A killer known as the Night Spider has been killing women in high-rise New York apartments, scaling the apartment buildings' walls to the apartment windows, cutting a crescent of glass where the window's lock is, unlocking the window, tying his victims up in their sleep, and stabbing them to death. Former detective Thomas Horn is assigned to the case two years after his recovery from an injury on 9/11. It is soon discovered that the Night Spider had climbed down from the roof rather than from the bottom of the building to the 30-story apartments. As Thomas investigates the cruel murders, he discovers something he didn't want to know: the Night Spider is targeting him.
This report prepared by Steven
Pinnacle, Nov 2003, 6.99, 416 pp.
The serial killer murdered his third high rise victim with the same MO of tying up his prey with sheets so tight they dig into the skin before he stabs her thirty-six to thirty-seven times. The wrappings are so tight that little blood seeps to the floor in spite of the multiple stabbings. NYPD Detective Paula Ramboquette is assigned lead as her senior partner Roy Bickerstaff nears retirement. Still both are amazed at the crime scene as it appears a spiderman climbed up thirty floors on the side of a building before entering the apartment of Sally Bridge through a window.
Assistant Chief Roland Larkin worries that this case will need a special hand so he persuades disability retired former homicide captain Thomas Horn to lead the inquiries. He looks at the crime scenes especially the last one and shows that the killer did not go up, but came down the shorter distance from the roof. However, the Night Spider welcomes the challenge of Horn as he has no doubt that the retired cop or perhaps his wife will become his next victim.
THE NIGHT SPIDER is an exciting police procedural thriller that starts at an incredible pace and for the most part maintains the action until the end. The tale is incredibly gripping when the killer takes center stage during the novel. A subplot involving Thomas' personal relationships unnecessarily horns in on the prime cat and mouse scenario that makes the book worth reading. Sub-genre fans will be elated with John Lutz's strong Manhattan police procedural.
This report prepared by Harriet Klausner