Popular suspense writer Andrew Thomas (Desert Places, 2004), still wrongly believed to be a serial killer, lives in hiding but can’t escape fan(atic)s or a copycat killer.
In 1996, Andrew’s long-lost twin Orson, aided by a psychopathic accomplice named Luther Kite, killed their mother and a man named Walter Lancing. The seemingly ironclad case against Andrew sent him on the run. This sequel unfolds in short chapters from multiple perspectives; Andrew’s point-of-view cuts are written in a noir first person and addressed directly to the reader. Orson is dead, but a revitalized Luther Kite cuts a grisly swath down the East Coast. Shrewdly employing the modus operandi ascribed to the wrongly accused writer, Luther kidnaps and tortures both Andrew’s former fiancée, New York book editor Karen Prescott, and Lancing’s widow, Elizabeth. Along the way he commits several other crimes, the most vividly described being his gutting of a discourteous department store employee. Meanwhile, oddball aspiring writer Horace Boone finds Andrew’s remote lair and, deducing the writer’s identity, begins to formulate a master plagiarism plan. In the newspaper, Andrew reads about a brutal murder attributed to him and immediately suspects Luther. He reluctantly sets off in pursuit. Brilliant young police detective Violet King is also on this case, her first big one. Instinct tells her that the perp is more likely Luther than Andrew. Vi visits his elderly parents, Rufus and Maxine Kite, a near-fatal decision she lives to painfully regret. When Vi hooks up with Andrew, the story seems to be unfolding on a predictable path, but it’s only the beginning of cliffhangers and nail-biting twists.
Blunt but expertly paced and viscerally effective, with many surprises and genuine chills.