The Breathtaker Book Summary and Study Guide

Detailed plot synopsis reviews of The Breathtaker

In the midst of a killer storm, another type of killer is loose. He chooses his victims where the wind takes him. Subtle at first, he makes it appear the dead are victims of flying debris. Chief Charlie Grover's intuition tells him otherwise. As he views the scene with a policeman's eye, he becomes convinced something far more sinister than Mother Nature on a rampage is at work. He looks for a pattern in the casualties of recent tornadoes, and finds one. Chief Grover has his hands full, living in Tornado Alley, battling a brutal serial killer, and single-handedly raising a histrionic daughter who bounces between adolescent parental hatred and almost sappy love for her widower father.
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Storm chasers abound in the Midwest and down into Texas. With some, it becomes an obsession. Charlie Grover finds a true devotee in an attractive young lady, the first woman to turn his head since his wife died years earlier. Now, learning about tornadoes is both business and pleasure to him. He needs to know how the killer's mind works. Plus, he has old wounds to heal where his father --- another storm chaser --- is concerned. Evidence left at the crime scene causes the hairs on his neck to bristle. Could his dad be the one he is after?

THE BREATHTAKER takes a hard look at how years of unrelenting child abuse can warp a mind, how the fury left in the place of lost innocence grows like a cancer and spreads into a consuming rage. Here, it pushes the victim of the abuse over the edge and he strikes back --- at anyone in his way. He has lost the ability to maintain normal relationships. Killing dominates his every thought. And tornadoes whip him into a frenzy.
The review of this Book prepared by danzel

This book takes place in Tornado Alley. Families are being gruesomely murdered at the same location as where tornados touch down. The main character, a police chief, is facing family problems of his own that may be related to the murders. Eventually the killer begins to stalk the police chief and his daughter.
The review of this Book prepared by Wendy Elizabeth Salomon

Warner, Nov 2003, 24.95, 392 pp.
ISBN: 0446531391

Promise, Oklahoma Police Chief Charlie Glover knows the danger of an F-3 (Fujita Scale) twister having lived in Tornado Alley all his life. Death and destruction are a normal pattern of a tornado of that strength. So when one that severe hits his jurisdiction, Charlie is prepared for the worst. However, what he and his staff find at the Pepper home makes no sense. The outside of the house remains standing as if nothing touched it. Inside the home is the work of a killer who used the latest nasty storm to disguise three brutal murders made up to look like a twister somehow got into the house.

Charlie immediately noticed the abrasions on the arms and hands of the victims. These injuries look like someone trying to fend off an attack. Later the medical examiner informs Charlie that only a maniac would have done this. The culprit transplanted someone else's tooth into each of the dead victims. Successive storms result in more victims with the eerier additional tooth implanted in their mouths. Charlie continues to investigate a psychopath with an obsession and a professional knowledge of tornadoes.

The story line is action packed and the key cast members, especially Charlie, his teenage daughter, his romantic interest, and his employees are a solid cast. The key characters remain the tornados that have a life of their own yet the depth of rage does not come across as with recent movies or even compared with the humorous twister that transported Dorothy out of Oz. Still readers obtain a powerful storm related thriller inside a strong cat and mouse who-done-it.

Harriet Klausner

The review of this Book prepared by Harriet Klausner

Chapter Analysis of The Breathtaker

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Plot & Themes

Composition of Book descript. of violence and chases 10%Planning/preparing, gather info, debate puzzles/motives 40%Feelings, relationships, character bio/development 36.7%How society works & physical descript. (people, objects, places) 13.3% Tone of story    -   suspenseful (sophisticated fear) How difficult to spot villain?    -   Challenging Time/era of story:    -   2000+ (Present) Disaster, natural or nuclear    -   Yes What % of story relates directly to the mystery, not the subplot?    -   50% Special suspect?    -   relative Murder of certain profession?    -   "All in the family" murder Misc. Murder Plotlets    -   Proving innocence of very obvious suspect    -   Big focus on forensic evidence    -   Big focus on autopsies    -   Killer purposely leaves clues Kind of investigator    -   police procedural, American Kid or adult book?    -   Adult or Young Adult Book Any non-mystery subplot?    -   natural disaster Crime Thriller    -   Yes Murder Mystery (killer unknown)    -   Yes

Main Character

Gender    -   Male Profession/status:    -   police/lawman Age:    -   40's-50's Ethnicity/Race    -   White/American


United States    -   Yes The US:    -   West Prairie?    -   Yes

Writing Style

Accounts of torture and death?    -   moderately detailed references to deaths

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