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Unnatural Instinct: A Jessica Coran Novel

Unnatural Instinct: A Jessica Coran Novel

5.0 1
by Robert W. Walker

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Dr. Jessica Coran faces the most terrifying challenge of her career-when her professional adversary, a criminal court judge, is kidnapped by a deranged man with an unnatural instinct for revenge...


Dr. Jessica Coran faces the most terrifying challenge of her career-when her professional adversary, a criminal court judge, is kidnapped by a deranged man with an unnatural instinct for revenge...

Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly
Jessica Coran, the ace, if dry, medical examiner and detective heroine of Walker's long-running series, has a plum job working for the FBI. In composing her latest adventure, Walker takes his cue from the "unnatural" urges specified in his title and invents a demented father, Isaiah Purdy, who is determined to exact vengeance for the execution of his son, Jimmy, a killer sentenced to death by D.C. judge Maureen DeCampe. Isaiah abducts DeCampe, whisks her off to a newly rented barn by a chemicals factory and subjects her to a slow, gruesome death by gangrene, strapped to his dead son. Though no one much likes DeCampe, who is despised by Coran as a "closet libertarian," Coran sets out to save her. Coran's best friend, Kim Desinor, FBI agent and psychic, inexplicably is afflicted with full-scale life-threatening empathic stigmata, a sure sign that DeCampe is in trouble and perhaps a substitute for real sympathy for the judge's plight. While Coran herself is a sturdy central character who just about keeps the FBI circus on focus, the story flares up only via peripheral, crackpot characters: the Bible-thumping Isaiah Purdy; a homeless ex-teacher and dog lover, Marsden; and Nancy Willis, heroic busybody neighbor. Walker inserts plot devices and clues in a heavy-handed manner, deflating subtlety and suspense, and the novel's climax is perfunctory. Overall, this is a skilled but essentially formulaic suspense tale, high in melodrama. (Aug. 6) Copyright 2002 Cahners Business Information.
Kirkus Reviews
Dr. Jessica Corwin (Bitter Instinct, 2000, etc.) has already tangled with liberal Washington judge Maureen DeCampe, but now, returning from a blissful two-month hiatus with her life partner Richard Sharpe to a new job as medical examiner to the FBI, she has an unenviable task: finding the vanished jurist. Luckily, Richard, until recently a detective at New Scotland Yard, has moved to Washington just in time to assist Jessica as an FBI consultant. Early on, Walker reveals that elderly Iowa farmer Isaiah Purdy has kidnapped the judge and handcuffed her to the stolen corpse of his son Jimmy Lee, executed for murder long after Judge DeCampe put Jimmy Lee on death row following his first trial. Meanwhile, in the absence of a clear motive or substantial forensic evidence, Jessica consults psychic Kim Desinor, who's successfully helped her on several cases in the past. Searching the garage where Maureen was last seen, Kim suffers a violent seizure and develops inexplicable sores and bruises, a rare empathic reaction that means she'll surely die before long. Now the clock is ticking for both the judge and the psychic. While he's waiting and waiting to spring an action-picked finale, triggered by a twist blatantly lifted from The Silence of the Lambs, Walker counterpoints Jessica's methodical collection of evidence, eventually leading to a cross-country chase, with Isaiah's sadistic torture of Maureen, studded with loony comments about Jimmy Lee and quotations torn from their Old Testament context. A one-dimensional thriller with wall-to-wall stereotypes, though the strong, direct prose of Walker's ninth does keep up the pace.

Product Details

Penguin Group (USA)
Publication date:
Jessica Coran Series , #9
Product dimensions:
5.64(w) x 8.46(h) x 1.24(d)

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Unnatural Instinct: A Jessica Coran Novel 5 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 1 reviews.
harstan More than 1 year ago
FBI Agent and medical examiner Dr. Jessica Coran enjoys some downtime with Richard Sharpe, who resigned his position at Scotland Yard to become an FBI consultant. Their romantic interlude is interrupted when Appellate Judge Maureen DeCampe is abducted from an underground garage in Washington DC Jessica is put in charge of this political hot potato of a case. She immediately concludes that the judge knew her attacker and didn¿t feel the culprit was a hazard to her.

The judge when confronted by Isaiah Purdy did not feel that he was a threat to her. She knew him from her days as a judge in Texas when she sentences his son to death in the electric chair for a series of rape-murderers. After his son was killed Isaiah claimed the body, drove to Washington DC and abducted the judge. She is now naked tied to Isaiah¿s son rotting decayed corpse and she will surely die if Jessica and her team fail to find her rather quickly.

There are very few crime writers to day who consistently write compelling and exciting thrillers. Robert W. Walker is not only of those very few, he is elite amongst them. Hopefully he obtains what he deserves having UNNATURAL INSTINCT on all the bestseller lists for its powerful story line with a strong cast. The heroine, a brilliant workaholic, might have finally met her match in Richard Sharpe. They make a good pair personally and professional and it is hoped that there will be more novels starring this couple in the not too distant future.

Harriet Klausner