PRAYER FOR THE DEAD by David Wiltse

PRAYER FOR THE DEAD

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KIRKUS REVIEW

 Another serial psycho-killer from a specialist in the genre (The Wedding Guest, The Serpent, The Fifth Angel). Roger Dyce is a Connecticut insurance agent who likes to inject young men of Scandinavian extraction with a paralyzing drug, drain their blood (slowly, over several days), and dress them in the clothing of his beloved grandfather before dismembering their bodies. As he's disposing of his eighth victim, Dyce is drifting uncharacteristically toward Helen--a supermarket checker whose life expectancy dramatically declines--and eyeing as his next victim Eric Brandauer, a young tough who has ideas of his own. When his trap to catch Eric lands him in the hospital with an Eric-broken nose, Dyce comes face to face with his nemesis/double John Becker--an ex-FBI agent who quit the Bureau out of fear of his uncanny empathy for killers and his own growing propensity for violence.... The motivation of both men is tediously spun out--via italicized flashbacks revealing the nature of Dyce's attachment to his grandfather and Becker's sessions with his rock-climbing girlfriend and his psychiatrist--but the plotting of thrust and counterthrust, and the morituri musings, are chillingly understated. Creepy stuff, all right.

Pub Date: July 17th, 1991
ISBN: 0-399-13607-X
Page count: 304pp
Publisher: Putnam
Review Posted Online:
Kirkus Reviews Issue: May 15th, 1991




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