Monday, February 13, 2012

Books: Tom Piccirilli

The Dead LettersThe Dead Letters by Tom Piccirilli

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Just a few years ago, Whitt had the perfect American life: complete with a successful job, a beautiful wife and a wonderful baby daughter. This came to an end when his daughter was murdered by a serial killer given the nickname Killjoy by Whitt because "he has killed my joy." Now Whitt, leaner, more cynical and much more deadly lives in a small apartment supported by his father in law and former employer while his wife is institutionalized for chronic depression and self-destructive tendencies. All Whitt has left in life is one goal: to find Killjoy and settle the score. He turns to the police, is reluctantly aided by the FBI, becomes entangled with a doomsday cult of murderers along the way before finally finding his nemesis where he is least expected. All the while, Whitt is taunted by letters from the killer. Clearly mad, the killer his invented his own twisted mythology, using made up science and theology as reasoning for his killing and his later repentance. Many of Tom Piccirilli's novels have a dark hue to them, but this may be the saddest. While the trademark humor is still present in some passages, the all encompassing grief and sadness of Whit's personal life and his single minded obsession with revenge make for a pretty grim tale. This isn't to say it's something to be avoided, far from it, this story is exceedingly well written and takes the crime/thriller genre in a haunted and truly noir direction. The Dead Letters -

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