THE LAST VOICE YOU HEAR

Richard B. Schwartz, Author . iUniverse/Mystery & Suspense $21.95 (341p) ISBN 978-0-595-20976-7

Jack Grant, the Vietnam vet and Pasadena-based PI who debuted in Frozen Stare (1989), returns in this engrossing sequel by Schwartz, author of several scholarly studies of Samuel Johnson. Schwartz knows his London, but surprisingly he evokes California with equal ease, mainly with vividly etched strokes. An apparently maniacal killer is on the loose in London, someone strong and very practiced at impalement. So far, so nasty. But when a victim is dispatched in similar fashion in Disneyland, of all places, Jack Grant is called in. He discovers the killer's identity, but there's a problem: there's a method to the killer's madness. Moreover, Grant has an ethical problem of his own: he's plagued by his conscience, since he understands and even sympathizes with the murderer's cause. The cinematic climax takes place high above the floor of the California desert, and Schwartz squeezes every last drop of suspense from his setting. Characterization is strictly one-dimensional, and events and motivations are sometimes implausible, but the vagaries of plot sort themselves out nicely. The result is a high-tension thriller awash in sanguinary detail. Paper towels, anyone? (POD)

Reviewed on: 02/24/2003
Release date: 12/01/2001
Genre: Fiction
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