To Bury the Dead

Craig Spector, Author
Craig Spector, Author HarperTorch $6.99 (352p) ISBN 978-0-380-79305-1
Reviewed on: 12/04/2000
Release date: 12/01/2000
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Paul Kelly is a firefighter and paramedic working the suburbs of New York, often seeing drug addicts, prostitutes and suicide and crime victims. After viewing tragedy after tragedy for years on end, Paul is almost unflappable, except when those hurt are truly innocent, like the baby he rescues from a burning building. However, even Paul is surprised by his own transformation after violence hits him hard and at home. One night, Kyra, his teenage daughter, is attacked and brutally strangled; all of Paul's efforts can't save her, and Kyra dies in his arms on the way to the hospital. After the funeral and a brief time off from work, Paul resumes his shifts, but he is a changed man. When the police identify a suspect in the killingDa teenage psychopathDPaul kidnaps the boy, torturing him to find some reason why he would have killed Kyra. In a stunning climactic scene with a surprise twist, readers realize just how far Paul's obsession drives him. Spector (The Light at the End) is a strong writer who convincingly re-creates the dark, often gruesome world of paramedics and firefighters. Most impressive is his exploration into Paul's character and how ordinary people cope with extraordinary grief and horror. Not for the faint of heart, Spector's latest is for lovers of the best psychological thrillers, along the lines of Ruth Rendell's, and with national radio advertising and in-store displays, booksellers will have little difficulty bringing the book to readers' attention. Agent, Anthony Gardner. (Dec. 5)
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