Shock Radio

Leigh Clark, Author
Leigh Clark, Author Forge $24.95 (0p) ISBN 978-0-312-85724-0
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In the vitriolic tradition of Howard Stern and Don Imus, Porsche-driving, Rolex-wearing Aaron ""Sunset"" Scott exults in berating those who call in to his L.A. radio talk show. One day, he gets a call from a man who purports to be The Phantom, a serial killer haunting the city. After the Phantom threatens Scott's mother, the shock jock and his companion, Pam, a TV field reporter, find their own lives in jeopardy as they pursue the killer through a succession of grim urban landscapes hemorrhaging with bloody victims. Slaughters at a movie theater, a strip club and Scott's radio station include acts of ""torture, burning, and mutilation"" that will test the nerves and perhaps stomachs of readers. Meanwhile, an important backstory about Scott's father and his employment in the defunct Panopticon Studios takes Scott, Pam and an entourage of pursuers and investigators to a ghost town/film location to dig out significant information about Scott's past. Clark (Evil Reincarnate, 1994) is particularly adept at re-creating the fog-shrouded atmosphere of Sunset Strip and its various denizens of the night. Astute readers may catch on quickly to the Phantom's identity, but even so they will be thrilled by the high-speed car chase in a driving rain that draws this nail-biting suspenser to its wicked conclusion. (Sept.)
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