Publishers Weekly - Publisher's WeeklyIn his first novel since Blood Race (1989), Olshaker has dreamed up a fiendishly disturbing medical thriller. Detective Cassandra ``Sandy'' Mansfield of the Washington, D.C., police is investigating a series of ritualistic murders of young women that bear a striking similarity to an earlier California case. She discovers that the artist convicted of those crimes committed suicide almost a year before the new murders began--but that his iconoclastic, insufferably arrogant brother, Nicholas, is very much alive, working in D.C. as a neurosurgeon. As the look-alike murders continue, it becomes apparent that they are somehow linked to Nicholas, yet even as the unknown killer begins to stalk Sandy, the cop, struggling with a failed marriage, finds herself increasingly enamored of the doctor. Nicholas's brilliant young protege, several of his ex-patients, his pediatrician ex-wife and even the possible ghost of his dead brother come under suspicion as the murders continue and grow more bizarre. Olshaker's tale is marred slightly by his prose, whose highly disciplined, even formal manner doesn't always jibe with Sandy's sometimes slangy first-person narration, leaching it of its full emotional power. But even so, deep chills prevail in this darkly imagined thriller marked by brisk action and a mind-bending denouement. 50,000 first printing; film rights optioned by Renny Harlin; Literary Guild and Doubleday Book Club alternates. (Aug.)
Library JournalOlshaker's talent for medical thrillers, evident in Unnatural Causes (Morrow, 1986. o.p.), makes this a first-rate thriller general readers will not be able to put aside. Having written the PBS series Mind of a Serial Killer, Olshaker has taken his knowledge and crafted a totally convincing work whose unexpected twists and jolts make it unforgettable. Detective Cassandra Mansfield of the Washington, D.C., police department pursues someone who is gruesomely murdering young women with the precision of a surgeon. The killer's style is reminiscent of a notorious murderer who committed suicide months before. However, the murderer's brother is a practicing neurosurgeon with a questionable past. Mansfield races against time to find the killer before he strikes again. For popular collections.-Alice DiNizo, Raritan P.L., N.J.
William BeattyIn this fast-moving, enjoyable, though explicitly violent yarn, the titular edge is that of the mind-brain frontier, and Sandy Mansfield, detective on the Washington, D.C., police force, finds herself working on both sides of it. Victims appear periodically: one had her heart cut out while alive, another was tortured to death, a third unwillingly played the role of St. Sebastian, and the last was burned to death. Major suspects include Neville Ramsey, torturer and artist (though the case against him appears flawed because he died before the first murder); Chris Taylor, an actor; and Nicholas Ramsey, Neville's brilliant, inventive neurosurgeon brother. A break-in at Sandy's apartment nets the thief a pair of blue bikini panties and a pendant, and when those items turn up on subsequent murder victims, Sandy and her colleagues start feeling antsy. Four anonymous letters indicating that the killer is regularly observing Sandy and thinking of adding her to the death toll increase the tension. When everything is finally sorted out, the reader realizes that, once again, the whole is more than the sum of its parts.
- Random House Publishing Group
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- Product dimensions:
- 4.17(w) x 6.91(h) x 0.99(d)
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