Mortal Fear
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Mortal Fear

4.1 40
by Greg Iles, Eric G. Dove

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"Fascinating."--New York Times Book Review

The operator of a sexually explicit on-line service is accused of committing a series of vicious murders--and his daring plan to prove his innocence will place everything and everyone he loves in the path of an unstoppable killer...  See more details below


"Fascinating."--New York Times Book Review

The operator of a sexually explicit on-line service is accused of committing a series of vicious murders--and his daring plan to prove his innocence will place everything and everyone he loves in the path of an unstoppable killer...

Editorial Reviews
Mortal Fear is the story of a confidential sex-chat Internet newsgroup whose female members are gradually ceasing their participation. Although this disturbs founder Harper Cole, he doesn't give it too much thought until he learns that one of the group's more famous patrons has been brutally murdered. When Harper brings this to the attention of the police, he's surprised to discover that other long-term clients have also been horribly mutilated by an unknown madman. Now Cole is the primary suspect.
Publishers Weekly - Publisher's Weekly
Yet another serial killer stalks the Internet, this one courtesy of the talented Iles (Black Cross; Spandau Phoenix). When futures trader Harper Cole, who moonlights as the systems operator of an erotic online services called EROS, contacts the New Orleans police with information about the murder of celebrated author-and EROS subscriber-Karin Wheat, he immediately becomes the prime suspect in six other murders of EROS subscribers across the country. Also on the FBI's short list is Cole's eccentric friend and EROS colleague Miles Turner, who has dubbed the killer "Brahma." When Cole learns that the man he thought was Brahma was killed a year ago and that his online identity was stolen, a tense cat-and-mouse game commences. Professional hunters, like FBI psychiatric profiler Arthur Lenz, have the online tables turned on them time and again by an insanely brilliant murderer, and it's up to Cole to render justice. His digging leads to an exciting payoff when he goes online and poses as a potential victim, using as bait a secret that endangers the mother of his child, as well as his wife. While Cole's obsession over this guilty secret makes him less than likable at times, a nailbiting climax erases any doubts about his character-and any lingering questioning about the storytelling abilities of Iles, who here uses rich first-person narration and clever plotting to tell a sizzler of a thriller. Literary Guild and Doubleday Book Club selection; simultaneous Penguin Audio Book. (Feb.)
Library Journal
Successful commodities trader Harper Cole, who moonlights as a systems operator for computer sex-line EROS, works via computer from his home in Rain, Mississippi. When several EROS regulars suddenly disappear, Harper suspects foul play. His subsequent report to the police leads to a manhunt for a diabolical genius stalking his prey through the EROS network. When the FBI fails to capture the killer, Harper and friend Miles masquerade online as a potential victim, using the persona of Harper's sister-in-law as bait. Events escalate, and Harper and wife Dr. Drewe Cole become trapped in a personal struggle with the madman as his lethal attacks strike ever closer to home. Iles (Black Cross, LJ 11/15/94) scores high with this psychological thriller, easily accessible even to the computer-semiliterate. Though a bit too long, allowing for predictability at the end, it is still a chilling roller-coaster ride all the same. Recommended-Lori Dunn, Montgomery Cty. P.L., Troy, N.C.
Kirkus Reviews
An exuberant if somewhat hokey computer age serial-killer- thriller combines voyeuristic sex, Internet technobabble, tedious brain research, and southern-fried soap opera with a high degree of stay-up-all-night suspense.

Can you hate a novel that hacks off Anne Rice's head in the first chapter? Shaken by the news of the gory murder of New Orleans gothic horror novelist "Karin Wheat," Harper Cole, a self-made commodities trader and secret systems operator of EROS, an upscale Internet sex-chat service, knows that when Wheat wasn't pounding out bestselling terror tales, she was sharing her deepest erotic fantasies with other pseudonymous EROS members, six of whom have been mysteriously murdered within the last year. Fearing that the killer has gained access to EROS's secret files, Cole, who labors in obscurity from a home office hidden among Mississippi cotton fields, calls the New Orleans police and thus brings calamity on himself, his hardworking ob/gyn wife, his sexpot sister-in-law Erin, fatherly FBI forensic psychiatrist Arthur Lenz, and Cole's best friend, eccentric computer genius Miles Turner, creator of the EROS network. To lure the serial killer into revealing himself, Cole goes online pretending to be Erin, a tactic whose gender- switching eroticism is never realized as Iles (Black Cross, 1995, etc.) dumps a fishmonger's cart of red herrings in Cole's path. The villain is a typically brilliant homicidal übermensch who confounds the best efforts of the FBI but is so obsessed with computers, neurology, and obscure Hindu mythology that he can't help but talk online about how brilliant he is, ad infinitum, ad nauseam. Iles counters this tedium with expertly detailed violence, computer lore, and predictable plotting that eventually brings the killer to Cole's doorstep, where he attempts to make Cole's wife his ultimate mate.

An overlong but relentlessly readable, by-the-numbers thriller whose up-to-the-minute technology will delight net surfers and Anne Rice fans.

Product Details

Brilliance Audio
Publication date:
Edition description:
Product dimensions:
5.10(w) x 7.00(h) x 1.40(d)

What People are saying about this

Stephen Coonts
Greg Iles mixes action and suspense like a master.

Meet the Author

Greg Iles was born in 1960 in Germany. He founded the band Frankly Scarlet, plays guitar for the Rock Bottom Remainders, and is the New York Times bestselling author of nine novels, including Blood Memory and 24 Hours. He lives in Natchez, Mississippi.

Brief Biography

Natchez, Mississippi
Date of Birth:
Place of Birth:
Stuttgart, Germany
B.A., University of Mississippi, 1983

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