Posts Tagged ‘grisly’

Dearly Devoted Dexter

October 12, 2011

Author: Jeffrey P. Lindsay (narrator Nick Landrum)

Title: Dearly Devoted Dexter

Genre: Psychological suspense fiction

Publication Date: July, 2005

Number of Pages: 292 (8 audio CDs)

Geographical Setting: Miami, Florida

Time Period: Contemporary

Series: Dexter #2

Plot Summary:  Dexter Morgan is a blood spatter analyst for the Miami-Dade police department, who incidentally doesn’t like blood.   Unknown to his co-workers and his police officer sister, Deb, he is a neat serial killer, who preys on other serial killers.  This series is the story of Dexter, and his serial killer persona, that he affectionately refers to as the “Dark Passenger”.  While working for the police department, he encounters serial killers, hunts them, and disposes of them with his own variety of vigilante justice, while trying to hide his extra-curricular activities from the people in his life. While the Dark Passenger is targeting a pedophile and a photographer, Dexter’s boss is starting to suspect that Dexter is not what he seems.  Meanwhile, a darker serial killer comes to town and exacts disturbing revenge on a list of veterans from an army occupation in El Salvador. Dexter must throw his suspecting boss off his trail and does so by accidentally getting engaged. This little complication gives Dexter more trouble than tackling two serial killers. This audio performance illustrates the quiet, introspective and charming character of Dexter, in juxtaposition with his very dangerous activities.

Subject Headings:  Crime laboratories, Forensic scientists, Morgan, Dexter, Police, Psychopathic criminals, serial murder investigation, Serial murderers, Serial murders, Vigilantes

Appeal:  gruesome, sarcastic, fast-paced, disturbing, first-person narrative, issue-oriented, contradictory, suspenseful, offbeat, gritty, dialogue-rich, puzzling, charming, introspective.

3 appeal terms that best describe this book: witty, darkly humorous, grisly

3 Relevant Non-Fiction Works and Authors:

 1)    Mindhunter: inside the FBI’s elite serial crime unit by John Douglas-This collection of interviews of real serial killers reads like a fiction novel and chronicles the development of the Investigative Support Unit of the FBI. These interview get into the minds of the killers to probe for their motivations.

2)    Crime Beat: a decade of covering cops and killers by Michael Connelly-Before he was the author of popular mystery series featuring Detective Harry Bosch, Michael Connelly was a crime beat reporter in Florida and Los Angeles.  This book shows how this work contributed to the details in his novels.  Includes the true crime story of a Florida serial killer, Christopher Wilder.

3)    Without Pity: Ann Rule’s most dangerous killers by Ann Rule-This prolific true crime writer gives equal attention  to the criminal, investigators and prosecutors (Novelist).  This book covers crimes committed by seemingly normal me, like Dexter.

 3 Relevant Fiction Works and Authors:

 1) Double Cross by James Patterson-This is a suspenseful, dark and violent series set mostly in Washington D.C. about a police detective, Alex Cross, who is a psychologist and uses his talents to profile the serial killer he is tracking.  The identity of the killer is sometimes surprising.

2) Heartsick by Chelsea Cain-This gruesome and violent series starter was chosen for the treatment of the relationship between a police officer and his abductor-serial killer who let him go. This story gets inside the serial killer’s head as well as the officer’s. The dark local of the Pacific Northwest adds to the darkness of the story.

3) Final Price by Gregory J. Smith-This detective with a sidekick story, similar to Dexter and his sister, is a story of brutal serial murders told in a darkly humorous fashion with the subject of revenge.

Name:Cheryl

The Perfect Husband

October 5, 2011

Author: Lisa Gardner

Title: The Perfect Husband

Genre: Romantic Suspense

Publication Date: 1998

Number of Pages: 404 p.

