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I live in Bristol UK literary fiction and crime are my books of choice and when not reading I like to run

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Remain Silent
Susie Steiner
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Giuseppe Tomasi di Lampedusa
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The Death Sculptor

The Death Sculptor - Chris Carter Be warned! not for the squeamish!! just have a read of this...or not:)

"Without any more warnings, the artist pinched and twisted Littlewoods's nipple with a pair of metallic medical forceps, pulling it away from his body so hard that the skin almost ruptured right there and then. Littlewood let out an agonized cry. He felt vomit starting to rise up in his throat again. " I really hope you don't mind pain. This knife isn't very sharp" The other instrument the artist had retrieved from the desk was a small serrated knife. It looked old and blunt. "Feel free to scream if this hurts" "Oh God, pl..pl.., please don't do this. I beg you. I... Littlewood's next words were abruptly substituted by a soul-chilling scream as the artist slowly started sawing off his nipple. Littlewood almost passed out. His mind was struggling with everything. He desperately wanted to believe that whatever was happening to him wasn't real. It couldn't be real. He had to be inside the absurd world of some crazy dream. It was the only logical explanation. But the pain that shot up from his blood-and-vomit-soaked chest was very real. The artist put down the blunt knife and watched Littlewood bleed for a while, waiting for him to catch his breath, to regain some of his strength. "As much as I've enjoyed that", the artist finally said "I think I want to try something different now" This might hurt more. Those words sent Littlewood tumbling down a rabbit hole of such intense fear that his whole body tensed. He felt the muscles of his arms and legs cramp so hard it paralyzed him. The artist moved closer. Littlewood closed his eyes, and though he wasn't a religious man, he found himself praying. Seconds later he noticed the smell. Something unbearably strong and intrusive. Something that immediately made him want to be sick again. But his stomach had nothing else to throw up. The smell was instantly followed by excruciating pain. Only then did Littlewood realize that his skin and flesh were burning.

Have you ever met Detective Robert Hunter?, he works for the Homicide Special Section of the Robbery Homicide Division...and in his own words it isn't Club Med! Hunter is an amazing creation, he holds certain personality traits of many homicide detective...he's a loner..prone to long hours at the job...and enjoys the odd drink... but lets dig a little deeper! All good detective are best of being alone as solving crime is so intensive and time consuming, and Hunter is ok there as he is single, most detectives drink alcohol to dull what they see and hear but Hunter is a connoisseur of fine single blend whisky and he drinks for the enjoyment and the taste and not simply to get drunk. He is also very much an intellectual, well read with a photographic memory and amazing recall...all of which are essential qualities in making him the man that he is, in one word driven...set him on a course and he will find a killer. This is just as well because "The Death Sculptor" introduces the reader on a wholly original and horrific serial murderer. There is a killer on the loose in the City of Angels, more horrific than your worst nightmare, not only does he kill his victims but he removes and uses their body parts to make a "death sculptor" leaving hidden clues for Hunter and his partner Garcia to attempt to understand and hopefully mask and decipher the mind of one serious demented killer....I cannot praise enough this latest offering by Chris Carter,it is outstanding, truly unputdownable and one of the best crime stories I have ever read...(now that is praise :) At the very start there is a scene that has stayed with me and indeed haunted me throughout this book...Melinda Wallis, a third year nurse, works weekends attending to Derek Nicholson, a terminally ill patent who has advance lung cancer and not long to live. Melinda arrives early on the Sunday morning to attend and make comfortable Derek Nicholson but discovers an horrific murder scene his badly mutilated body on opening the bedroom door...Hunter and Garcia arrive and begin to question (gently) a somewhat disturbed and upset Mz Wallis...and there is a little story she tells of the previous night when Melinda left....

"At around midnight" Garcia continued, still reading from his notebook. "Melinda realized she'd forgotten one of her study books here in the room. She came back to the house, opened the front door, and made her way up the stairs" Garcia guessed Hunter's next couple of questions and offered an answer before he spoke. "Yes the front door was locked". She remembers using the key to unlock it. And no, she didn't notice anything strange when she came back into the house. No noises either. Hunter nodded. "Melinda came upstairs again" Garcia moved on, "and because she didn't want to disturb Mr Nicholson, and she knew exactly where she'd left her study book..." He pointed to the mahogany writing desk, she never turned on the lights. She just tiptoed into the room, grabbed her book, and tiptoed back out again. Hunter's stare moved to the bloody wall next to the bed and his heart skipped a beat as Garcia's account of what had happened finally started to make sense. "Melinda slept through her alarm this morning" Garcia carried on. "She got up, got ready as fast as she could, and rushed back in here. She said she opened the front door at 8.43 am. She checked her watch" Garcia closed his notebook and returned it to his pocket. "She came straight upstairs, and as she entered the room she was greeted not only by what you see here, but also by that message from whoever was in the room" He indicated the wall again. Among all the splatters, written in large blood letters were the words "GOOD JOB YOU DIDN'T TURN ON THE LIGHTS"

The implication is clear here, when Melinda returned to the room to collect her study book, the killer was waiting in the shadows, and if she had turned the light on she most certainly would have become his next victim! I thought this was an ingenious piece of writing as the reader instantly imagined what could have happened and how lucky Mz Wallis was...no words were needed our imagination did and said it all. As the book proceeds the death toll mounts and our hero Hunter rushes against time to solve the case in an unpredictable and fantastic conclusion....so please be assured if you enjoy crime..serial crime...this needs to be top of your to read list..it is truly amazing, Robert Hunter is a wonderful creation and I look forward to his future adventures, that is if he survives this one....you will have to read and see :)))