and wants him to suffer...

Jack was the FBI's top profiler until a psychopath's unspeakable crime shattered his life. Now Jack is starting over as a detective in a posh shoreline community outside Boston, and involved with a beautiful woman who knows nothing about his shocking past. But the Sandman has found him, and his cutting-edge electronic devices are silently monitoring Jack's every move. Knowing that a showdown is imminent, Jack turns in desperation to Malcolm Fletcher, a strange and brilliant fallen angel from the profiling unit. Fletcher is wanted by the FBI. And he possesses the key to unlocking the Sandman's demented mind.

As Jack Casey confronts evidence that the evil he's fighting may have emanated from his own side of the law, the Sandman's motivations begin to appear and a wild chase ensues. But while racing against time to save the next family, Jack is led deeper into the dark and terrifying tunnels of his fragile mind — a place where the Sandman awaits, to deal his final master stroke of vindictive cruelty.

Deviant Ways is a breathtaking and unforgettable first novel that catapults Chris Mooney into suspense fiction's highest ranks. A harrowing journey through ordinary streets turned into scenes of unimaginable terror, it careens from cries of mass murder to whispers within the mind — in a disturbing cat-and-mouse game of righ-teousness, loss, and vengeance.

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Editorial Reviews

From Barnes & Noble
Our Review
The Return of Chaos
Chris Mooney is a smart, resourceful young writer who has not yet fully assimilated his influences. On the one hand, his debut novel, Deviant Ways, is an overly familiar psycho-killer thriller that leans too heavily on the work of other writers, particularly Thomas Harris. On the other hand, it's a vital, frequently exciting novel, the clear product of a natural storyteller struggling to discover his own true voice.

The hero of Deviant Ways is Jack Casey, a lineal descendent of Red Dragon's Will Graham. Casey is a former FBI profiler whose career ended when a Lecter-like psychopath named Miles Hamilton murdered Casey's pregnant young wife. By the time the novel opens, Jack has tentatively reestablished the elements of a worthwhile life. He has fallen in love with a beautiful, successful photographer and now works as a police detective in the stress-free, upscale environs of Marblehead, Massachusetts. His peaceful existence and tenuous sense of emotional stability end abruptly when a stone-cold killer called the Sandman sets up shop in Marblehead.

The Sandman is an irreversibly damaged young man who murders entire families, then destroys all evidence through a series of massive, remote-controlled explosions. Casey's attempts to identify and capture the Sandman, and to understand his underlying motives, dominate the narrative, leading Casey to a series of near-fatal encounters: with the elusive Sandman, with a desperate cabal of renegade FBI agents who have secrets of their own, and with the darkest, most violent aspects of his own nature. In the course of a protracted manhunt that leads from Marblehead to rural Maine, Casey faces a multitude of debilitating memories, risks the loss of everything -- and everyone -- he loves, and finds himself forced, in the climactic chapters, to reenact the most devastating moments of his life.

Deviant Ways is a kitchen sink kind of novel that offers something for everyone: high-speed car chases, government conspiracies, primal confrontations, and breathless escapes, together with a vivid, convincing assortment of technological marvels. In spite of the familiarity of much of the material (such as the by now clichéd portrait of a-cop-who-can-think-like-a-psychopath), Mooney's novel gradually establishes a dramatic life of its own. In the end, it has something substantial to say about grief, trauma, madness, and abuse. For all its indebtedness to other books, Deviant Ways remains a compelling, sometimes powerful debut. It will be interesting to see where its gifted young author goes from here.

