Proving

Thomas Szollosi, Author Doubleday Books $17.95 (256p) ISBN 978-0-385-24239-4
No ordinary serial killer, Edgar Lamp, the psychopath protagonist of this first effort by screenwriter Szollosi, is a ``telekinetic'' murderer, able to dispatch his victims through sheer mental concentration. When the novel begins, Lamp has been captured and is about to be brought to trial for killing 28 men in Los Angeles and 28 women in Dallas. But with the dexterity of a Houdini, and with the help of his formidable mental powers, he slips out of his handcuffs, kills his police escort and escapes into the lower depths of Los Angeles. Following closely on his trail is Husky Martin, a veteran LAPD detective who has become obsessed with seeing Lamp receive his punishment. A cynical loner, Martin's only close companions are his dog and his old friend, Garth Cheesbro, a journalist who is now tagging along with Martin gathering information for a book on Lamp. A remarkably visible fugitive from justice, Lamp assembles a Hispanic street gang to commit a bizarre group of murders intended to confuse Martin and the rest of the LAPD. Eventually, in a paroxysm of telekinetic carnage, Lamp returns to Texas and a fateful showdown with Martin. While serial murderers seem a popular subject these days, this novel offers only the most superficial, and predictable, explanation for the twisted development of the killer's psyche. Nor do the other characters emerge with the kind of quirky individuality that increasingly has become the trademark of good mystery fiction. With the exception of the supernatural slant, there are few plot twists, and even fewer surprises for the reader. (June)
Reviewed on: 04/25/1988
Release date: 05/01/1988
Mass Market Paperbound - 978-0-380-70788-1
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