Geographical Setting: Arizona (Nogales), U.S. East Coast

Time Period: Contemporary

Series (If applicable): Pierce Quincy Novels

Plot Summary:  Abused by her father as a girl, gentle and obedient Tess Williams believes that she is saved when police officer Jim Beckett appears in her life and marries her, only to discover that life married to sadistic and controlling Beckett is even worse than life before.  Upon discovering that her ‘perfect husband” is actually a serial killer, responsible for the brutal deaths of ten young women, Tess is instrumental in helping the police department put him behind bars.  At the beginning of the novel, Jim Beckett has escaped from prison and is determined to track down and take his revenge on his wife, killing her and taking away their four-year-old daughter Samantha.  Knowing that the police cannot protect her from such a man as Beckett, Tess leaves her daughter in a safe-house and travels to Arizona to enlist the help of ex-marine, retired mercenary and troubled, alcoholic widower J.T. Dillon and his icy, strong-willed FBI Agent sister, Marion.  What follows is a fast-paced and engrossing suspense novel, which takes you alternately between lust, romance, and sheer terror, as J.T. Dillon and Tess struggle to prepare for Beckett’s attack, fall in love, and fight their individual demons along the way.

Subject Headings:  Serial murderers’ wives, escaped convicts, Men/women relations, Revenge in men, Self-defense for women, Married people, Former Marines, Serial murderers, Domestic Violence

Appeal: Suspenseful, fast-paced, thrilling, psychological, character-centered, frightening, sexy, romantic, nerve-shattering, plot-driven, engrossing, multiple points of view, dramatic, menacing, violent, grisly, steamy.

3 appeal terms that best describe this book: Suspenseful, engrossing, sexy.

3 Relevant Non-Fiction Works and Authors

1)  Erik Larson, The Devil in the White City: Murder, Magic, and Madness at the Fair that Changed American:  The true, historical account of the serial killer of H.H. Holmes who preyed on young female fair goers of the Chicago 1893 World Fair. A non-fiction work that reads like a gritty and grisly fast-paced suspense novel.

2) Roger Depue, Between Good and Evil: a master profiler’s hunt for society’s most violent predators: A former FBI serial killer profiler and investigator shares his experiences in law enforcement and as a member of the clergy who counsels convicts, describing his part in the creation of new law enforcement programs and techniques.

3) Vincent Bugliosi, Helter Skelter: The True Story of the Manson Murders: The prosecutor of the Tate-LaBianca trials presents the inside story behind the Manson killings, explaining how Charles Manson was able to make his “family” murder for him, chronicling the investigation, and describing the court trial that brought him and his accomplices to justice.

 3 Relevant Fiction Works and Authors

1) Tami Hoag, Deeper Than the Dead: Like Gardner, Tami Hoag’s novels frequently read like movie scripts and are full of the thrills, chills, and fright that Gardner readers have come to expect.  This novel also contains a serial killer in a small town.

2) J.D. Robb, In Death Series: Lisa Gardner and J. D. Robb both write romantic suspense featuring fast-paced investigations that pit investigators against a range of deadly criminals. Both offer the satisfactions of on-going series characters, detailed settings, fascinating investigations, and romantic interest

3) Harlan Coben, Tell No One:  Lisa Gardner and Harlan Coben write fast-paced, suspenseful mysteries that are well-plotted but also feature intriguing characters and accurate details about crime-solving.  Tell No One also involves a serial killer and male/female relationships.

Name: Rebecca C.

The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo

May 26, 2010

book

Author:  Steig Larsson

Title:  The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo

Genre: Adrenaline/ Mystery

Publication Date:  2008

Geographical Setting:  Stockholm/ Sweden

Time Period:  present day

Series:  first book of Millennium trilogy

Plot Summary:

Mikael Blomkivist was a respected journalist, as well as founder and publisher of Millennium magazine, who built a career exposing financial corruption. After losing a libel case against Wennerstrom, a crooked but well protected venture capitalist, Blomkivist anticipates a jail sentence, financial collapse and the sinking of his magazine. In a moment of uncharacteristic desperation, Blomkivist answers the call of Dirch Frode, a lawyer intently seeking the journalist’s services on behalf of his client. Henrik Vanger is the retired patriarch of the Vanger family- a long-standing name in Swedish finance. Vanger seeks Blomkivist assistance in investigating the cold-case disappearance of his niece Harriet that occurred 40 years earlier.

