Series: Robert Hunter #3
Published by Simon and Schuster on August 18, 2011
Narrator: Thomas Judd
Length: 10 hours and 37 minutes
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When an unidentified female body is discovered laid out on a slab in an abandoned butcher's shop, the cause of death is unclear. Her body bares no marks; except for the fact that her lips have been carefully stitched shut.
It is only when the full autopsy gets underway at the Los Angeles County morgue that the pathologist will reveal the true horror of the situation - a discovery so devastating that Detective Robert Hunter of the Los Angeles Homicide Special Section has to be pulled off a different case to take over the investigation
But when his inquiry collides with a missing persons' case being investigated by the razor-sharp Whitney Meyers, Hunter suspects the killer might be keeping several women hostage. Soon Robert finds himself on the hunt for a murderer with a warped obsession, a stalker for whom love has become hate.
Ah Chris Carter, the only author where I feel the need to put a content warning on when I do a review. This book is seriously violent, right from the beginning. If you are the least bit queasy and offended by violence then you do not want to read this. Now I’ve got this over with, lets review – this book is really good! I did a buddy read with a couple of people from my book group and for much of the book our comments consisted of WTF and 🤢🤮 emoji’s.
Detective Robert Hunter & his partner Detective Carlos Garcia are called in to investigate the murder of a woman who has been found in a butchers shop. Her mouth has been stitched shut, as has her genitals. Surprisingly, this isn’t actually the worst of it. The repercussions from the mutilated body lead to further deaths.
Soon, the body count escalates. More women are taken and found mutilated, all of them bear a striking resemblance to each other. Why these particular women and why the extreme violence?
I love the two main characters. They have a great relationship although they are both completely different, Hunter tackling the case from a psychological POV and Garcia putting in the grunt work of searching through databases. Hunter’s brain is very organised and clever, he knows so many things from reading books. He has a past that he keeps to himself but which has implications on his current abilities. He has a keen eye for detail and can reach conclusions long before anyone else. At the same time there is no arrogance to him. Garcia is much more human, he is affected by the murders much more than Hunter, having to walk away from some of the murder scenes in order to empty the contents of his stomach.
This book seriously gave me the chills. There were times when it really scared me, in a similar way to the tv series The Fall. We have a murderer who can break into people’s houses and be feet from them, while they have absolutely zero clue he is there. Even writing about it now sends a shiver down my spine.