Deviant Ways

Deviant Ways

by Chris Mooney


View All Available Formats & Editions
Choose Expedited Shipping at checkout for guaranteed delivery by Thursday, June 20


Punctuated with one blisteringly violent and unpredictable twist after another, this pitch-perfect study of psychological terror spotlights two magnificent minds opposed in a no-holds-barred duel of cunning and depravity.

A master killer calling himself the Sandman is out for revenge. He's slaughtering not just one person at a time but whole families and whole neighborhoods, unleashing devastating explosions nationwide, and watching the horror unfold on a sophisticated network of surveillance cameras. No one knows why he is committing his crimes, or where he'll strike next.

But one man — Jack Casey — knows this: the Sandman wants him in the middle of the case, and wants him to suffer...

Jack was the FBI's top profiler until a psychopath's unspeakable crime shattered his life. Now Jack is starting over as a detective in a posh shoreline community outside Boston, and involved with a beautiful woman who knows nothing about his shocking past. But the Sandman has found him, and his cutting-edge electronic devices are silently monitoring Jack's every move. Knowing that a showdown is imminent, Jack turns in desperation to Malcolm Fletcher, a strange and brilliant fallen angel from the profiling unit. Fletcher is wanted by the FBI. And he possesses the key to unlocking the Sandman's demented mind.

As Jack Casey confronts evidence that the evil he's fighting may have emanated from his own side of the law, the Sandman's motivations begin to appear and a wild chase ensues. But while racing against time to save the next family, Jack is led deeper into the dark and terrifying tunnels of his fragile mind — a place where the Sandman awaits, to deal his final master stroke of vindictive cruelty.

Deviant Ways is a breathtaking and unforgettable first novel that catapults Chris Mooney into suspense fiction's highest ranks. A harrowing journey through ordinary streets turned into scenes of unimaginable terror, it careens from cries of mass murder to whispers within the mind — in a disturbing cat-and-mouse game of righ-teousness, loss, and vengeance.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781439182598
Publisher: Gallery Books
Publication date: 08/11/2009
Pages: 382
Sales rank: 1,286,861
Product dimensions: 6.00(w) x 9.00(h) x 0.90(d)

About the Author

Chris Mooney is the critically acclaimed author of Deviant Ways, World Without End, and Remembering Sarah, which was nominated for the Barry Award and the Edgar Award for Best Novel. He lives in Boston with his wife and son.

Read an Excerpt

Chapter 1

The house, a variation on the Colonial style that seemed to typify New England, was located on what was called the Neck, a reclusive and wealthy island community of million-dollar-plus homes, and accessed only by a small bridge that connected it to Marblehead and (when needed) to the rest of the world. It was located close to the lighthouse that was a popular make-out spot with local teenagers and sectioned off by a tall iron gate. The house's massive back deck, the wood weathered gray from the salt, sun, and long winters, was large enough to hold a high school graduation and overlooked a private stretch of beach. A new black Lexus and a vintage silver Jaguar were parked out in the driveway in front of the family's two-car garage.

The house belonged to Patrick and Veronica Dolan, who had a thirteen-year-old son, Alex. All three of them, Jack knew, were dead.

The call came in to the station shortly after 12 A.M. The caller's voice was different from that on last month's 911 call, and this time the caller stated his name, Dale Porter, the Dolans' next-door neighbor. He had heard a gunshot and called the police. Dispatch called Porter's home number; no answer. Jack immediately placed a call to the Boston Bomb Squad.

At 12:35, residents were torn from their sleep by a rush of bullhorns and flashing lights. Local and state police herded the frightened families down the bridge and onto school buses that would take them to hotels in Peabody and Danvers. Less than an hour later, all of the residents of the Neck and half of Marblehead had been evacuated. Bomb techs entered the house. Arson investigators were on the horn to the ATF and the FBI's Explosives Unit. And the media was out in full force.

It was now Friday morning, a quarter to five. The sky was the color of a burnt-out lightbulb, and a cool breeze blew off the water, welcome relief from the oppressive humidity that had haunted Marblehead for the past three weeks. The power had been cut all over town; the Dolan house was dark. The news choppers were gone for the moment; the air was eerily still, filled only with the sound of the waves lapping against the shore. The place felt like a ghost town.

On the back deck Jack fidgeted with the various buckles on his padded bomb suit. He had never worn one before and was having trouble figuring out how to fasten it. Standing on the opposite side of the picnic table and leaning with his back against the balcony railing was Bob Burke, the commander of the Boston Bomb Squad, the man who for the past four hours had been inside the house with the bomb. Burke was smoking a cigar that looked like an artillery shell. His green eyes were narrow and unblinking as he watched from behind the clouds of smoke drifting up across his face.

