A hunt for a convicted killer escaped from a hospital for the criminally insane - Deaver's stunning multiple-twist standalone thriller.
Jeffery Deaver was a lawyer before quitting work to become a full-time writer.
While flash floods sweep New England, escaped schizophrenic Michael Hrubek leads pursuers on a perilous chase as he seeks to confront Lisbonne Atcheson, whose testimony clinched his conviction as the Indian Leap State Park murderer. The premise is hackneyed, the plot somewhat formulaic, but Deaver's ( Hard News ) knack for pacing and misdirection enliven this entertaining thriller. At the center of the drama is the complex Hrubek, a terrifying figure with problems big enough to match his 300-pound frame. At times he recognizes and is painfully frustrated by his tenuous grip on reality; at others, he is racked with guilt over having assassinated President Lincoln. On Hrubek's trail are his therapist, Dr. Richard Kohler; professional tracker Trenton Heck and his prize bloodhound Emil; the police; and Lisbonne's attorney husband Owen, a seasoned hunter and combat veteran. What really happened at Indian Leap is revealed in a climax that brings everyone together at Lisbonne's newly inherited estate in remote, storm-battered Ridgeton. Although Deaver's prose is sometimes careless, his characters are colorful and believable, and his careful plotting delivers palpable suspense and a clever surprise ending. 50,000 first printing; $75,000 ad/promo; paperback to Signet; Literary Guild selection. (Feb.)
'Brilliant' -- Minette Walters 'Scary, smart and compulsively readable' -- Stephen King 'Seldom have more twists and turns, or more harrowing suspense been packed into a single day - or between the covers of a single book ... Superior' -- James Patterson
Deaver has published both general fiction and, under a pseudonym, some Edgar Award-winning mysteries, but the publisher sees this book as his breakout title. The antihero is a 28-year-old man who escapes from a hospital for the criminally insane. The 75,000-copy first printing speaks volumes.