Prayer for the Dead

David Wiltse, Author Putnam Publishing Group $19.95 (297p) ISBN 978-0-399-13607-8
Wiltse displays powerful writing skills in this spellbinding thriller. Retired FBI agent John Becker reluctantly agrees to help the police chief of a small Connecticut town investigate the cases of 15 missing men. Becker has personal reasons for not wanting to become involved, but the gravity of situation draws him in. Learning that many of the men have mothers with Scandinavian maiden names, Becker guesses that someone with access to such information might be the culprit. Via clever sleuthing, he discovers that the same insurance salesman had visited all of the missing men: he is the seemingly quintessentially ordinary Roger Dyce. Becker gets a chance to question Dyce when the latter lands in the hospital after an intended victim beats him up, but Dyce senses danger and escapes. Hoping to predict the killer's next moves, Becker struggles to fathom the the psychopath's mind, succeeding in a feat of amazing intuition. But even as Becker closes in, Dyce takes more lives. Alternating between Dyce's and Becker's points of view, Wiltse (The Fifth Angel) builds tension with subtle, chilling precision. (July)
Reviewed on: 07/01/1991
Release date: 07/01/1991
Genre: Fiction
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