Series: Robert Hunter #1
Publisher: Simon & Schuster
Buy the book: The Book Depository
In a derelict cottage in LA, a young woman is found savagely murdered. Naked, strung from two wooden posts, the skin has been ripped from her face - while she was still alive. On the nape of her neck is carved a strange double-cross: the signature of a psychopath known as the Crucifix Killer.
But that's not possible. Because, two years ago, the Crucifix Killer was caught and executed. Could this be the work of a copycat? Or is homicide detective Robert Hunter forced to face the unthinkable? Is the real Crucifix Killer still out there, taunting Hunter with his inabality to catch him?
Robert Hunter and his rookie partner are about to enter a nightmare beyond imagining....
The Crucifix Killer is Chris Carter's debut novel. And I can honostly say that he wrote a crime novel just the way I like them, dark, gritty and with the emphasis on solving the crime.
This book is about Robert Hunter, a homicide detective for the LAPD, who's assigned a new (rookie) partner, Carlos Garcia, and their first case is the gruesome death of a young woman found in a remote cottage. She is hung from two poles and her skin has been removed from her face while she was still alive. Soon after looking at the body the double-crucifix is found on her neck and Robert knows this is going to be one tough case, cause the killer to which this mark belongs was executed two years earlier. So is this either a copycat or the real killer still out there.
Although I'm not fond of detectives with personal issues (that just makes the story slide away from the crime solving) but Detective Hunter needed it. He received his PhD in the age of 23 and his thesis paper had been made into a book and became a mandatory reading, he has all the luck with the ladies and is always right. Without a little flaw in the guy he would hardly be an interesting character, but thank God he isn't as perfect as he looks. So in this case being a cynic and having a drinking problem can make you human.
The work relationship between Hunter and Garcia is interesting. Hunter is experienced and works from instinct and Garcia is a rookie and is methodical doing things as learned from books. This means they quite disagree on a few occasions.
This book definitely isn't for the squeamish. The crimescenes are quite detailed and the killings are all as gruesome as the first one. The book is told from different perspectives which gives you a more oversee of the events and case that is unfolding in this book.
Chris's writing kept me right on the edge of my seat even after I figured out who done it (don't know how that happened but yeah half way through the book I figured it out) I still was gripped by the events that took place. And there were still enough twists and turns in the story to make it interesting.
I'm looking forward to reading The Executioner.
My rating: 4/5