"I told you there's no need for you to get dressed up, you're not going in there." Burke's voice was throaty, cured by tobacco and the whiskey he drank for what he called medicinal purposes. The top half of his bomb suit hung off his waist; his gray Harvard Law T-shirt was dark with sweat and stretched tightly across his barrel chest and broad shoulders. He was in his late fifties and had been working with bombs ever since completing two tours in Vietnam. Like all bomb techs, Burke had been trained by the FBI at Redstone Arsenal in Huntsville, Alabama, and it was widely acknowledged by many within the FBI's Explosives Unit that Bob Burke was one of the best in the business.

"You listening or what?"

"We've already covered this," Jack said, his attention focused on the pieces of the bomb suit that were spread across the picnic table.

"And we're about to cover it again until I get through that thick melon of yours." Burke pointed the cigar at him for emphasis. "I just told you what Semtex-H is."

"A Russian-made plastic explosive with a high shatter rate. Popular with Middle Eastern terrorists."

"Now six blocks of it are sitting in the bedroom of a residential home in Yuppietown. Six blocks. One can reduce a plane to fragments you can hold in your hand. I got six. If they go off, Marblehead's going to be relocated on the other side of the Atlantic and you'll be fish food."

"You said the bomb malfunctioned."

"No, I said I believed it malfunctioned and that I won't know for sure if it did until I take it apart. But I have to move it out of the house first, and there's no guarantee that it won't blow."

Burke's words hung in the still air. Jack went about attaching the breastplate. More buckles, Christ. He stopped dressing and looked over the railing. Between the pockets of fog he could see white foam along the sand and rocks.

"You took an X ray of the bomb, right?"

"We've been through this," Burke said.

"On the X ray, you find any failsafe mechanisms, like an antidisturbance switch?"

"No, but we did find a gravity trigger. I go to move it and in a blink we're scattered on the moon."

"But in order to activate the trigger, you have to move the bomb."

"Semtex-H is invisible on X ray. I X-ray a briefcase containing a block of that shit, it doesn't even show up as an outline. You with me so far?"

Jack knew where Burke was going. "If there was a secondary IED inside the house, you would have found it."

"That doesn't mean there isn't one in there. I didn't X-ray everything inside the house."

"There's only one bomb in there."

Burke's eyes lighted with a mix of anger and frustration. A web of deep red lines the texture of rubber ran across the left side of his face, carved through his salt-and-pepper beard like runoff beds on soil, and bled down into a thick blob of white scar tissue that covered half of his neck. The skin around his right eye looked like melted red-and-white wax, the ear practically gone.

A local mob hit man whom Burke had sent up the road for life had mailed a letter bomb to Burke during the fall of 1979. Burke had been standing behind his desk, his face turned to a subordinate, when he opened the letter. If he had been looking at it, the acid would have blinded him.

Burke removed the cigar from his mouth. "It's been a long night, my body's jacked on adrenaline and junked on a little whiskey, and when that happens, I have a habit of not making my point very clear. I apologize." He struggled above his anger to maintain calmness and clarity. "So I'll say it again, and this time I'll go extra slow. A laptop computer with six blocks of Semtex-H, probably the most lethal plastic explosive on the planet, is sitting upstairs in a bedroom behind us hooked up to the phone jack in the wall."

"The phone lines are shut down and so is the electricity."

Burke pressed on. "Right now the laptop's running on a battery. When the battery dies, it could send off enough juice to blow the explosives."

"But you don't know that for sure."

0 "Then there's the matter of the disc drive. Right now there's a disc stuck in there. Every once in a while, the computer starts reading it. How that fits in, Christ, I don't know. If I take it out and the computer starts looking for it, the bomb could blow. It could blow with it in there. That's the fucking problem, Jack. I just don't know. I've been doing this job for thirty-plus years now, and when I think about what's inside that bedroom, it's like someone's holding a flame under my sack. You getting the drift? Am I speaking nice and slow for you?"

Jack looked past Burke's shoulder at the sliding glass door. The killer had cut a square section of glass large enough for him to reach his hand through and unlock the door. The call came in just after twelve, and what he had done with the family took time. He had counted on the bomb wiping out the evidence. But the bomb hadn't gone off and the crime scene was intact.

"Last month this guy blew up a house and killed two officers," Jack said. "We got the media crawling all over the place, we got you and ATF agents poking around the blast site, we throw the media a report about a gas explosion and the story dies. Four weeks later and we have zero for evidence, Bob. The only thing we know is that this guy used infrared on last month's bomb. I walked into the bedroom, walked through the beam, and initiated the bomb's timer. That's all we know, correct? Or am I missing something?"

