BY REASON OF INSANITY by James Neal Harvey


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Harvey's hard-cover debut (following three novels published as Leslie Deane) focuses on the hunt for a serial rapist-killer whose specialty is taking high-concept photos of his victims after they're dead. The killer is Madison Avenue advertising executive Peter Barrows, a man with a mother fixation, a Hasselblad, and a walk-in freezer in his Soho studio. The detective in charge of catching him is Lt. Ben Tolliver, the sort of cop to whom secretaries will slip their phone numbers. As Barrows is sending snapshots of his victims to ambitious TV reporter Sarah Weston, whose coverage alternates fatally between rhapsody and revilement, Tolliver is investigating the links between the current, clinically described spate of killings and an eight-year-old sex crime at Hamilton College. He's also falling in love with fading glamour-girl Margot Dennis, a model whose career is about to take a turn for the better when she lands a big contract doing ""housewife"" commercials--for Peter's company. Plot the rest of it yourself--by now you can tell exactly what will happen to whom and in what order--and add a climax rehashing some of your favorite old movies. Gruesomely effective--despite its by-the-numbers plotting.

Pub Date: May 24th, 1990
Publisher: St. Martin's