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Hangman - Michael Slade

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Genre: Crime / Thriller / Author: Michael Slade / Paperback / 352 Pages / Book is published 2001-03 by Signet Book

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      13.05.2009 11:53
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      A serial killer launches a deadly game of Hangman in reverse......

      Hangman carries on the highly successful, and most enjoyable, Special X series about a division of the Royal Canadian Mounted Police as written by a Canadian Lawyer, Jay Clarke, and his daughter under the pseudonym of Michael Slade. This is the first book the two have writtten together as formerly Jay wrote with some of his associates and the last novel, Burnt Bones, was written entirely on his own. This means that Hangman lacks some of the punch of earlier novels but is still better than the last book which suffered from being over-complicated with an almost comic-book style villan. Once again, in this latest outing, we catch up with an old familiar face from the series in Zinc Chandler; a veteran of Special X who has had his fair share of tragedy throughout his life and bears the scars to prove it!!

      When the body of a woman is found hanged in her own home in Seattle with one of her legs amputated, it sparks a very deadly and dangerous game that Detectives are taunted to complete. Drawn on the wall in her own blood is a game of hangman in reverse with the words "Guess in tomorrow's newspaper" and a cryptic puzzle that they must decipher. Zinc Chandler is present simply because he is with Detective Maddie Thorne when the call comes through and so is one of the first on the crime scene. But then a second victim turns up in Vancouver and suddenly Special X have a professional interest and the added complication of a cross-border killer which sees American and Canadian Law Enforcers joining ranks in a desperate race against time....

      This book is different from it's predecessors in that much of the novel is told in flashback from a single event. Selected passages in the book are also told from the perspective from one of the lawyers who becomes involved in the case and may just be the next victim. In a complicated investigation that twists and turns right up until the end, the reader is constantly left guessing at the identity of the killer and there are some very nasty shocks towards the novel's climax that will leave long-time fans reeling. This time around, much of the reference material concerns the history of the Canadian and American Judicial systems and this is obviously an area with which Jay Clarke is familiar. Though the plot occassionally suffers from stretching out a bit too long, still this book is something of a return to form for Slade and one of the first of these newer novels to recoup the quality of the early series. This is without question my favourite of this new era for Slade and the relationship between Zinc and Maddie Thorne is defenitely one I would like to see continue at a later stage....

      Once again, you don't need to havbe read any of the earlier novels to enjoy this though that is an advantage and this book is available at a very cheap price on Amazon for anyone who wishes to pick it up. Certainly it is a very talented and accomplished thriller and the only people who may find some fault with it will be long-time followers of the series like myself. Otherwise, once more, this is cracking top-drawer stuff that keeps you right on the edge of your seat....

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