Reviews for Killer in the Wind

Booklist Reviews 2012 November #1
Three years ago, Dan Champion, when he was an undercover vice cop for the NYPD, broke up a child-sex slavery ring. But the case cracked Champion, and now he's a detective in small-town, exurban New York, still wrestling with delusions about a dead child who follows him around and a beautiful woman who wasn't real. But, in fact, the beautiful woman was real, and she turns up almost dead in Champion's small town. Soon, two ghostly assassins try to kill him, and he must grapple with his instabilities while trying to track down the Fat Woman, the titular killer in the wind, and her assassins. The prolific Klavan (The Identity Man, 2010) spends too many pages on Champion's inner demons and many more attempting to build a sense of apocalyptic, near-cosmic menace. But when Champion finally faces the Fat Woman, we learn that the only cosmic thing about her is her banality. That said, if readers slog through the first 200 pages, they will surely stick it out to the end. Copyright 2012 Booklist Reviews.

Kirkus Reviews 2012 November #1
Dan Champion is a disgraced NYPD vice cop whose successful handling of an evil child-sex-trade operation was compromised by his pumping five bullets into a prime suspect while on powerful hallucinogens. Now working as a small-town detective, he is revisited by the case via ghosts, including that of a beguiling mystery woman who warns him to run for his life. At least Champion thinks they're ghosts. What starts out as a supernatural mystery turns into a chilling noir rooted in heightened realism when, spurred by his long-suffering girlfriend, Champion investigates repressed traumas in his own past. He was an orphan "adopted" along with other 6-year-olds by the infamous Fat Woman and headed for a terrible end. So powerful is Z, the drug he takes to recover mental images crucial to his investigation, that he spends a stretch of time not knowing whether what he's seeing is real or imagined. Does there really exist this enormous blob of womanhood without a face? Did he ever know and fall in love with Samantha, the purest embodiment of love? And what about the skeleton-faced killer with the spine-tingling promises to subject Champion to a permanent state of torture? Streaked with violence and gloom, this stand-alone, from the author of the Weiss and Bishop series (Damnation Street, 2006, etc.) and the youth-oriented Homelanders series, evokes the gritty classics of Cornell Woolrich and Jim Thompson while spinning its own brand of hard-boiled psychological suspense. Among its other distinctions, this book gives us a detective who is tough enough to outlast the most bizarre encounters but isn't too tough to be gripped with fear. Copyright Kirkus 2012 Kirkus/BPI Communications.All rights reserved.

Publishers Weekly Reviews 2012 October #3

This taut, frightening psychological thriller from Edgar-winner Klavan (The Identity Man) charts the efforts of Dan Champion, a deputy in Tyler, N.Y., to find a criminal who may not exist. Three years earlier, as an NYPD detective, Dan infiltrated a sex trafficking ring that specialized in children, killing one of the organizers. But the ringleader, known only as the Fat Woman, eluded him. If she is real, no one has actually seen her. The case broke something in Dan, who, aided by his drug use, immediately began seeing visions of Alexander, a little boy, and of Samantha, a beautiful redhead. Now, Dan's dreams bump against reality when a naked, semiconscious Samantha turns up on a river bank with an enigmatic message for Dan: "They're coming after us." Soon Samantha vanishes from the hospital, and assassins start stalking Dan. The edgy story complements a lead character whose fragile memory can't always separate the real from the imaginary. Agent: Robert Gottlieb, Trident Media. (Jan.)

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