Jack looked back to Burke. Burke worked the cigar between his back molars and stared at him, his eyes as hard as green marbles. The cool air picked up and blew around them, filled with the squawk of seagulls.

"Upstairs in that bedroom is a fully constructed crime scene, complete with evidence that the bomb was supposed to erase, and you're standing here telling me to just walk away."

"I want you to think with your head and not with the hard-on you got for this guy," Burke said. "You scraped by last month. This time, you may not be so lucky."

"The fact is that he had plenty of chances to take us out and the entire goddamn town and he didn't. Why? Because he can't. The bomb malfunctioned and right now he's sitting somewhere very pissed off, dreaming up his next move. You and I both know this is going to happen again, and when it does, we won't be having this kind of conversation. We'll either be dead or sifting through rubble and sliding body parts into Ziplock bags with spatulas. And the whole fucking world will be watching. End of story."

Burke glared at him.

"Tell me I'm wrong and I'll take off this suit and walk away," Jack said.

Burke turned away and examined a thought hidden somewhere out in the morning.

"Don't let the suit give you a false sense of security," he said. "If this puppy goes off, they'll be pouring your body into the coffin."

Copyright © 2000 by Chirs Mooney

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

See All Customer Reviews

Deviant Ways 4.7 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 26 reviews.
miyurose on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
This was merely average for me. Mooney didn't make me particularly care about any of the characters or their welfare. I kept expecting a twist, like a mole who was helping the bad guy, but it never came.
jdogjojo04061956 More than 1 year ago
WHY CAN U NOT GET THIS FOR MY NOOK>>>???????????????????
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I believe I have all Mooney's books. He has a unique style and his characters have great chemistry.
Guest More than 1 year ago
Story with many twist and turns...many sub plots...makes this one a real page- turner...
Guest More than 1 year ago
picked this up in hardcover in a thrift shop for 1.00. It is the best purchase I have made in years. Never heard of Chris Mooney...but right now I'm out looking for his second book. Hope he writes a lot more ...I will buy and read them of the very best I have ever read.
Guest More than 1 year ago
I happened upon this book at Barnes and Noble in their Bargain section...what a steal! $6 bucks and one of the best finds I've ever made! I can't say enough good things about this book. I even liked the ending, which I tend to be pretty critical about after becoming so attached. My co-workers, friends and family are all taking numbers to see who gets to read it next! :)
Guest More than 1 year ago
Mooneys book kept me awake at night reading and awake after I closed the pages. Watch out Patterson!
Guest More than 1 year ago
Bravo! This is an amazing book. I felt as if I was a part of the plot itself. I loved the graphics of it, the characters, the whole story line. I would LOVE to see a continuation of the same characters,especially Fletcher. He was FABULOUS, so intense. What an incredible debut novel. I look forward to Mr. Mooney's second novel (due this winter).
Guest More than 1 year ago
Alright Chris. I was the first to review Deviant Ways. You told me #2 was out in the Spring! I'm off to the beach tomorrow and just KNEW I would have your 2nd to take with me! Congrats on the ***** reviews! You certainly deserved them! HURRY with #2!
Guest More than 1 year ago
If you enjoy a really hard to put down suspense novel, you've got to read this book! In a world already overflowing with suspense novels, this one really stands out! I really enjoyed this rollercoaster ride! The story is very detailed but it grips you from the very beginning and doesn't let go. In some suspense novels the action is spread throughout the entire novel. Not true here! The action/adventure never stops! I was sorry when I reached page 370! I wanted more! Jack Casey is a true hero! I really hope to see the main characters in Mr. Mooney's next book! A great read!
Guest More than 1 year ago
I don't know why the previous reviewer hated it - this book grabbed me from the first page and wouldn't let me go. It's scary, it's thrilling, it has great characters (some of which I hope to see again), and it kept me turning the pages so fast I thought I was going to faint!!! Is there violence? Yes. But I think the author did a great job in using it to show the severity and magnitude of just how creepy and powerful the Sandman is. And to top it all off, there a lot of moral issues here to tackle. The book was just FANTASTIC and I can't WAIT until I read his new one. I'm a fan for life!!!
Guest More than 1 year ago
Judging from other reviews, I can see that I am in a minority in my feelings for this book, but I despised it. Its violence was gratuitous and far more graphic than it had to be and 'The Sandman' was portrayed to be so clever as to challenge any reasonable person's belief. This is one reader who will not buy this author's next book.
Guest More than 1 year ago
Guest More than 1 year ago
