If you haven't read Eyes, Joseph Glass's first Susan Shader novel, Blood will certainly send you in search of it. A psychiatrist and criminal profiler, Shader is also a gifted psychic who's put more than one murderer away. In this chilling suspense thriller focusing on the search for a serial killer who preys on young women, she employs both her psychic abilities and her extensive psychiatric training to create a horrific portrait of the murderer, whose bizarre rituals quickly earn him the sobriquet the Undertaker. Yet Shader is stumped in her efforts to identify him. Unable to decipher the distorted messages whose themes of abortion, virginity, communion, blood, and one particular Shakespearean tragedy seem to be tied into the murders, Shader partners with David Gold, a Chicago detective who believes in her psychic powers as well as her professional talents, and Meredith Spier, a television journalist who has been contacted by the Undertaker and may be his next intended victim. One bad hunch destroys Shader's credibility with the police department. By the time she convinces Gold that she's decoded the psychic clues that can lead him to the killer, the Undertaker has Meredith in his clutches, and the grisly scene that sets up the denouement seems almost anticlimactic. In fact, greater danger awaits, from an escaped killer who's got a grudge against the good doctor, and acts on it in a coda that's a real heartbreaker. |
Forensic psychiatrists and criminal profilers aren't new in the mystery suspense genre; every police force seems to have one these days. But Susan Shader also has a private practice, and sitting in on her sessions with her own patients is what sets Blood apart from the field. In her work with one of them, an unhappy young woman named Wendy Breckinridge, Shader's real talents as a healer and therapist are brilliantly illuminated. For readers with a particular interest in psychiatry, the true mystery will be how to find a counselor with Shader's special gifts.
Source: Jane Adams, Amazon.com.
Dr. Susan Shader is the most fascinating -- and sexiest -- heroine to come along since Clarice Starling made her debut in The Silence of the Lambs. Introduced in Joseph Glass's widely praised first novel, Eyes, Susan is a renowned psychiatrist and criminal profiler for the Chicago Police Department whose uncanny gift of second sight has made her a celebrity among law enforcement professionals. However, Susan is increasingly reluctant to devote her psychic powers to the cause of tracking down criminals. Last time, her efforts led to the abduction and near death of her eight-year-old son.
But when a young woman is found dead in a body bag in Chicago's Lincoln Park, Detective David Gold, Susan's longtime friend at the Chicago Police Department, once again calls upon her psychic powers. Traces of foreign blood and strange markings found on the body make one thing certain: a killing this ornate could only be the work of a deranged serial killer. They call him the Undertaker.
Susan is quickly drawn in by the bizarre psychology of the killer, a man who preys on, and prays over, beautiful young women like a fanatic executioner. Plagued by psychic messages that allude to abortion, virginity, and seemingly random quotations from Romeo and Juliet, Susan scrambles for answers. When the best efforts of a determined police force fail to solve the riddle, Susan Shader's controversial gift may be the only way to stop the madman.
Combining the disturbing imagery and virtuosic writing of Thomas Harris and the intricate plot twists of John le Carré, Joseph Glass catapults the suspense thriller to an entirely new dimension. In Blood, he has fashioned a relentless, masterly psychological drama that leads to a most unexpected and bone-chilling climax. And he has given us Susan Shader, a hauntingly appealing heroine we've definitely not seen the last of.