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Eye of the Beholder

Eye of the Beholder

4.4 19
by David Ellis

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Paul Riley has built a lucrative career based on his famous prosecution of Terry Burgos, who gruesomely murdered six girls. Now, fifteen years later, the police are confronted with a new series of murders and mutilations. Riley realizes that the two cases are connected and finds himself at the center of a police task force—as an investigator…and a suspect


Paul Riley has built a lucrative career based on his famous prosecution of Terry Burgos, who gruesomely murdered six girls. Now, fifteen years later, the police are confronted with a new series of murders and mutilations. Riley realizes that the two cases are connected and finds himself at the center of a police task force—as an investigator…and a suspect.

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Editorial Reviews

Marilyn Stasio
Ellis, a former partner in a Chicago law firm, isn't squeamish about laying out the gory details in the initial massacre of six young women in 1989 or the copycat atrocities to follow. But the carnage is only the grabber for what is actually a very tricky legal mystery, and Riley, who prosecuted "the most famous serial killer our city has ever seen" when he was a raw youth, doesn't really hit his stride until he walks down those mean corridors that lead to the courtroom.
—The New York Times
Publishers Weekly

Some books aren't natural fits for audio. Edgar-winner Ellis's new novel, for example, has a complex plot that hops back and forth between the arrest, conviction and execution of serial killer Terry Burgos in 1989 and 16 years later when Burgos's prosecutor, Paul Riley, is drawn into the investigation of a very similar series of murders, involving many of the same characters. Complicating things even more, the contemporary sections jump from Riley's point of view to that of the demented new killer. Ellis uses chapter breaks, posted dates, italics and a shift from present tense narration to past tense for 1989, efforts that clarify matters in print but are a bit subtle for audio. Even an accomplished and inventive narrator like Dick Hill can only do so much-a pause before announcing a time shift, the use of a distinctive accent for the killer-to keep listener confusion to a minimum. But there's not much any reader could do with a key ingredient of the novel-the nonsense messages left at the crime scenes that contain a coded text that is near-impossible to distinguish by ear. Hill handles the dramatic sequences and thriller elements effortlessly and if one is willing to overlook several perplexing time-warped moments and the impossibility of deciphering the clues before Riley explains them, this audio provides a fair amount of entertainment. Simultaneous release with the Putnam hardcover (Reviews, May 21) (July)

Copyright 2007 Reed Business Information
Library Journal
A 15-year-old case gets personal for attorney Paul Riley in the fourth work by Edgar Award winner Ellis (Line of Vision). Author tour. Copyright 2007 Reed Business Information.
Kirkus Reviews
From a shark prosecutor's easy win, incalculable losses derive. A slam dunk if ever there was one-that's how the case looks to newly appointed First Assistant County Attorney Paul Riley. The case: six young women brutally murdered on premises belonging to a certain Terry Burgos. Forensic evidence: overwhelming. Alibi: nonexistent. When, in addition, Burgos more or less confesses, the defense is down to the frail hope of an insanity plea. Without working up much of a sweat, Riley disposes of that, and in the process, earns the gratitude of tycoon Harland Bentley, whose personal wealth is estimated at a billion and a half, and whose beloved daughter was one of the six victims. Convicted, Burgos is sentenced to die in the gas chamber and does, and Riley is a witness. There is, to be sure, a moment of unforeseen drama. Before dying, Burgos mouths to Riley: "I'm not the only one." Unsettling, yes, but not for long. The question of legality aside, Burgos was, after all, manifestly crazy. Flash forward 16 years. Riley is now in private practice, head of a substantial firm bulwarked by Harland Bentley's multinational legal business. He is, in short, a player. Suddenly, a new murderous cycle has the city's media buzzing. And there are the notes that begin arriving at Riley's office-creepy, cryptic. Despite himself, Riley investigates-and learns how chimerical truth can be. And how disastrous. Another top-flight legal thriller from Edgar-winner Ellis (In the Company of Liars, 2004, etc.), brimming with quality prose and layered characterizations. And if the plot twists gratuitously a time or two, well, settle. Agent: Larry Kirshbaum/LJK Literary Management

Product Details

Penguin Publishing Group
Publication date:
Edition description:
Sales rank:
Product dimensions:
4.25(w) x 6.75(h) x 1.06(d)
Age Range:
18 Years

Meet the Author

David Ellis is the author of seven novels, including Line of Vision for which he won the Edgar Award. An attorney from Chicago, he currently serves as Counsel to the Speaker of the Illinois House of Representatives and was recently appointed the Impeachment Prosecutor in the Blagojevich trial. Ellis lives in Springfield with his family.

