The Boy Next Door

Chris Loken, Author Dodd Mead $0 (342p) ISBN 978-0-396-08559-1
Based on an actual case, this is a good police procedural and a fine psychological study of a serial killer. Linda Lou Craig, University of Wisconsin sophomore, fails to return home from a babysitting job on New Year's Eve, 1976. Her neighbor and fiance Bill Brown insists he dropped her off at 2 a.m., but chief detective Badger distrusts Brown, a squeaky-clean paragon. A bloodspot in Bill's car, several inconsistencies (Linda's mother swears the engagement was broken) and Badger's suspicions cast a shadow, but even with tough questioning Badger can't ""get'' Bill. A year and a half later, a mutilated corpse (not Linda's) is found; then Linda's clothes are discovered. Bill commits a ``catch-crime'' and Badger begins closing in. Loken (Come Monday Morning) handles the small-town ambience and police work well, but the best part of the book is its realistic, almost non-fictional tone (reminiscent of The Stranger Beside Me) and the vivid portrait of the killer. The ending is bleak: none of the survivors finds any comfort. Foreign rights: Sanford J. Greenburger Associates. November
Reviewed on: 01/01/1985
Release date: 01/01/1985
Mass Market Paperbound - 978-0-425-10626-6
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