Psychopath

Psychopath

4.0 22
by Keith Russell Ablow, Alan Sklar
     
 

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12 bodies, 12 states. What no one knows is that the "Highway Killer" is also a gifted psychiatrist who lures his victims into a false sense of security with his miraculous ability to understand their darkest emotional secrets. He is their confessor, but he is also their executioner. When the killer writes to The New York Times, challenging famed forensic psychiatrist…  See more details below

Overview

12 bodies, 12 states. What no one knows is that the "Highway Killer" is also a gifted psychiatrist who lures his victims into a false sense of security with his miraculous ability to understand their darkest emotional secrets. He is their confessor, but he is also their executioner. When the killer writes to The New York Times, challenging famed forensic psychiatrist Frank Clevenger to heal him through an exchange of open letters on the front page, he opens his diabolical mind to the one man with the courage to cure him-or die trying...

Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly - Publishers Weekly
Ablow's latest thriller (after Compulsion) pits his series protagonist, Boston forensic psychiatrist Frank Clevenger, against Jonah Wrens, a spooky serial killer who also happens to be a psychiatrist. The result is a serviceable spin on the now familiar duel between secret-sharing adversaries. What lifts the novel above the endless line of Thomas Harris remakes is the author's ability to create unique, psychologically complex characters. Clevenger, a refreshingly scarred and flawed hero still recovering from his addictions to sex, drugs and rock `n' roll, is facing the additional daunting task of single-parenting a similarly addicted teenage ward. The homicidal Wren is an empathic genius as adept at understanding and curing disturbed children as he is at meeting, speed-reading and rending his hapless victims. Ablow has created full-bodied characters, but they deserve an audio interpretation beyond his capability. His voice has the proper timbre, and his straightforward delivery won't cause anyone to tune out. But a more experienced narrator could have provided Clevenger and company with the timing, tone and nuance that would have turned this merely acceptable adaptation into an exceptional audio. Simultaneous release with the St. Martin's hardcover (Forecasts, June 30). (July) Copyright 2003 Reed Business Information.
Kirkus Reviews
Return of heroic alcoholic Frank Clevenger, forensic psychiatrist. Clevenger was first met in full-blooming Denial (1997), wherein he kept gulping Scotch, bought coke on borrowed money, bought sex at nude dance bars, couldn�t pay his bills, hit up his mother for drug money, gambled, drove drunk, dug S&M. Denial ended with Clevenger still deluded. Compulsion (2002) found him trying to shake his demons while analyzing an infanticide on Nantucket. Ablow, himself a forensic psychologist, now takes a page from Hannibal Lecter: Clevenger this time out faces his mirror image, a demonically brilliant psychiatrist turned serial killer. In the stunning opening scene, Dr. Jonah Wrens drives his BMW along Route 90 outside Rome, New York, playing Mahler�s serene Tenth Symphony, thinking of Scott Fitzgerald�s The Crack-Up, and searching for a highway victim to seduce into soul-warmth before he razors open the victim�s carotids and orgasms while hugging the victim as his or her life ebbs away. Jonah leaves 14 bodies razored across 14 states before the FBI calls in Clevenger for analysis of the killer�s motives and way of working. Jonah is a traveling psychiatrist for kids severely impaired by mental illness and spends about six weeks at each hospital he attends. He�s now at Canaan (Vermont) Memorial�s low-socioeconomic children�s locked psychiatric unit, which has about 25 damaged kids for him to suck dry of their pains, as he does all his highway victims. His fractured mind allows him entry into unthinkable regions and to drug himself with other people�s demons and escape his guilts. Meanwhile, Clevenger has his own problems raising Billy Bishop, his adopted, pot-selling 16-year-old once accused of theNantucket infanticide. Still, he chooses to flush out the Highway Killer. The New York Times publishes a letter from Jonah asking for Clevenger�s help in a correspondence. While very successful with damaged kids, Jonah via Clevenger strives to free himself from evil. Everyone says it: He�s the nicest guy in the world. Only Thomas Harris does it more stylishly. Agent: Beth Vesel/Sanford J. Greenburger