--Bill Sheehan

Publishers Weekly - Publisher's Weekly
The familiar device of revenge killing is given horrific new twists in this gripping debut, as Mooney propels the reader into breathless suspense. The action kicks off with a literal bang: it's July 4 in Marblehead, Mass., where a serial killer, determined to erase evidence of a multiple slaying, sets off a bomb that wipes out several homes. Called in to investigate is Jack Casey, a former hotshot FBI profiler who's attempting to mend his shattered life as a detective on the Marblehead police force. Six years earlier, he watched, bound and drugged, while a madman killed his wife and unborn child. As the house bombings continue, Jack's assignment begins to undermine his sanity; recollections of the past crowd upon him, and his increasingly fragile condition threatens a current romantic relationship. Along the way Casey joins forces with the dark and fascinating Malcolm Fletcher, a renegade from the profiling department given to quoting Oscar Wilde, reading Le Morte d'Arthur in French and delivering the odd wisecrack ("I've seen your efforts. A high school freshman trying to unclasp a bra has a more polished approach"). Fascinating, too, is the novel's villain, the self-proclaimed Sandman, whose fiendish use of up-to-the-minute technology, for both surveillance and destruction, lends the novel some of its most distinctive details. Mooney's cinematic eye, unerring ear for vivid dialogue and deft touches of humanity--often interjected in moving counterpoint to the plot's malevolence--combine to turn this novel, despite some genre clich s (e.g., the traumatized cop), into a rousing read. (Oct.) Copyright 2000 Cahners Business Information.
Kirkus Reviews
Routine, bythenumbers psychokiller tale set in Massachusetts's tony Marblehead beach town and the New England sticks that delivers all the nailbiting suspense the genre requires.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781439182598
  • Publisher: Gallery Books
  • Publication date: 8/11/2009
  • Pages: 382
  • Sales rank: 1,254,370
  • Product dimensions: 6.00 (w) x 9.00 (h) x 0.90 (d)

Meet the Author

Chris Mooney is the critically acclaimed author of Deviant Ways,
World Without End, and Remembering Sarah, which was nominated for
the Barry Award and the Edgar Award for Best Novel. He lives in Boston with his
wife and son. For more information, visit

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Read an Excerpt

Chapter 1

The house, a variation on the Colonial style that seemed to typify New England, was located on what was called the Neck, a reclusive and wealthy island community of million-dollar-plus homes, and accessed only by a small bridge that connected it to Marblehead and (when needed) to the rest of the world. It was located close to the lighthouse that was a popular make-out spot with local teenagers and sectioned off by a tall iron gate. The house's massive back deck, the wood weathered gray from the salt, sun, and long winters, was large enough to hold a high school graduation and overlooked a private stretch of beach. A new black Lexus and a vintage silver Jaguar were parked out in the driveway in front of the family's two-car garage.

The house belonged to Patrick and Veronica Dolan, who had a thirteen-year-old son, Alex. All three of them, Jack knew, were dead.

The call came in to the station shortly after 12 A.M. The caller's voice was different from that on last month's 911 call, and this time the caller stated his name, Dale Porter, the Dolans' next-door neighbor. He had heard a gunshot and called the police. Dispatch called Porter's home number; no answer. Jack immediately placed a call to the Boston Bomb Squad.

At 12:35, residents were torn from their sleep by a rush of bullhorns and flashing lights. Local and state police herded the frightened families down the bridge and onto school buses that would take them to hotels in Peabody and Danvers. Less than an hour later, all of the residents of the Neck and half of Marblehead had been evacuated. Bomb techs entered the house. Arson investigators were on the horn to the ATF and the FBI's Explosives Unit. And the media was out in full force.

It was now Friday morning, a quarter to five. The sky was the color of a burnt-out lightbulb, and a cool breeze blew off the water, welcome relief from the oppressive humidity that had haunted Marblehead for the past three weeks. The power had been cut all over town; the Dolan house was dark. The news choppers were gone for the moment; the air was eerily still, filled only with the sound of the waves lapping against the shore. The place felt like a ghost town.

On the back deck Jack fidgeted with the various buckles on his padded bomb suit. He had never worn one before and was having trouble figuring out how to fasten it. Standing on the opposite side of the picnic table and leaning with his back against the balcony railing was Bob Burke, the commander of the Boston Bomb Squad, the man who for the past four hours had been inside the house with the bomb. Burke was smoking a cigar that looked like an artillery shell. His green eyes were narrow and unblinking as he watched from behind the clouds of smoke drifting up across his face.

