THE LAST DRAW by Elisabet Peterzen


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Another in the International Women's Crime Series (see Bowers above), this piquantly awkward translation from the Swedish purports to be the journalistic records of a husband-and-wife investigative team--Katrin and Erik Skafte--who identified a batch of knivings as not random, but from the same maniacal hand. Each victim--there are seven--is discussed, first as the corpse the police found, then, from interviews with family and friends, as the man he was: an unemployed immigrant, a socialist member of parliament, a playwright/reviewer, a computer salesman, a stockboy, a psychologist, and a Susskind-like TV producer/interviewer. What did the victims have in common? They were all men. And, according to the murderer--whom the Skaftes eventually identify and take to their home for a lengthy and ultimately fatal chat--the men were made victims because ""every time a man was just about to patronize me or exploit me or make me into a victim, I struck first."" Katrin seems to side with the murderer; Erik becomes enraged, patronizing and exploitive, and so the killer kills again. . . . Fascinating accounting of the victims, but when the story swings to the killer's point of view--and the specific encounters that led to the knife-wielding--most readers will recoil. Too bad, too, because, despite the author's intention, the studies of the men are much more interesting than the rationale (and gibberish) of the murderer. Two-thirds compelling; one-third balderdash.

Pub Date: Oct. 25th, 1988
Publisher: Seal Press