serial killers -- fiction

Acts of Revision

By Martyn Bedford

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"'The court will not be persuaded to accept that these were 'legitimate acts of revenge. . .''

"'Acts of revision is what I said.' Gregory Lynn is thirty-five years old. A bachelor, an only child from the age of four-and-a-half. Scarred by childhood trauma, he lives a solitary life, sequestered in his London house, drawing cartoon fantasies to pass the days. But the world has a way of creeping in. Gregory's mother dies. And he discovers, in a dusty box in the attic, the long-forgotten school reports whose words are the unending refrain of a man sentenced to failure at an early age. Must work. Little progress. Disappointing.

"Gregory Lynn reads, and remembers: teachers and subjects, names and places. The history teacher who humiliated him. Lynn, that's a girl's name, isn't it? The geography teacher who threatened to expel him. The gym teacher who called him donkey. And on and on. As methodically as a professor laying out a lesson plan, Gregory Lynn prepares for the cold-blooded acts of revision that will even the score with those who made him the way he is--seven deadly subjects in all.  Acts Of Revision plunges readers into the mind of Gregory Lynn --a place at once terrifying and irresistible, where fantasy and reality, guilt and innocence blur beyond recognition."

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Sleepyhead

By Mark Billingham

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Dear Detective Inspector Thorne. What can I say? Practice makes perfect. And don't you just envy her that perfect...distance? I invite you to consider the concept of freedom. True freedom. Have you ever really considered it? I'm sorry about the others. Truly. I shall not insult your intelligence with platitudes about ends and means but offer in mitigation the thought that a massive undertaking often has an appropriate margin of error. It's all about pressure, Detective Inspector Thorne, but then you'd know all about that. Seriously, though, Tom, maybe I'll call you sometime.

"Mark Billingham's arresting debut novel Sleepyhead, an international bestseller, is a mesmerizing, psychological thriller. Tense and unnerving, this menacing tale of obsession is as scathingly witty as it is bone chilling, and it introduces a stunning new talent in detective fiction.

"Alison Willetts is unlucky to be alive. She has survived a deliberately induced stroke, and although she can see, hear, and feel, she is completely unable to move or to communicate. In leaving Alison alive, the police believe her assailant has made his first mistake. Until Detective Inspector Tom Thorne discovers the horrifying truth: Alison is the psychopath's first success; the three women he killed before her were the mistakes. 'An appropriate margin of error' is how their killer dismissed them; his true intention was to leave them just like Alison: put to sleep for the rest of their natural lives. And Thorne knows they won't be his last victims. To save innocent lives, he must find a criminal whose agenda is terrifyingly unique. But this untraceable, sadistic madman is smart, elusive, and cryptic -- he enjoys toying with the police almost as much as he savors pursuing his sick fantasy -- and the only lead Thorne has is the tragically uncommunicative Alison."

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Rules of Prey

By John Sandford

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"The murderer was intelligent. He was a member of the bar. He derived rules based on professional examination of actual cases: Never kill anyone you know. Never have a motive. Never follow a discernible pattern. Never carry a weapon after it has been used. Beware of leaving physical evidence. There were more. He built them into a challenge. He was mad, of course . . . .

"It is after the third murder that Lucas Davenport is called in. It is the opinion of his colleagues that everything about the lieutenant is a little different, and they are right – in the computer games he invents and sells, in the Porsche he drives to work, in the quality of the women he attracts, in his single-minded pursuit of justice. The only member of the department's Office of Special Intelligence, Davenport prefers to work alone, parallel with Homicide, and there is something about this serial killer that he quickly understands.

"The man who signs himself 'maddog' in taunting notes to the police is no textbook sociopath; he has a perverse playfulness that makes him kill for the sheer contest of it. He is a player. Which means that Davenport will have to put all his mental strength – and physical courage – on the line to learn to think like the killer. For the only way to beat the maddog is at his own hellish game. . ."