Little does Blomkivist know that before meeting Frode or accepting Vanger’s offer he was being watched. Lisbeth Salander, mysterious and meticulous sleuth who looks more like a punk rocker than professional investigator, had already compiled his full profile for Frode, a client of Milton Security. Promises that the Wennerstrom case and Vanger’s desire to employ Blomkivist are not to be believed.

Blomkivist and Salander become unlikely partners attempting to solve the mystery the Vanger family’s grisly, dysfunctional history. The pair finds themselves in dangerous territory as they unravel a tale of torture and serial killings against a backdrop of astonishing corruption.

Larsson’s book has won several awards including Macavity Award for Best First Mystery Novel, Anthony Award for Best First Novel, British Book Award 2009 Crime Thriller of the Year, Library Journal Best Books 2008.

Subject Headings:  Mystery Thriller, Cold cases (Criminal investigation), Murder investigation, Journalists, Hackers, Violence against women, Swedish fictionTranslations into English, award winner/best seller

Appeal Terms: complex, multi-layered, strong characters, sexy, dark, corrupt, violent, fast paced, tense, financial thriller, dangerous, exciting, grisly, dramatic, award winning

Three terms that describe this book: multi-layered, sexy, financial thriller.

The next two books in the series are:

The Girl Who Played with Fire

The Girl Who Kicked the Hornet’s Nest

Relevant Fiction Works:

Smilla’s Sense of Snow by Peter Hoeg

When her six-year-old neighbor falls to his death, and no one is willing to suspect foul play, Smilla Qaavigaaq Jasperson finds her own investigation taking her into the files of a Danish company.

Similarities: Strong, unusual female protagonist, conspiracy reaching back to WWII, multi-layered story

The Intuitionist by Colson Whitehead
A black female elevator inspector must prove that her method of inspection by intuition, as opposed to visual observation, is not at fault when an elevator in a new city building crashes.

Similarities: Strong female protagonist, negotiating career in jeopardy, intertwining multiple plotlines
Echoes from the Dead by Johan Theorin

Twenty years after Jens disappeared without a trace from the island of Oland, a package is mailed to the boy’s grandfather that contains the worn and mended shoe of a child, prompting the grandfather to contact the child’s mother, resume the hunt for the boy, and make a shocking connection between Jens’s disappearance and the island’s most notorious murder case.

Similarities: Translated Swedish author, Father-daughter relationship

Relevant Non-Fiction Works:

The boys on the tracks: death, denial, and a mother’s crusade to bring her son’s killers to justice by Mara Leveritt

Linda Ives’s simple search for truth in the case of her son, who along with a friend was killed by being pushed in front of a train, reveals a frightening web of multiple murders, government corruption, and political scandal

Similarities: Cold case/ unsolved mystery, murder investigation

The house of Mondavi: the rise and fall of an American wine dynasty by Julia Flynn Siler

Traces four generations of a Napa Valley wine-making family, from the arrival of Italian immigrant Cesare Mondavi at Ellis Island in 1906, to the scandals that rocked the family throughout the twentieth century, to the battle over the family’s billion-dollar fortune.

Similarities: multi-generational family business scandals

The Madoff chronicles: inside the secret world of Bernie and Ruth by Brian Ross

Discusses the multi-billion dollar ponzi scheme masterminded by Bernard Madoff, including his motives for the financial betrayal and others who were involved in the scheme.