"I told you there's no need for you to get dressed up, you're not going in there." Burke's voice was throaty, cured by tobacco and the whiskey he drank for what he called medicinal purposes. The top half of his bomb suit hung off his waist; his gray Harvard Law T-shirt was dark with sweat and stretched tightly across his barrel chest and broad shoulders. He was in his late fifties and had been working with bombs ever since completing two tours in Vietnam. Like all bomb techs, Burke had been trained by the FBI at Redstone Arsenal in Huntsville, Alabama, and it was widely acknowledged by many within the FBI's Explosives Unit that Bob Burke was one of the best in the business.

"You listening or what?"

"We've already covered this," Jack said, his attention focused on the pieces of the bomb suit that were spread across the picnic table.

"And we're about to cover it again until I get through that thick melon of yours." Burke pointed the cigar at him for emphasis. "I just told you what Semtex-H is."

"A Russian-made plastic explosive with a high shatter rate. Popular with Middle Eastern terrorists."

"Now six blocks of it are sitting in the bedroom of a residential home in Yuppietown. Six blocks. One can reduce a plane to fragments you can hold in your hand. I got six. If they go off, Marblehead's going to be relocated on the other side of the Atlantic and you'll be fish food."

"You said the bomb malfunctioned."

"No, I said I believed it malfunctioned and that I won't know for sure if it did until I take it apart. But I have to move it out of the house first, and there's no guarantee that it won't blow."

Burke's words hung in the still air. Jack went about attaching the breastplate. More buckles, Christ. He stopped dressing and looked over the railing. Between the pockets of fog he could see white foam along the sand and rocks.

"You took an X ray of the bomb, right?"

"We've been through this," Burke said.

"On the X ray, you find any failsafe mechanisms, like an antidisturbance switch?"

"No, but we did find a gravity trigger. I go to move it and in a blink we're scattered on the moon."

"But in order to activate the trigger, you have to move the bomb."

"Semtex-H is invisible on X ray. I X-ray a briefcase containing a block of that shit, it doesn't even show up as an outline. You with me so far?"

Jack knew where Burke was going. "If there was a secondary IED inside the house, you would have found it."

"That doesn't mean there isn't one in there. I didn't X-ray everything inside the house."

"There's only one bomb in there."

Burke's eyes lighted with a mix of anger and frustration. A web of deep red lines the texture of rubber ran across the left side of his face, carved through his salt-and-pepper beard like runoff beds on soil, and bled down into a thick blob of white scar tissue that covered half of his neck. The skin around his right eye looked like melted red-and-white wax, the ear practically gone.

A local mob hit man whom Burke had sent up the road for life had mailed a letter bomb to Burke during the fall of 1979. Burke had been standing behind his desk, his face turned to a subordinate, when he opened the letter. If he had been looking at it, the acid would have blinded him.

Burke removed the cigar from his mouth. "It's been a long night, my body's jacked on adrenaline and junked on a little whiskey, and when that happens, I have a habit of not making my point very clear. I apologize." He struggled above his anger to maintain calmness and clarity. "So I'll say it again, and this time I'll go extra slow. A laptop computer with six blocks of Semtex-H, probably the most lethal plastic explosive on the planet, is sitting upstairs in a bedroom behind us hooked up to the phone jack in the wall."

"The phone lines are shut down and so is the electricity."

Burke pressed on. "Right now the laptop's running on a battery. When the battery dies, it could send off enough juice to blow the explosives."

"But you don't know that for sure."

0 "Then there's the matter of the disc drive. Right now there's a disc stuck in there. Every once in a while, the computer starts reading it. How that fits in, Christ, I don't know. If I take it out and the computer starts looking for it, the bomb could blow. It could blow with it in there. That's the fucking problem, Jack. I just don't know. I've been doing this job for thirty-plus years now, and when I think about what's inside that bedroom, it's like someone's holding a flame under my sack. You getting the drift? Am I speaking nice and slow for you?"

Jack looked past Burke's shoulder at the sliding glass door. The killer had cut a square section of glass large enough for him to reach his hand through and unlock the door. The call came in just after twelve, and what he had done with the family took time. He had counted on the bomb wiping out the evidence. But the bomb hadn't gone off and the crime scene was intact.

