The Postcard Killers by James Patterson & Liza Marklund

the-postcard-killers.JPGIn James Patterson & Liza Marklund’s The Postcard Killers, NYPD detective Jack Kanon is on a tour of Europe’s most gorgeous cities. But the sights aren’t what draw him–he sees each museum, each cathedral, and each restaurant through a killer’s eyes.

Kanon’s daughter, Kimmy, and her boyfriend were murdered while on vacation in Rome. Since then, young couples in Paris, Copenhagen, Frankfurt, and Stockholm have become victims of the same sadistic killers. Now Kanon teams up with the Swedish reporter, Dessie Larsson. Every killing is preceded by a postcard to the local newspaper–and Kanon and Larsson think they know where the next victims will be. With relentless logic and unstoppable action, The Postcard Killers may be James Patterson’s most vivid and compelling thriller yet.

“Patterson boils a scene down to the single, telling detail, the element that defines a character or moves the plot along. It’s what fires off the movie projector in the reader’s mind.” — Michael Connelly

patterson-james1.JPGJames Patterson had been working as a very successful advertising copywriter when he decided to put his Masters degree in English to a somewhat different use. Inspired by bestselling hair-raising thrillers like The Day of the Jackal and The Exorcist, Patterson went to work on his first novel. Published in 1976, The Thomas Berryman Numberestablished him as a writer of tightly constructed mysteries that move forward with the velocity of a bullet. For his startling debut, Patterson was awarded the prestigious Edgar Award for Best First Mystery Novel — an auspicious beginning to one of the most successful careers in publishing.

A string of gripping standalone mysteries followed, but it was the 1992 release of Along Came a Spider that elevated Patterson to superstar status. Introducing Alex Cross, a brilliant black police detective/forensic psychologist, the novel was the first installment in a series of bestselling thrillers that has proved to be a cash cow for the author and his publisher.

Examining Patterson’s track record, it’s obvious that he believes one good series deserves another…maybe even a third! In 2001, he debuted the Women’s Murder Club with 1st to Die, a fast-paced thriller featuring four female crime fighters living in San Francisco — a homicide detective, a medical examiner, an assistant D.A., and a cub reporter. The successful series has continued with other numerically titled installments. Then, spinning off a set of characters from a previous novel (1998’s When the Wind Blows), in 2005 he published Maximum Ride: The Angel Experiment. Featuring a “flock” of genetically engineered flying children, the novel was a huge hit, especially with teen readers, and spawned a series of vastly popular fantasy adventures.

In addition to continuing his bestselling literary franchises, Patterson has also found time to co-author thrillers with other writers — including Peter de Jonge, Andrew Gross, Maxine Paetro, and Howard Roughan — and has even ventured into romance (Suzanne’s Diary for Nicholas, Sam’s Letters to Jennifer) and children’s literature (santaKid). Writing at an astonishing pace, this prolific author has turned himself into a one-man publishing juggernaut, fulfilling his clearly stated ambition to become “the king of the page-turners.”

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