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by John Case




The bestselling author of The Genesis Code and The Eighth Day now strikes his most harrowing chord, with a chilling novel that pushes suspense to nearly inhuman limits.As a television news correspondent, Alex Callahan has traveled to some of the most dangerous corners of the globe, covering famine, plague, and war. He’s seen more than his share of blood and death, and knows what it means to be afraid. But what he’s never known is the terror that grabs him when, on a tranquil summer afternoon, he ceases to be an observer of the dark side and, to his shock, becomes enmeshed in it.Separated from his wife, and struggling not to become a stranger to his six-year-old twin sons, Alex is logging some all-too-rare quality time with the boys, when they vanish without a trace amid the hurly-burly of a countryside Renaissance Fair.Then the phone call comes. A chilling silence; slow, steady breathing; and the familiar, plaintive voice of a child–“Daddy?”–complete the nightmare . . . and set in motion a juggernaut offrenzy and agony.The longer the police search, exhaustingleads without success, the deeper Alex’s certainty grows that time is running out.And when, at last, telltale signs reveal a hidden pattern of bizarre and ghoulish abductions, Alex vows to use his own relentless investigative skills to rescue his children from the shadowy figure dubbed The Piper.Whoever this elusive stranger is, the profile that slowly emerges–from previous crimes involving twins, from the zealously secret world of professional magicians, and from the eerie culture of voodoo–suggests that The Piper is a predator unlike any other.A twisted soul hell-bent on fulfilling an unspeakably dark dream. A fiend with a terrifying true calling. What Alex Callahan is closing in on is a monster with a mission.
Download The Murder Artist: A Thriller epub
ISBN: 0345464710
ISBN13: 978-0345464712
Category: Mystery
Subcategory: Thrillers & Suspense
Author: John Case
Language: English
Publisher: Ballantine Books (October 12, 2004)
Pages: 448 pages
ePUB size: 1554 kb
FB2 size: 1335 kb
Rating: 4.2
Votes: 879
Other Formats: lit txt lrf docx

Gardataur
This book was really well written, with believable characters that were well developed. The story line was great-I read a LOT of mysteries/thrillers but I definitely didn't guess the ending of this book. I really sympathized with the main character and kept rooting for him. The book is a little long-it probably could have been edited down a little-but I still finished it in 2 days.
Cashoutmaster
This story started out to be a real interesting story until I got about halfway through it. From that point on the author could have left out about 30 or 40 pages. I finally just started skipping page after page because it was more about the history of voodoo and magic than what I thought was necessary to tell the story. Then the ending kind of left me hanging for more about the boys getting back to their family. I was disappointed with the story when I finally finished.
MarF
Completely plausible, very realistic. The voodoo in Louisiana was well done. I read it through with only a brief break for sleep. A different take on stranger abductions and a father's determination to find his sons. Top notch suspense.
Saithinin
Plot/Storyline: 4 Stars

The storyline was unique with not only two children missing at once, but a set of identical twins. The police are at a loss because if ransom was the motive, why take both children with double the trouble? This would also fit for a pedophile.

The father, Alex, refuses to give up and quits his job to chase down leads. His leads take him across the country and back again. What made this journey stand out is how much the reader gets to learn about the different aspects of the case as he finds them. I learned about whippets (a breed of dog), origins of magic, a little voodoo, origami, and much more. These details show what a rich and diverse world we live in.

There were some superfluous scenes in this novel that could have been cut out while leaving the story completely intact. For example, there is a portion with a `voodoo witch doctor' that could have been deleted. While I enjoyed learning much of the voodoo history, the scene I refer to was just unnecessary.

I felt the ending was a bit rushed. There were some loose ends, unexplained events that were either coincidence or more crimes by the perpetrator, which were not wrapped up. Also, I would have liked to have seen an epilogue.

Character Development: 4 1/2 Stars

Alex, the father, was fairly well-developed. The reader did get a sense of him and empathize with him at times. However, I did feel at though we should have been given more background on him to really understand him.

The reader also doesn't get a good sense of the mother. She is just some weepy (and later, `witchy') person in the background.

Writing Style: 5 Stars

The writing in this novel was excellent. The syntax was perfect for the flow of the story. The author did a terrific job of describing each location with minimal language, while still painting the picture.

The dialogue was rich and very realistic.

Editing/Formatting: 4 3/4 Stars

The editing was very good with only a couple of errors. The Kindle formatting was okay. The biggest issue was the odd spacing. There were triple and quadruple line spaces between paragraphs. Once or twice, a sentence broke off onto the next line midway.

Rating: PG-15 for Adult Situations, Violence
Kesalard
As with this husband and wife team's other novels, notably "The Genesis Code" and "The Eighth Day", "The Murder Artist" blazes out of the reader's starting gate like a racehorse on stimulants. Here, the father of twin six-year-old boys retells the harrowing tale of how a father/sons' day at a Renaissance Fair turns into a frantic marathon rescue mission when the boys are abducted by a man who has a penchant for magic. The first person voice of Alex Callahan tells his story with enough emotional realism to make any parent want to go out and buy toddler leashes for any of their children under the age of 21. I found myself engrossed by the story from early on; the details of the police investigation and Alex's frenzied response typifies Case's unique gift of getting the reader to empathize with another of their very human narrators-- a regular guy who either through greed, cleverness or, in this case, simple happenstance, stumbles onto something so macabre and labyrintine, he must uncover a vertitable Da Vinci Code of oddball trivia lore to regain his sons.

In this one, the Cases lead us on a merry chase that explores serial killings, magic acts in Las Vegas and occult voodoo practices in Louisiana fascinating, page-turning segments that moves the main character around many US cities while hynotisizing the reader with a wealth of researched information that adds volumes to the credibility of the plot and keeps the old grey matter folding.

My main criticism with this novel and with Case's other novels is that the team doesn't maintain the mental momentum. In "Murder Artist" in particular, the story works so well on a thinking level that the action of the characters seems a let-down. The final piece to the mental puzzle should click in as the action winds down so the reader gets a double karate kick on both a sensual and cerebral level. As with many novels of this genre, once our narrator discovers the trick to the Chinese conundrum, the brain rush shuts off and the actual denouement -- the rescue, in this instance -- always a step or two behind, flails painfully, almost seeming like a mundane "going through the motions" and a telling of boring secondary events the reader doesn't even need to read because the thinking aspect of the character has been switched off. The result? A feeling of reader burn-out that after all that research and clever workings, the authors simply do not deserve.

Another aspect of the story that I thought needed work was the use of dialogue rather than strict narration to convey key facts on which to build the story's main points of interest. Dan Brown succeeds in giving the reader plenty of obscure facts to string together to form an interesting platform from which to jump into the realm of the imagingation; Case tries hard, but the use of dialogue between characters almost comes off as attempting a nonchalance that comes off as forced.

Bottom line: Good page turner that kept my brain busy until the almost unnecessary action kicks in at the very end.
The Sphinx of Driz
This one of the most suspenseful books I have read in a long time. The author combined so many facets that are not usually covered in a mystery novel. I could not put it down!
Araath
This book had me hooked right away. I could not stop reading it and was up late into the night to finish it. The story of abducted children will reach just about every parent.
My hands were literally shaking in the last chapter!