"Last month this guy blew up a house and killed two officers," Jack said. "We got the media crawling all over the place, we got you and ATF agents poking around the blast site, we throw the media a report about a gas explosion and the story dies. Four weeks later and we have zero for evidence, Bob. The only thing we know is that this guy used infrared on last month's bomb. I walked into the bedroom, walked through the beam, and initiated the bomb's timer. That's all we know, correct? Or am I missing something?"

Jack looked back to Burke. Burke worked the cigar between his back molars and stared at him, his eyes as hard as green marbles. The cool air picked up and blew around them, filled with the squawk of seagulls.

"Upstairs in that bedroom is a fully constructed crime scene, complete with evidence that the bomb was supposed to erase, and you're standing here telling me to just walk away."

"I want you to think with your head and not with the hard-on you got for this guy," Burke said. "You scraped by last month. This time, you may not be so lucky."

"The fact is that he had plenty of chances to take us out and the entire goddamn town and he didn't. Why? Because he can't. The bomb malfunctioned and right now he's sitting somewhere very pissed off, dreaming up his next move. You and I both know this is going to happen again, and when it does, we won't be having this kind of conversation. We'll either be dead or sifting through rubble and sliding body parts into Ziplock bags with spatulas. And the whole fucking world will be watching. End of story."

Burke glared at him.

"Tell me I'm wrong and I'll take off this suit and walk away," Jack said.

Burke turned away and examined a thought hidden somewhere out in the morning.

"Don't let the suit give you a false sense of security," he said. "If this puppy goes off, they'll be pouring your body into the coffin."

Copyright © 2000 by Chirs Mooney

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Customer Reviews

Average Rating 5
( 24 )
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See All Sort by: Showing 1 – 20 of 24 Customer Reviews
  • Anonymous

    Posted June 1, 2012

    Highly recommended, I've been a fan of his writing for years.

    I believe I have all Mooney's books. He has a unique style and his
    characters have great chemistry.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted March 16, 2004

    ' Explosive '

    Story with many twist and turns...many sub plots...makes this one a real page- turner...

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  • Anonymous

    Posted September 15, 2002

    best book I have read in years

    picked this up in hardcover in a thrift shop for 1.00. It is the best purchase I have made in years. Never heard of Chris Mooney...but right now I'm out looking for his second book. Hope he writes a lot more ...I will buy and read them of the very best I have ever read.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted January 12, 2002

    A book to savor!

    I happened upon this book at Barnes and Noble in their Bargain section...what a steal! $6 bucks and one of the best finds I've ever made! I can't say enough good things about this book. I even liked the ending, which I tend to be pretty critical about after becoming so attached. My co-workers, friends and family are all taking numbers to see who gets to read it next! :)

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  • Anonymous

    Posted August 9, 2001

    mooney is the man

    Mooneys book kept me awake at night reading and awake after I closed the pages. Watch out Patterson!

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  • Anonymous

    Posted July 12, 2001

    Deviant Ways

    Alright Chris. I was the first to review Deviant Ways. You told me #2 was out in the Spring! I'm off to the beach tomorrow and just KNEW I would have your 2nd to take with me! Congrats on the ***** reviews! You certainly deserved them! HURRY with #2!

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  • Anonymous

    Posted August 4, 2001


    Bravo! This is an amazing book. I felt as if I was a part of the plot itself. I loved the graphics of it, the characters, the whole story line. I would LOVE to see a continuation of the same characters,especially Fletcher. He was FABULOUS, so intense. What an incredible debut novel. I look forward to Mr. Mooney's second novel (due this winter).

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  • Anonymous

    Posted April 15, 2001



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  • Anonymous

    Posted July 2, 2001

    Praise for Chris Mooney!

    If you enjoy a really hard to put down suspense novel, you've got to read this book! In a world already overflowing with suspense novels, this one really stands out! I really enjoyed this rollercoaster ride! The story is very detailed but it grips you from the very beginning and doesn't let go. In some suspense novels the action is spread throughout the entire novel. Not true here! The action/adventure never stops! I was sorry when I reached page 370! I wanted more! Jack Casey is a true hero! I really hope to see the main characters in Mr. Mooney's next book! A great read!

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  • Anonymous

    Posted April 20, 2001

    The Most Frightening Book I've Read in Years!!!

