THE WEATHERMAN by Steve Thayer


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 Minneapolis/St. Paul weather, already legendary for its dramatic extremes, sparks an even more dramatic series of outrages- -a spate of seasonal murders keyed to freakish weather patterns--in this sprawling novel. The first victim is found strangled in a parking garage opposite the Channel 7 building, home of Sky High News, just before a tornado that sneaks past the National Weather Service radar--but not past the sixth sense of Sky High's obsessive meteorologist, Dixon Graham Bell, who's insisted on a feature slot on the evening news to warn viewers in the storm's path. Subsequent victims--young women who have no apparent tie to one another--are reported in the wake of an eight-inch rainfall, a Minnesota record heat wave, and a brutal ice storm. Coincidence? Police captain Les Angelbeck, hoping to crack the case before emphysema kills him, doesn't think so, especially when he learns of a letter sent to Channel 7 announcing that the killer is on Sky High News, and of a partial fingerprint at the parking garage that implicates Dixon Bell. With no alibis and a long history of romantic rejections, Bell asks producer Rick Beanblossom, who wears a mask to cover the face burned away by napalm, to investigate. The state, having just brought back the death penalty after 80 years, is preparing to burn Bell in the electric chair, despite the pleas of the craven governor's former mistress, beautiful ex-cop-turned-news-anchor Andrea Labore, and of Bell's last, hopeless love. Thayer (Saint Mudd, 1992) feverishly spins out subplots about a graffiti artist, a mocking informant, a lecherous born-again news director, a serial rapist, and a four-year-old kidnapping as the tale hurtles to a scandalous conclusion. No mystery, but a rich, darkly overplotted saga that will wring you dry of tears for every last member of the sorry cast. (First printing of 60,000; Book-of-the-Month Club selection; $50,000 ad/promo; author tour)

Pub Date: Jan. 1st, 1995
ISBN: 0-670-84958-8
Page count: 464pp
Publisher: Viking
Review Posted Online:
Kirkus Reviews Issue: Nov. 1st, 1994


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