Similarities: White-collar crime, fraud and corruption investigation

Relic

November 4, 2009

Title: Relic

Author: Douglas Preston & Lincoln Child

Publication Date: 1995

Number of Pages: 468

Genre: Horror

Geographical Setting: New York, NY

Time Period: Present Day

Series: Pendergast novels, 1

Plot Summary: Deep within the Amazon jungle, a small group of explorers in search of the legendary Kothoga, or shadow people, discover a carved stone figurine of a beast with features that appear both human and reptilian. The figurine, believed to be a representation of the god Mbwun, is shipped to the New York Museum of Natural History where it remains crated in the one of the multitude of storerooms located in the museum’s sub-basement. A year later the museum is in the midst of preparations for a massive new exhibit called “Superstition” that will feature among other things the stone statue of Mbwun, when the mutilated bodies of two young boys are found in the building’s basement. More bodies are soon discovered, all of them showing signs of decapitation and vicious dismemberment and as the opening of the gala draws near, museum officials scramble to counteract the bad publicity. Graduate student Margo Green and her advisor Dr. Frock join forces with FBI special agent Pendergast and Lt. Vincent D’Agosta to track down this savage and intelligent killer; a killer who appears to possess unusual DNA patterns as well as super-human strength and who prowls the vast labyrinth of rooms and passages found in the museum basement; a killer in the form of a monster who may or may not be human.  As Green, Frock, and Pendergast investigate the eerie tunnels, hallways, and passages in search of this monster, there is an overriding sense of fear and foreboding. How will they stop this creature who is part man and part reptile and who may indeed be the incarnation of the evil god Mbwun?

Subject Headings: American Museum of Natural History, New York; FBI agents; Murder; Monsters; Statues; Exhibitions; Women graduate students; Natural history museums- -New York City; Museum murders- -New York City; Indians of South America- -Amazon Valley- -Antiquities; New York City; Horror stories, American; Suspense stories, American; Collaborative novel.

Appeal: fast-paced, intense, page-turner, evil, menacing atmosphere, building sense of foreboding, terrifying, plot-centered, well-drawn characters, open-ended with a surprising plot twist, chilling, grisly, gripping, suspenseful, graphic descriptions of violence, detailed scientific explanations of DNA and evolution, monsters, intriguing setting, detailed behind-the-scenes descriptions of museum archives, natural history museum settings.

Three terms that best describe this book: Menacing, grisly, Natural History Museum

Relevant Fiction Works and Authors:

Jurassic Park by Michael Crichton – On an island off the coast of Costa Rica, a theme park has been developed that will feature live dinosaurs as its main attraction. Fifteen different species of dinosaurs have been created and when a small group of humans arrives to tour the park, things go terribly wrong and the visitors discover that they must fight for their lives in order to survive. (Fact-paced, detailed explanations of DNA and evolution, combines science with horror, monsters that are the result of deviations in DNA and/or evolution, menacing atmosphere, detailed descriptions of setting, building sense of foreboding).

Deep Current by Benjamin E. Miller – A group of Marines and biologists are sent to investigate a floating glacier and when they reach it, they discover that it is populated by mollusk-like creatures called cephids, monsters that are the result of evolution gone awry, who have killed all but two members of a passenger ship. As the creatures begin to gruesomely kill members of the landing party, the survivors realize they must pull together group to defeat the enemy. (Fast-paced, horror, chilling, menacing atmosphere, monsters that are the result of deviations in DNA and/or evolution, building sense of foreboding).

Murder at the Museum of Natural History by Michael Jahn – The host of an exhibit at the American Natural History Museum is found murdered on the exhibit’s opening night and Lt. Bill Donovan must search the museum’s Hall of Dinosaurs to find the killer. (Fast-paced, suspenseful, detailed descriptions of museum archives, natural history museum settings). Although this is not a horror book, I thought it would appeal to readers who enjoyed the museum setting and the intricate details about the natural history museum.

Relevant Non-fiction Works and Authors:

Dinosaurs in the Attic: An Excursion into the American Museum of Natural History by Douglas Preston –  Fascinating chronicle of the expeditions, discoveries, and scientists behind the collection of the American Museum of Natural History. Preston also takes readers on a tour of the storerooms and vaults that house the collection.

Dry Storeroom No. 1: The Secret Life of the Natural History Museum by Richard Fortey – Engaging stories and colorful anecdotes that provide readers with information about the inner workings of all the departments of the Natural History Museum in London.

Relics of Eden: The Powerful Evidence of Evolution in DNA by Daniel J. Fairbanks – Presents the details of evolution, the discoveries in genetics, and “intelligent design” theory in a conversational style that will appeal to general readers.

Name: Maggie