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Red Dragon

By Thomas Harris

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"In Red Dragon, Thomas Harris unleashes a frightening vision of the dark side of our well-lighted world. In this extraordinary novel, which preceded The Silence of the Lambs and Hannibal, Harris introduces the unforgettable character Dr. Hannibal Lecter. And in it, Will Graham -- the FBI man who hunted Lecter down -- risks his sanity and his life to a duel killer called the Red Dragon."

This audio edition is available on compact disc.

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Postmortem

By Patricia Daniels Cornwell

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"Four women with nothing in common, united only in death. Four brutalized victims of a brilliant monster - a 'Mr. Nobody,"'moving undetected through a paralyzed city, leaving behind a gruesome trail of carnage . . . but few clues. With skilled hands, an unerring eye, and the latest advances in forensic research, an unrelenting female medical examiner - Kay Scarpetta - is determined to unmask a maniac. But someone is trying to sabotage Kay's investigation from the inside. And worse yet, someone wants her dead . . ."
Winner of the Edgar Award and the Macavity Award for best first mystery

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Nine

By Jan Burke

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"When a brutal felon on the FBI's Ten Most Wanted list turns up dead in Los Angeles County, few mourn him; in fact, the public begins to cheer his unknown assailants as heroes. But as more brutalized corpses of fugitive outlaws are found, Sheriff's Homicide Detective Alex Brandon knows that the vigilante group the public has nicknamed 'The Exterminators' may be far more ruthless and sadistic than its victims. The corpses bear eerie similarities to victims of a serial killer investigated by Brandon ten years ago."
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Cold, Cold Heart

By James Elliott

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"He's a Russian defector given a new life in America by the U.S. government. Now he's exploded into violence--driven by a mad lust to kill young women. An embarrassed CIA knows it must stop him--and that only one man can do the job. But former agent Mike Culley is in prison, sold out by his bosses, stripped of his family and everything he holds dear.

"Now they'll free him: to hunt down a killer before he kills again. The CIA has betrayed Culley once. It won't happen again. He will find his man. And with the help of a beautiful reporter, he'll bring him down. But suddenly the rules change. Culley's target has answered back: snatching the one person who means more to Mike Culley than life itself."

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Blood Work

By Michael Connelly

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"Thanks to a heart transplant, former FBI agent Terril McCaleb is enjoying a quiet retirement, renovating the fishing boat he lives on in Los Angeles Harbor. But McCaleb's calm seas turn choppy when a story in the 'What Happened To?' column of the Los Angeles Times brings him face-to-face with the sister of the woman whose heart now beats in his chest. From her McCaleb learns a terrible truth: that the donor of his heart was not killed in an accident, as he'd been told, but was murdered.

"Wracked with guilt over the fact that he's alive because another human being was slain, McCaleb springs into action. Reactivating his FBI connections and his expertise in crime scene interpretation, he embarks on a private investigation of his donor's murder -- a search that leads him to a crime more horrific than anything he ever encountered as a serial killer investigator for the FBI."

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Ashes to Ashes

By Tami Hoag

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A monster known as the Cremator is killing prostitutes in Minneapolis parks and setting their bodies on fire. When one of his victims turns out to be the daughter of a local billionaire, and a homeless teenager claims to have witnessed the burning, it brings together former FBI agent Kate Conlan and the Bureau's top serial-killer profiler, John Quinn. Conlan and Quinn share a painful personal history; now they have to work together against a very smart lunatic who seems to be able to read their minds.
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1st to Die

By James Patterson

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"Imagine a killer who thinks, 'What is the worst thing anyone has ever done?'--and then goes far beyond it. Now imagine four women --a police detective, an assistant DA, a reporter, and a medical examiner --who join forces as they sidestep their bosses to track down criminals. Known as the Women's Murder Club, they are pursuing a murderer whose twisted imagination has stunned an entire city. Their chief suspect is a socially prominent writer, but the men in charge won't touch him. On the trail of the most terrifying and unexpected killer ever, they discover a shocking surprise that turns everything about the case upside down."
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