    I don't know why the previous reviewer hated it - this book grabbed me from the first page and wouldn't let me go. It's scary, it's thrilling, it has great characters (some of which I hope to see again), and it kept me turning the pages so fast I thought I was going to faint!!! Is there violence? Yes. But I think the author did a great job in using it to show the severity and magnitude of just how creepy and powerful the Sandman is. And to top it all off, there a lot of moral issues here to tackle. The book was just FANTASTIC and I can't WAIT until I read his new one. I'm a fan for life!!!

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  • Anonymous

    Posted April 19, 2001

    I Hated It!

    Judging from other reviews, I can see that I am in a minority in my feelings for this book, but I despised it. Its violence was gratuitous and far more graphic than it had to be and 'The Sandman' was portrayed to be so clever as to challenge any reasonable person's belief. This is one reader who will not buy this author's next book.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted February 11, 2001

    Didn't sleep with the lights out the whole time!

    This is by far one of the best books I have read in a long time. I am an avid suspense/thriller reader and this takes the cake! I made my husband search the house everynight before bed! The sandman never left me the whole time I was reading it. I anxiously await Chris's next novel. Julie B.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted January 8, 2001

    A 'MUST READ' novel!!!!!!!

    Tremendous book!!!! I could not put it down. This truly is a 'page turner'. I loved that the chapters were short; I'd want to finish a chapter, next thing I knew, I read 4 more!!!! After I finished the book, I felt like I had just seen the movie, it was that descriptive! Which brings me to my next point...I hope somebody will make a movie out of it because it would be an award winner!!!! I highly recommend this book to everyone. There is not a dull moment in it!!!

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  • Anonymous

    Posted January 30, 2001

    Deviant Ways

    For my mystery loving friends, you cannot pass this one up! I am so impressed that this is Mooney's first novel. It is a nonstop, can't put down read! Mooney is the new James Patterson! Rush out and get it! Twists and deviation make this book one that you cannot put off. I can't wait for his 2nd novel!!!!!

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  • Anonymous

    Posted December 19, 2000

    A Terrific, Taut Thriller !!

    Debut author Mooney has written a scorching, fiercely addicting thriller which forced me to finally give in and submit a review on the web. In fact, I haven't even finished the book yet (only half way through), but felt compelled to offer my sincere praise to this new, powerful voice in the thriller genre. The characters are deftly drawn, immensely interesting and carefully developed. The plot, so far, has gripped me so tight that I try to sneak in quick chapter reads whenever I have a free moment. I haven't been so excited about a new author for years (I'm a devoted John Sandford fan). Mooney writes like a skilled, professional craftsman..offering vivid detail in all of it's glorious violent overtones. Can't wait to read the follow up!!!!!

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  • Anonymous

    Posted December 30, 2000

    I Am So Impressed!

    This is Chris Mooney's first book and I am amazed at the talent and maturity his writing displays. I have read alot of books lately and Deviant Ways is at the peak of my top 5 list. This is a true suspence thriller that is unprecedented. The descriptives in this book were so good that at times I felt as though I was watching a movie. The Sandman is a great 'serial' character but I think Miles Hamilton (the Sandman's predecessor) was a little creepier. But my favorite character wasn't even the main character, Jack Casey. It was Malcolm Fletcher, a former FBI profiler with a sordid past. He is the key ingredient for the utter success of this book. Malcolm Fletcher is cool and delivers his own form of justice that will surely put a smile on your face. This is a dark tale but don't worry you'll be feeling most hopeful at the end of Deviant Ways. Enjoy, thriller fans and watch for Chris Mooney in future. I have a feeling he'll back.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted November 16, 2000

    The Best Thriller I've Ever Read!

    'Deviant Ways' is an absolute must read thriller! Mooney is unparalleled at his ability to throw the reader into the minds of his characters. The book's main character, FBI profiler 'Jack Casey,' struggles with his emotional baggage and moral dilemmas as he tries to nail the highly intelligent and vengeful 'Sandman.' Mooney takes you on a fast paced roller coaster ride that is truly cinematic. You may find YOURSELF mentally unstable after reading this book. Malcolm Fletcher HAS to be brought back in a future novel!!!!