This is by far one of the best books I have read in a long time. I am an avid suspense/thriller reader and this takes the cake! I made my husband search the house everynight before bed! The sandman never left me the whole time I was reading it. I anxiously await Chris's next novel. Julie B.
Guest More than 1 year ago
For my mystery loving friends, you cannot pass this one up! I am so impressed that this is Mooney's first novel. It is a nonstop, can't put down read! Mooney is the new James Patterson! Rush out and get it! Twists and deviation make this book one that you cannot put off. I can't wait for his 2nd novel!!!!!
Guest More than 1 year ago
Tremendous book!!!! I could not put it down. This truly is a 'page turner'. I loved that the chapters were short; I'd want to finish a chapter, next thing I knew, I read 4 more!!!! After I finished the book, I felt like I had just seen the movie, it was that descriptive! Which brings me to my next point...I hope somebody will make a movie out of it because it would be an award winner!!!! I highly recommend this book to everyone. There is not a dull moment in it!!!
Guest More than 1 year ago
This is Chris Mooney's first book and I am amazed at the talent and maturity his writing displays. I have read alot of books lately and Deviant Ways is at the peak of my top 5 list. This is a true suspence thriller that is unprecedented. The descriptives in this book were so good that at times I felt as though I was watching a movie. The Sandman is a great 'serial' character but I think Miles Hamilton (the Sandman's predecessor) was a little creepier. But my favorite character wasn't even the main character, Jack Casey. It was Malcolm Fletcher, a former FBI profiler with a sordid past. He is the key ingredient for the utter success of this book. Malcolm Fletcher is cool and delivers his own form of justice that will surely put a smile on your face. This is a dark tale but don't worry you'll be feeling most hopeful at the end of Deviant Ways. Enjoy, thriller fans and watch for Chris Mooney in future. I have a feeling he'll back.
Guest More than 1 year ago
Debut author Mooney has written a scorching, fiercely addicting thriller which forced me to finally give in and submit a review on the web. In fact, I haven't even finished the book yet (only half way through), but felt compelled to offer my sincere praise to this new, powerful voice in the thriller genre. The characters are deftly drawn, immensely interesting and carefully developed. The plot, so far, has gripped me so tight that I try to sneak in quick chapter reads whenever I have a free moment. I haven't been so excited about a new author for years (I'm a devoted John Sandford fan). Mooney writes like a skilled, professional craftsman..offering vivid detail in all of it's glorious violent overtones. Can't wait to read the follow up!!!!!
Guest More than 1 year ago
Mr. Mooney has written an intense character driven novel. It holds the readers attention from the first page and never lets go. He breathes life into every character. If you enjoy novels about serial killers and like edge-of-your seat pacing you'll love this book. If you buy no other suspense novel this year, buy DEVIANT WAYS - you will not be disappointed.
Guest More than 1 year ago
It isn¿t very often that a new author appears on the scene, writing in a particular genre, and manages to create a debut novel filled with such believable characters, such vivid storytelling, and such breathtaking intensity, that it knocks a reader right out of his socks. For avid book lovers, it is the pot of gold at the end of the rainbow we¿re always in search of, and when we occasionally find an author of this amazing caliber, it¿s like waking up on Christmas morning with dozens of exciting presents waiting to be opened. Chris Mooney is such an author, and his debut novel is DEVIANT WAYS. This is the story of the Sandman, a serial killer who knows your every move, your every thought, and there¿s no place to hide from him. As a young boy, he was part of an experimental program that was instigated by the FBI¿a program in which many of its participants were methodically tortured with new drugs being tested and even with electro-shock. The Sandman is an adult now, and he wants REVENGE! His intentions are to kill the doctors and psychiatrists who did this to him and to bring the FBI tumbling down. The killing spree begins in Marblehead, a rich, seashore community in Massachusetts where many of his former torturers live. The Sandman doesn¿t intend to just kill the individuals. Noooo. He¿s going to make these good citizens suffer by forcing them to watch as he massacres their entire families; then, when the police show up, he will take them out, too, by destroying the neighborhoods in such a manner as to draw the attention of the FBI and the national media. That¿s when the fun really begins. Only one man might be able to stop this diabolical killer: Jack Casey, a former FBI profiler, whose wife and unborn child were murdered years before by Miles Hamilton, a serial killer Hannibal Lecter would certainly be proud of. Casey is now a detective in Marblehead and probably nobody understands the psyche of a serial killer better than he does. You see, Jack Casey has killed before in the line of duty, and he enjoyed it! If our dark hero can get his hands on the