This is a veritable page turner of a thriller. Mattie Engel’s ex-fiancé and fellow Private agent Chris Schneider goes missing. Chris’s body turns up in a rat infested abandoned slaughterhouse, the forensic job is a nightmare, the blood samples they take in the slaughterhouse are not only human but also porcine and bovine. Worse, the slaughterhouse is primed with explosives set to go off to hide its secrets. Mattie knows Chris had a troubled past back in East Germany and his failure to confide in her led to their split.
Chris’s troubled past relates to a group of orphaned children back in the German Democratic Republic, whose mothers were tortured and killed by a sadistic tool of the dreaded Stasi. Not all the Stasi were stopped by the fall of the Wall. One ruthless killer is still at large intent on erasing his past, an “invisible man” adept at using masks and make up. The passages focusing on the killer are chillingly recounted in the first person, so we get into his twisted mind. His favoured method of execution is a sharpened screwdriver inserted into the nape of the neck and pushed into the brain so he can enjoy every last moment as his twitching victim dies. The killer’s favourite movie is the old film “Invisible Man” particularly a scene where the Irish actress Una O’Connor enters Claude Rains room when he has removed the bandages on his head.
He looks decapitated, but alive.
O’Connor’s eyes bulge. She goes over the top insane. She starts to shriek bloody murder.
It’s my special moment, one I wish I could recreate in my own life.
There are other investigations entwined with the plot: a billionaire suspected of cheating on his wife, a footballer who seems to be throwing games and a nightclub owner with links to the Russian Mafia.
The chapters are short and full of action and adrenaline for fans of the thriller genre, the ending, which I won’t spoil, may seem a little clichéd.
Apparently one of the authors, James Patterson holds the Guinness World Record for being the first person to sell 1 million e-books. I still haven’t ventured into e-books and continue with the traditional paperback.
My rating 5 out of 5