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Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780792728863
Publisher:
Sound Library
Publication date:
06/28/2003
Series:
Frank Clevenger Series, #4
Edition description:
Unabridged
Product dimensions:
4.90(w) x 9.22(h) x 2.34(d)

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Psychopath (Frank Clevenger Series #4) 4 out of 5 based on 2 ratings. 22 reviews.
Anonymous 4 months ago
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Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Different but good premise for a story.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I enjoy this genre so it was what I was looking for. Overall this was a good book but it was missing that 'gripping' element, the one that makes you not want to put it down. I enjoyed the exchange between 2 of the main characters, but even still, it could have been more intense.
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Guest More than 1 year ago
I basically was looking for books that sounded remotely interesting one day on this website, and typed in 'Psychopath' in the search engine. This book came out, and I ordered it. It was worth it! Every once in a while, the writing gets a little technical for me, but the overall plot/story is pretty good. I would certainly recommend it, especially if you are really into psychology or serial killers.
Guest More than 1 year ago
This was like Columbo, you know who is the criminal, but it was very interesting along the way. I read the first book & it was obvious I'd missed something in the middle. Based on this one, I'll go back & get the second book.
Guest More than 1 year ago
it was ok if you were bored and wanted to do someting. But if i had a choice of several books i wouldn't pick this one.
Guest More than 1 year ago
As a therapist, I found Ablow's novel to be uniquely authentic. He dares to go where others, i.e., White and Kellerman, fail to honestly go, as many therapists are drawn to this profession to try to understand and to heal their own demons. Ablow's latest protagonist, Johnathan, has full depth and dimension in the dialetics of his compassion and humanity, and the ghastly flaws of his damaged self. Ablow's Clevenger novels (especially the early ones) are raw and edgy, but not crafted for sensationalism, rather to illuminate the darkest areas of our souls, the areas that stay dark because we are afraid to talk about them. Ablow's character Frank Clevenger gives wounded healers permission to be human, to struggle, to be able to help others despite their woundedness. Ablow's latest is an intriguing and thought provoking novel, with it's many shades of gray, however it is much more mainstream (not as raw and edgy) as his first Clevenger novels. One can only hope for more along the lines of those early works.
Guest More than 1 year ago
This is an outstanding book. Ablow has taken his experience and knowledge as a forensic psychologist and allowed us to see the world through the eyes of a tortured serial killer. I found this author with his release of Compulsion, and I'm hooked. He's on my 'must read' list from here on out, and, if you like the psychological thrillers, you'll appreciate his writing as well.
Guest More than 1 year ago
I am new to the thriller/crime genre but I really enjoyed this book! Ablow really gets inside the mind of a serial killer. It seems he's had some experience, too - Ablow is actually a forensic psychiatrist himself. It is really interesting to see how he fleshed out the characters of both the killer and the forensic psychiatrist.
CurleyCue More than 1 year ago
This book is crisply written. The characters are rich and well thought out. It was a page turner.
harstan More than 1 year ago
He travels the highways of America killing when the compulsion becomes unbearable but he always gets his victims to trust him and talk to him so he can get inside their defenses before he delivers the fatal blow. He is known as the Highway Killer and the FBI credit him with at least fourteen known homicides even though he believes he killed sevnteen people, men and women, young and old with no discernible pattern.

The FBI is getting desperate so they call in forensic psychiatrist Frank Clevenger as consultant. This resonates with the Highway Killer and he engages Clevenger in a dialog played out in the New York Times for the world to see. It is an interesting but potentially deadly cat and mouse game these two individuals play because they were both victims of parental abuse as children and they are both practicing psychiatrists.

Keith Ablow does the impossible by making the audience feel genuine sympathy for a serial killer tormented by his demons and his inability to stop from killing even though he knows it is wrong. As a doctor he has saved the lives of many children in crises but he can not heal himself. PSYCHOPATH is a fascinating and exciting medical thriller about a tormented person who wears the mask of sanity on the outside, but inside is a tortured soul who wants to be stopped.

Harriet Klausner