Killer by Stephen Carpenter

KILLER (A Jack Rhodes Mystery)


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 discovers that each of the murders he has imagined are all 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 learned from and 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.

Fast-paced and utterly unpredictable, KILLER reads like a rapid-fire crime thriller, with hairpin twists and turns and edge-of-your seat psychological horror. KILLER eludes easy answers to the impossible puzzle Jack must solve, and takes the reader on a journey unlike any other.


This book started off good, but somewhere along the way it got lost and went downhill fast. The beginning was really interesting wondering what is happening and who is doing everything. I loved the killers chapters and the way everything was slowly being revealed. One thing I did hate throughout was it was a bit too descriptive for  my tastes. Not horribly so, but enough that it kept making me stop and think really? Did we need that much detail in the description? It is one thing that can bug me. Like calling out every name band of everything - I don't need it. It always makes me thing of product placement in movies and tv - like is the author being paid to advertise for the brands?

Besides the descriptive, I was enjoying the book. But things just unraveled about halfway through and the end...the end was just too much. Now I need to add some spoilers here so don't read ahead if you don't want to know. You are told how how the killer showed up at his house and he managed to get out of the handcuffs and get to his secret gun and shoot the killer, but not dead. Then when the killer shows up again he just happens to be right next to another loaded gun and he just happens to be able to again shoot the killer. It was just a bit much. My husband was just like what? He just happens to have loaded guns all over the place? Yeah. One gun okay - the shotgun that was his dead fiances....that I am not buying. Then I told him what happened after that and he was just like wait...the book isn't over yet? I said nope - it just keeps going! Really it went on too long. Like right after that maybe have an epilogue chapter where you sum up everything, how he went to get help and moved to NYC to be with the lawyer lady and how things are good now. I don't need to see him do all of that because...well because the story was over when the killer died. And the author should never try and write a sex scene into his books. It just didn't work. Yes, you don't really 'see' them having sex, but the way the scene was written was just incredibly awkward. Not the best way to wrap up a book, which is unfortunate since the first half was pretty good.

Rating: ★ ★


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