Stephen King writes in his brilliant “On Writing” that description begins in the writer’s imagination, but should finish in the reader’s. Chris Carter is an expert in that balance between description or revealing too much of the plot and letting the reader finish the movie in his or her mind. The chronological starting point of “Crucifix Killer” is a horrific murder that literally makes your skin crawl and it is written with perfection.
Pretty much all thriller/crime novels can be summed up as follows: crime – hero tries to catch the criminal – resolution. In my experience, many novels end up with a crime, a lot of running about, and a resolution that either is no surprise at all or is an absurd surprise resembling “the green martian did it”. “Crucifix Killer” deftly navigates all three parts of the novel and Chris Carter has crafted an intricate story with a strong psychological platform.
The main character is Robert Hunter, homicide detective, alcoholic, and criminology scholar. He is well-rounded, but has a tad of that too-good-to-be-true quality that many heroes have. And I would love to ask Chris Carter, why he chose the name Hunter – a bit kitsch in my opinion. I have to admit that Finkelstein or Baker do not sound like a detective names.
Overall, I enjoyed “Crucifix Killer” and recommend it to all reader who are into thrillers and crime novels. Beware of papercuts as you hurry to turn the pages and remember to breathe.
I have to mention that you have the opportunity to get slaughtered by Chris Carter. See the link below. I would enter, but nobody would know how to pronounce my last name and there are so many interesting ways to die. Imagine dying off hyperthermia or by being kept awake for days – you would be aware that your body is shutting down and death would be slow and not leave that many marks.