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  • Anonymous

    Posted November 24, 2000

    An Exceptional Debut

    Mr. Mooney has written an intense character driven novel. It holds the readers attention from the first page and never lets go. He breathes life into every character. If you enjoy novels about serial killers and like edge-of-your seat pacing you'll love this book. If you buy no other suspense novel this year, buy DEVIANT WAYS - you will not be disappointed.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted November 23, 2000

    Great Book! Very engrossing!

    This book was great. I got it on recommendation of the author and I loved it. The story line reminds me of Thomas Harris. Mooney is 'disturbed' enough for my taste! Those disturbing thoughts of your own come back at you in this book. Great thriller and LOVED the characters. I'm not big on series books but I would LOVE to see Malcolm Fletcher make an appearance in a future book.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted November 23, 2000


    It isn¿t very often that a new author appears on the scene, writing in a particular genre, and manages to create a debut novel filled with such believable characters, such vivid storytelling, and such breathtaking intensity, that it knocks a reader right out of his socks. For avid book lovers, it is the pot of gold at the end of the rainbow we¿re always in search of, and when we occasionally find an author of this amazing caliber, it¿s like waking up on Christmas morning with dozens of exciting presents waiting to be opened. Chris Mooney is such an author, and his debut novel is DEVIANT WAYS. This is the story of the Sandman, a serial killer who knows your every move, your every thought, and there¿s no place to hide from him. As a young boy, he was part of an experimental program that was instigated by the FBI¿a program in which many of its participants were methodically tortured with new drugs being tested and even with electro-shock. The Sandman is an adult now, and he wants REVENGE! His intentions are to kill the doctors and psychiatrists who did this to him and to bring the FBI tumbling down. The killing spree begins in Marblehead, a rich, seashore community in Massachusetts where many of his former torturers live. The Sandman doesn¿t intend to just kill the individuals. Noooo. He¿s going to make these good citizens suffer by forcing them to watch as he massacres their entire families; then, when the police show up, he will take them out, too, by destroying the neighborhoods in such a manner as to draw the attention of the FBI and the national media. That¿s when the fun really begins. Only one man might be able to stop this diabolical killer: Jack Casey, a former FBI profiler, whose wife and unborn child were murdered years before by Miles Hamilton, a serial killer Hannibal Lecter would certainly be proud of. Casey is now a detective in Marblehead and probably nobody understands the psyche of a serial killer better than he does. You see, Jack Casey has killed before in the line of duty, and he enjoyed it! If our dark hero can get his hands on the Sandman, he will teach him a thing or two about death. Needless to say, the town of Marblehead will never be the same as these two adversaries square off against each other. Who will live and who will die? How much of the town will be destroyed before justice prevails¿justice in the eyes of both the Sandman and Jack Casey? Revenge never tasted better! DEVIANT WAYS will grab you in the first twenty pages, surprising you in ways few other novels are able to do. Each chapter will literally propel you forward as Mr. Mooney makes us peel back layer after layer of this multi-structured story, pushing us to discover the truth hidden within the core of his central characters, which is that we all have monsters lurking within us, and it only takes the right button being pushed to bring them out. This novel also has a score of secondary characters who are every bit as mysterious and intriguing as the lead ones. There is Miles Hamilton, the killer who changed Casey¿s life forever and who reeks of pure evil. Then, there¿s Malcolm Fletcher, also a former FBI profiler, who once tried to stop the experiments that created the Sandman. The FBI sent assassins to take him out, but they weren¿t good enough. Now, he¿s come out of hiding to help Casey put the Sandman down and to get retribution on his former bosses. The pacing of DEVIANT WAYS is relentless, and it has so many twists and turns that it will be nearly impossible for the reader to guess the ending. At the heart of the novel, however, are the themes of lost and redemption. Both Casey and Fletcher have done things in their pasts that neither of them are proud of, and the time has come to balance the scales. I can¿t say enough good things about DEVIANT WAYS, and I find it rather awe-inspiring that a new author could come from out of nowhere with a debut novel of such quality and magnitude, that you wonder how he

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