A tense and topical thriller featuring crime writer Molly Cates, whose search for the truth behind her own bestseller leads to grisly killings in gripping detail...Eleven years ago, women driving on the desert interstates were terrified by the thought of breaking down and falling victim to the Texas Scalper. But now he's safely behind bars, and ...
A tense and topical thriller featuring crime writer Molly Cates, whose search for the truth behind her own bestseller leads to grisly killings in gripping detail...Eleven years ago, women driving on the desert interstates were terrified by the thought of breaking down and falling victim to the Texas Scalper. But now he's safely behind bars, and one-time barber Louie Bronk is sentenced to die within the week for his final and most famous murder -- that of Austin socialite Tiny McFarland. Investigative reporter Molly Cates has just published Sweating Blood, the Louie Bronk story. So why is Tiny's husband Charlie trying to bribe her to stay off the final episode -- the actual execution? Did Bronk confess to something he didn't do? Should he be executed at all? Time is running out. And then the copycat murders begin...
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"The Red Scream" was written almost ten years ago and I was late coming to the party. I can say that am I ever glad I put on my best black dress, Grandma M's pearls and those slinky black shoes and made my appearance. By the time the party was over, I was raising my glass in a toast to Ms. Walker for writing "The Red Scream."
"The Red Scream" is about Louie Brock, a serial killer, who has been on death row for over ten years. Although he murdered many women, he was sentenced to death for killing Tiny, the wife of a rich and prominent builder in Austin, Texas. While Louis is in jail counting the precious few days before he is scheduled to be executed, there is a copycat murder. Louis confessed to the murder ten years ago but now is claiming he is innocent. Molly Cates, a crime reporter, has been involved with Louis' story since Tiny's murder and has written numerous articles and a book about Tiny's murder. She now questions whether Louis actually did murder Tiny or whether he was railroaded into confessing. Although she feels he is a despicable character and probably deserves to die for all the other women he murdered, she sets out to prove that he is innocent of that particular murder because she has a very strong sense of justice.
Did Louis murder Tiny ten years ago? We can't take his claim of innocence at face value because Louis is a notorious liar. If he is telling the truth this time, with a horde of suspects and possible murder scenarios, we are left guessing until the last few pages of the book.
For those who like a little romance along with their sleuthing, this book will deliver. During the course of the investigation, three times divorced Molly comes in contact with her first husband, Grady, who is a police officer. Are they still in love with each other after more than 20 years and, if so, can they get together. Another mystery that is not revealed until the end of the book.
The "voice" of this book is a strong condemnation of the death penalty. The fact that Louis has killed many people but that Molly is fighting to save him from being executed because he may be innocent of the particular crime that sent him to death row is an innovative and stunning way to approach this controversial subject.
Ms. Walker had made it to my list of favorite authors and I am looking forward to reading everything she has written.
Publishers Weekly, 1994-06-20 Walker's second well-wrought mystery, following her Agatha-winning Zero at the Bone , will add to her following. Molly Cates, a crime writer in Austin, Tex., is planning to cover the execution of doggerel-writing serial murderer Louie Bronk, whose five-year killing spree is the subject of Molly's recently published book. But Charlie McFarland, whose wealthy wife, Tiny, was Louie's last victim and who has since remarried, wants the past left buried, suggesting fresh publicity will threaten the stability of his grown daughter, who was 11 at the time of her mother's murder. Next, an anonymous note to Molly warns, in verse, ``Now that Louie's doomed to die / I may give his craft a try.'' Arriving at the McFarland house for a meeting, Molly stumbles on the corpse of Charlie's second wife, Georgia. The police--including Molly's attractive and still interested ex-husband, Grady Traynor--are eying Charlie and his grown children with suspicion when Louie issues an explosive statement that raises questions about Tiny's death and compels Molly to take a hard look at the investigative work she has done. The finale, in which Molly is almost killed, is somewhat gratuitous, but that aside, Molly and her disturbing subject command the reader's rapt attention. (Aug.)
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