A Killer's Grace
In Chapman's provocative metaphysical thriller, Kevin Pitcairn, a recovering alcoholic, works as a freelance reporter and columnist for the Albuquerque Chronicle. Much to his surprise, Pitcairn receives a lengthy letter from convicted serial killer Daniel Davidson, who turns out to be a reader of the journalist's work. Davidson hopes to persuade Pitcairn that mental illness drove him "to rape and kill," and that medication has worked to reduce his testosterone levels and enable him to master his violent fantasies. The murderer hopes Pitcairn will be receptive to the idea that his crimes could have been prevented with the right treatment. Davidson's hopes are soon realized, and Pitcairn sticks his neck out to advocate on the killer's behalf. Ultimately, Chapman's protagonist is overly simplistic at times, and the author fails to fully weave his exploration of free will into what proves an otherwise engaging story.