Here comes another whirlwind from James Patterson and co-author Liza Markland – and it blows through like a nor’easter. “The Postcard Killers” slakes our desire for blood while the blade is still dripping – and compels us to hunt alongside Jacob Kanon to absolve our unmitigated desire for revenge.
Patterson’s power resides in his ability to create reality that pops off the page into our consciousness: we become one with the hunter; we become the hunter.
NYPD detective Jacob Kanon grieves the loss of his most valuable possession – his daughter, Kimmy. Brutally murdered by an assumed pair of serial killers, Kanon races after the brutal murders, following their killing rampage through Europe. Each killing ramps up in brutality and cleverness, and Kanon must stop the killings, to assuage his unrelenting grief and guilt at his daughter’s death.
Dessie Larsson, a Swedish journalist in a mundane position at Aftonposten, a nondescript newspaper in Stockholm, receives a post card. The postcard depicts Stortorget, a main square in Stockholm’s Old Town. On the postcard, there is an inscription:
TO BE OR NOT TO BE
THAT IS THE QUESTION
WE’LL BE IN TOUCH
Larsson believes the postcard is a simple prank or a mistake until Kanon appears at her door – most unexpectedly – and explains that it means the hunting killers are on the prowl – in Sweden. Before each murder, the killers seek out a journalist in the target city and send them a postcard. A day or two later, the same reporter receives a Polaroid picture depicting the brutalized murders. The victims pose themselves in strange ways; and Larsson stirs when she realizes that she has seen one of the poses before; but where?
Kanon’s European vistas have been to each crime scene – his daughter Kimmy and her boyfriend died in Rome. Kanon pursues the rash of murders through Madrid, Salzburg, Athens, Paris – and now Stockholm. His rage and anguish transform him into an animal on the hunt, overriding all other thoughts or decisions. He must revenge his daughter’s death and stop the killings and he has an edge – he’s not afraid to die doing it.
As Dessie Larsson and Jacob Kanon become immersed in the murders, they resolve into a team and integrate themselves into the Swedish police investigation. Distinct patterns emerge. Kanon feels the pair are a couple – charismatic and attractive, the killers entice newlyweds or young couples into their social web as they travel on vacation, meeting another fun couple to party with. There are certain flags: an expensive purchase by the murdered couple before each killing, among others. Dessie discovers the most important clues as she realizes where she has seen the posed victims, and she and Kanon find themselves drawn into the world of “art and reality” that the serial killers portray. The hunters start picking up the tracks and scents of the brutal serial killers – but they remain one step behind…
Pure Patterson, “The Postcard Killers” mix of murder/brains/stealth on both sides of the fence – killers versus brilliant detective work – keeps us mesmerized and breathless. The plot coils around itself in a circle, and unwinds as the knots unravel. Always passionate, Patterson’s characters demand their uniqueness and intelligent integrity, always tortured on both ends. Good versus evil with compelling ideation combusts in “The Postcard Killers”. As always, Patterson has pushed the blade in to the hilt; blood splatter pours throughout the novel and seeps through in a delicate and intricate pattern we have learned so well to love and admire! Perfect crime scene – perfect detection!
The Postcard Killers is available for purchase at Amazon.com and bookdealers around the country.
Ratings are based on a 5-star scale
Overall: 5 (Aren’t you tired of my 5’s, Mr. Patterson?| (Broad A)
Review by Broad “A” – Ava
We received a copy of this title for our book review. All opinions are our own.
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