The Metropole Hotel, Brighton. After a New Year’s Eve ball, a woman is brutally raped. A week later, another woman is attacked. Both victims’ shoes are taken by the offender…
I met Peter James at Thrillerfest in NYC last summer and picked up his book after he talked about it and the inspiration for it during one of the panels. This book is totally twisted and kept me guessing the entire time. I’ll admit, it took me a lot longer than it usually takes me to finish this one. I think part of it was that I got a slow start with it. The book itself wasn’t slow. In fact, the pacing was good, and the setup was neat. It jumps back and forth between the crimes of 1997 to the new ones, along with snippets of thought or flashbacks of the killer’s childhood. The slowness of the first half of the book, for me, I attribute to the fact that I am used to watching crime shows where all the action of the crime and the detective work is explained quickly and packed into a one hour time slot. But I can’t read that fast. So I was impatient. But soon I let the impatience go and was actually able to fly through the second half of the book, as per usual. And let me tell you, it was a twisty one. Totally categorized in the right genre, because it was indeed thrilling. And creepy as hell. And makes me glad I can’t afford brand new designer shoes.
We all make mistakes, all of the time.
- Happy New Year, Roy,’ Alcorn said in his usual blunt, sardonic voice. From the tone of his voice, happy had just fallen off a cliff.
- There was a predator out on the streets of this town. As a result of the Shoe Man’s reign of terror, there was not a woman in Brighton who felt comfortable right now. Not a single woman who did not look over her shoulder, did not ram home her door chain, did not wonder if she might be next.
- He had two small tattoos, at the top of each arm, but no more. Plenty of his fellow inmates were covered in the things and had a macho pride in them. Macho pride equalled mucho stupidity, in his view. Why make it easy for someone to identify you?
- He… liked the smell, liked the mystery of locks. They were just puzzles, really. Simple puzzles. Within a couple months, [he] could solve any probelm anyone had with a lock. … There was nothing to it, [he] figured. Anything that was made by a man could be figured out by another man.
- I keep asking offenders to stick to Mondays, but they’re not an obliging lot.
- He had learned over the years that it was wise to ignore suggestions. Most suggestions came from idiots. Intelligent people kept their thoughts to themselves.
- That was something he had realized. Maps changed, just like everything else. You couldn’t depend on anything. The past was shifting sand. Stuff that you read and learned and stored away in your head could — and did — get changed. Just because you knew something once did not mean it was still true today. Like with maps.
- Success to him meant freedom. The ability to hire people to do the stuff you didn’t want to be stuck in the office doing.
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