Sandman, he will teach him a thing or two about death. Needless to say, the town of Marblehead will never be the same as these two adversaries square off against each other. Who will live and who will die? How much of the town will be destroyed before justice prevails¿justice in the eyes of both the Sandman and Jack Casey? Revenge never tasted better! DEVIANT WAYS will grab you in the first twenty pages, surprising you in ways few other novels are able to do. Each chapter will literally propel you forward as Mr. Mooney makes us peel back layer after layer of this multi-structured story, pushing us to discover the truth hidden within the core of his central characters, which is that we all have monsters lurking within us, and it only takes the right button being pushed to bring them out. This novel also has a score of secondary characters who are every bit as mysterious and intriguing as the lead ones. There is Miles Hamilton, the killer who changed Casey¿s life forever and who reeks of pure evil. Then, there¿s Malcolm Fletcher, also a former FBI profiler, who once tried to stop the experiments that created the Sandman. The FBI sent assassins to take him out, but they weren¿t good enough. Now, he¿s come out of hiding to help Casey put the Sandman down and to get retribution on his former bosses. The pacing of DEVIANT WAYS is relentless, and it has so many twists and turns that it will be nearly impossible for the reader to guess the ending. At the heart of the novel, however, are the themes of lost and redemption. Both Casey and Fletcher have done things in their pasts that neither of them are proud of, and the time has come to balance the scales. I can¿t say enough good things about DEVIANT WAYS, and I find it rather awe-inspiring that a new author could come from out of nowhere with a debut novel of such quality and magnitude, that you wonder how he
Guest More than 1 year ago
This book was great. I got it on recommendation of the author and I loved it. The story line reminds me of Thomas Harris. Mooney is 'disturbed' enough for my taste! Those disturbing thoughts of your own come back at you in this book. Great thriller and LOVED the characters. I'm not big on series books but I would LOVE to see Malcolm Fletcher make an appearance in a future book.
Guest More than 1 year ago
'Deviant Ways' is an absolute must read thriller! Mooney is unparalleled at his ability to throw the reader into the minds of his characters. The book's main character, FBI profiler 'Jack Casey,' struggles with his emotional baggage and moral dilemmas as he tries to nail the highly intelligent and vengeful 'Sandman.' Mooney takes you on a fast paced roller coaster ride that is truly cinematic. You may find YOURSELF mentally unstable after reading this book. Malcolm Fletcher HAS to be brought back in a future novel!!!!
Guest More than 1 year ago
The best I have read in years, a monster thriller.
Guest More than 1 year ago
If one could create an amusement park ride into the mind of a man haunted not only by his past, but by the events unfolding before him, you would have created this dark, disturbing and brilliant first novel by Chris Mooney, 'Deviant Ways'. Like taking the best elements from books by Clancy, Thomas Harris, and Jonathon Kellerman, Mooney has created an unforgettable nightmare of a read. Jack Casey sees dead people. His first wife, murdered before his eyes as he lay bound to a chair only feet away from her, unable to save her, haunts his every waking thought. Nothing seems to keep him from seeing her face every day, bloody and frightened...but most of all, betrayed. Her brutal murder so deeply affects him that he retires from his career as a criminal profiler for the FBI. His subsequent downward spiral into his own personal hell is far from therapeutic...bringing out the most self-destructive aspects of his nature. Moving finally to a small, east-coast town, he joins the police department there in the hopes of building a new life. Nightmares, though, have a way of following a haunted man, despite all of his best efforts to outrun them...and Jack Casey is no different. Casey is inexorably drawn into a battle of cunning and wits by The Sandman, a soul devoid of conscience, remorse or feeling...and a product of a medical test performed secretly by Casey's own former employer: The FBI. As the bodies begin piling up, Casey is plunged deep into his own past in order to survive his present. The Sandman seems unstoppable, and Casey is none too sure that he is the one who can do it...and right up until nearly the final page, neither is the reader. Mooney has crafted an incredibly intelligent and perilous first novel--as if he himself were haunted by his own monsters, and his therapy is to purge his demons onto the page, much to the benefit of the reader. Where once Hannibal Lecter was the uber-villian, Mooney has raised the stakes to a level that will be hard to surmount. I am proudly adding this book to my list of top-ten all-time best reads! Definitely NOT for the person who reads to fall asleep.
Guest More than 1 year ago
You will be into this book after you read the first page. Chris has the knack of keeping you on the edge of you seat throughout. When you think you have it figured out, this fast moving fiction will take the wind out of your sails. Great reading-have fun.