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Publisher's Summary

For fans of Robert Parker's smart but tough-as-nails heroes, screenwriter Stephen Carpenter introduces a new character to the mystery genre, Jack Rhodes. Jack is an author and former boxer who was on his way to literary success when his life was blown apart by the horrific suicide of his fiancee.
Devastated, Jack went on a fifteen-month alcoholic spiral into near oblivion before eventually working past his demons to become a best-selling crime novelist. But just as Jack is finishing his fourth book about a vicious serial killer, the LAPD interrupts his quiet routine with news of what appears to be a copycat murder from his first book. There's just one problem - the murder took place before Jack's book was published.
Jack begins to investigate, using techniques he learned through his meticulous research with police and FBI investigators. To his horror, Jack soon discovers that each of the murders he imagined are real...down to the most harrowing details. And Jack is Suspect Number One...
Jack winds up on the run, a fugitive haunted by his past and hunted by the very cops and FBI agents he has befriended. Jack must use every resource he has to prevent the murder of a woman he knows will be next in his series of novels. He must piece together shattered memories from the fragments he recalls during his drunken fifteen-month blackout.
©2010 Stephen Carpenter (P)2013 Stephen Carpenter
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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful
5 out of 5 stars
By Russell on 02-13-15

I'd kill to get the next Jack Rhodes book now

Jack Rhodes is a best selling author in a series about a ruthless killer. As a connection is exposed between real life murders and Jack's fictional ones, we have an important question to ponder. Had he actually researched his material first hand by participating in a few gruesome decapitations before putting pen to paper? Or ... is our killer someone else. Jack Rhodes certainly looks guilty to either the reader or his contemporaries at different times as two narratives develop.

One story is in the present and talks about Jack's tragic loss of the love of his life. This is followed by a drunken blacked out mourning period of several months and then redemption when Jack stays sober by pouring his energies into writing. Was his spine chilling descriptions of murders that vaunted him unto the bestseller lists a repressed memory from his blacked out period, or from a split personality? That question arises after some real life murders are discovered with details that closely resemble Jack's books. Jack Rhodes must deal with recalling lost memories as he is pursued by the law. The other story is about an unfortunate twisted childhood that sounds like it is going to end up with a psychopathic killer.

Narrator Noah Micael Levine does an excellent job of weaving these two story-lines to an epic confrontation. Getting the next Jack Rhodes book is now definitely on my to do list. Unfortunately, the author still has publishing the next book on his to do list.

Early on I didn't know if I was going to be following a serial killer who was an author or an author who wrote about serial killers. If you don't read too many reviews that give away too much - that will be uppermost on your mind as well as you sit back and start up a smart, well put together story.

(let's hope some surveillance person had to read this whole review to realize I'm not serious about killing) Really I was only joking --- please take me off your watch list!

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9 of 9 people found this review helpful

4 out of 5 stars
By Eugenia on 12-06-14

Very Good Book One

Very well done for the murder/thriller genre with a good flawed anti-hero. His backstory is nicely complex and realistically portrayed. I really liked that our hero is a writer and not a superhero or a McGiver.

I'm not sure how I feel about the first-person narrative which I found it a bit disconcerting. There seemed to be no real reason for it---no memoirs nor anyone telling the story to another. But other than that, the writing was top-notched and Mr. Levine's narration was excellent with lots of emotional qualities, including a really well-done drunk/drugged scene.

Lots of good supporting characters including the usual police detective who thinks our hero is guilty.

Very imaginative plot with excellent twists and turns that kept me guessing almost to the end, except there's a technique often used in films where the story continues even after the main plot is seemingly wrapped up. That's a dead giveaway that someone won't stay down. It's used here, but made the ending much more satisfying.

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2 of 2 people found this review helpful

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