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Eye of the Beholder 4.4 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 19 reviews.
MrsPantz More than 1 year ago
From the second I began reading this book I couldn't put it down! This Author is so gifited with the way he can keep you on the edge of your seat and just want more and more. I read this book in one night it was that good, David Ellis should be reconized as good a writer as a Bestseller!!!
Guest More than 1 year ago
U.N.P.U.T.D.O.W.N.A.B.L.E!!!!! I couldn't wait to get back to B&N to purchase his other books.
harstan More than 1 year ago
In the summer of 1989, six women were found in the basement near the maintenance lockers of Mansbury College. All the women were tortured and each died in a different manner ranging from strangulation to near decapitation. One of the victims, college student Ellie Danzinger had gotten a restraining order out against Terry Burgos, a part time handyman at the college. Whey they went to his home, they found enough evidence to convict him for five of the killings. The case of the sixth girl he killed Cassie Bentley, daughter to a mega-mogul billionaire was never tried to her father¿s influence. In 1996, Terry is killed but his last words, cryptic though they might be, were to the prosecutor Paul Riley: ¿I am not the only one¿.---------------- In the present, a series of murders are linked to the killings in 1989. Paul Riley, now the head of mega powerful law firm, receives strange notes from the killer, has his finger prints on one of the victims and is forced into part of the new case with it evidence similar to the case that solidified his reputation. Looked upon from a fresh perspective with new information, Riley finds that the 1989 case didn¿t reveal all its secrets and someone wants them to stay buried.----------------- This is one of the most energizing and emotionally satisfying police procedurals of the year. David Ellis makes his characters come alive so that readers will either root for or detest them no one will remain detached. There is plenty of action and the changing from the eighties to the nineties to the present is smooth so that the readers are never jarred out of the storyline. The protagonist as he ages from a man who sees life as black and white to a person who realize there are subtle greys has to make some decisions as he confronts his greatest success with the realization it is also his greatest failure.----------------- Harriet Klausner
ClarkP More than 1 year ago
This book exceeded my expectations. This book has an interesting plot with great characters. I was hooked from the start and the book never let go. David Ellis shows serious talent for writing. This book was hard to predict how it would end, it was definately enjoyable. Overall, Eye of the Beholder deserves an 'A' for a grade.
Guest More than 1 year ago
This is the first book i've read by Ellis and I've fallen in love with his writing style. I was engrossed from beginning to end and read the book in 3 days. I've recommended to many of my friends. I will definitely be reading more of Ellis' work!!!!
Anonymous 5 months ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Not up to this author's standards
1dachsmom More than 1 year ago
This was an excellent, hard-to-put-down mystery. Full of twists and turns. Don't miss it!!!!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Very hard to put this book down. Kept my intetest throughout. I especially like the subtle humor he interjects in the story. This author knows how to spin an engaging story. Will definitely read more from him.
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Alicat11 More than 1 year ago
This is the first book I read from Mr. Ellis, and I must say, from the moment I began reading this book, I could not put it down. I received this book as a birthday present last year, and it has been the best book I've read so far. This is one of those rare books, that you just wish would go on and on. I love the style of writing, which begins at the end, and then goes back. I am now a lifetime fan, and have recommended this book to all my friends and family.
whoizme88 More than 1 year ago
This book is an excellent read. Ellis keeps you working until the end trying to figure out who and what and how everything works and worked out. This is a book that will interest and grab the mystery or thriller book reader and will keep you reading until you find out everything you can about the plot. Well done, and exciting. J. Robert Ewbank, author "John Wesley, Natural Man, and the 'Isms'"
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Outstanding plot with many surprises. Exceptionally well written. Could not put it down! First book by Ellis I've read. Won't be the last.
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