Kirkus Reviews QR Code


by Dylan Jones

Pub Date: Dec. 13th, 1996
ISBN: 0-312-14753-8
Publisher: St. Martin's

 Jones's stalking of Hannibal Lecter goes stateside in the ghoulish case of conventioneering British immunologist Catrin Jacob, killed by a lunatic at Chicago's Adler Planetarium. The spin here is that the murder has been witnessed by a third party scarcely less crazy than the killer: Jacob Bek, the schizophrenic brother of the homicide cop assigned to head the investigation. Fresh from hearing Jake's gibbering account of the killing and watching him run away in panic, suspicious Lewis Bek promises his mother to protect Jake as best he can--a decision that dumps the case into the lap of Lou's partner, ambitious Susan Mackie, who, as you'd expect in Jones (Outside the Rules, 1995, etc.), is fighting her own demons. As if the cops' loyalties weren't strained enough, Catrin's brother Rhys, who's flown the Atlantic to take his sister's body back home, goes squawking to the delighted press about how the police are determined to bury the murder. So far, so tense--until halfway through, when Jones introduces the necrophiliac murderer, conscientiously recounts his grisly rÇsumÇ, and details exactly what plans he has for the rest of the cast. The closing chapters, though they don't lack for excitement, manage to be both clinically foursquare (``The depth of his madness was such that he functioned in a state of total depravity'') and shrill. A macabre feast for connoisseurs of the horrible, though the tender-minded are advised to leave at the first intermission.