They have the body of a slaughtered woman. They have a half-naked man standing over her. They have no idea how to make him talk. And so they call in ex-FBI interrogator Alex Rourke to the traumatized Maine town of Winter's End. But as Rourke probes the mind of the enigmatic Nicholas', he is forced to re-examine his own past ...Strange things have ...
They have the body of a slaughtered woman. They have a half-naked man standing over her. They have no idea how to make him talk. And so they call in ex-FBI interrogator Alex Rourke to the traumatized Maine town of Winter's End. But as Rourke probes the mind of the enigmatic Nicholas', he is forced to re-examine his own past ...Strange things have been happening in Winter's End. The question is why. And if the man in custody does hold the answers to crimes both present and past, then Alex will have to get to them and quickly. Because it soon becomes clear that what Nicholas has been waiting for from the beginning is Alex Rourke.
Publishers Weekly, 2003-11-17 First novelist Rickards ventures tentatively into Thomas Harris territory with mixed results. Boston-based PI Alex Rourke, a former FBI agent who worked on profiling serial killers, gets dragged out of his routine by a murder in Winter's End, Maine, where he grew up. The local sheriff calls Rourke for help when his undermanned department is confronted with a puzzle-a half-naked man was found crouching over a mutilated corpse with knives in his hands, but he refused to identify himself or explain what he was doing at the murder scene. The suspect does open up a little under Rourke's interrogation, but his cryptic responses suggest that he's playing with the detectives, and, more disturbingly, that he waited to be caught so that Rourke would become involved in the case. The clues reveal that the placid rural image of Winter's End is a facade, and that past sins have come back to haunt its leading citizens. While the book succeeds as an atmospheric page-turner, the taunting of the former profiler by an intelligent psychotic who seems to know many personal details is derivative of Hannibal Lecter's games-playing with his adversaries without offering anything new or interesting. Rickards even has his hero and an undeveloped love interest watch a Lecter movie on a date. The final payoff is disappointingly predictable, and the absence of a clever twist lessens the book's overall impact. (Dec. 8) Forecast: A blurb from Peter Robinson, prominently displayed on the jacket, will help boost sales, as will comparisons to Thomas Harris, whose Hannibal Lecter continues to exert his dark appeal. Copyright 2003 Reed Business Information.
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