"His eyes fixed on the sword and started to travel its length, down from the black handle, over the plain hilt and along the two-inch wide shaft to where it penetrated the young woman’s mouth."
Detective Superintendent Colm McEvoy is assigned to lead the investigation. The case swiftly becomes a nightmare as the killer provides excerpts from “The Rule Book” setting out to commit perfect murders and leaving business cards with the image of a large black bird. Not surprisingly the killer is dubbed the Raven.
Examples of the Rules are:
1a. Choose a victim at random.
1b. Have no prior interaction with the victim before the kill. They should simply be chosen because they were in the right place at the right time.
1c. Take no account of age, sex, looks or any other characteristic in selection.
Master rule: Patterns provide psychological purchase. Avoid
The killer makes clear his intention to murder a person a day for the next 6 days in
Having left virtually no forensic evidence, for the area of the killing has been
carefully cleaned, the police face a daunting investigation. Dublin
When another murder takes place the next day with equal precision and skill the police are left desperately scrambling to find the murderer.
Within the department McEvoy’s superior, Tony Bishop, is blustering about worried about the image of the police, especially himself, as they struggle to catch the killer amidst a rapidly growing media frenzy.
Can there be a perfect serial killer? The Raven is wickedly clever and knows how smart he is with “The Rule Book”.
McEvoy is coping with the recent death of his wife, Maggie, from cancer. Their 12 year old daughter, Gemma, is providing greater support to her father than he can muster for her.
Personally he is valiantly attempting to quit smoking. McEvoy is finding it difficult to be satisfied with his fake cigarette under the pressure of an investigation drawing media from around the world.
The book is not for the squeamish. While Kitchin does not dwell on the gore he equally does not shy away from describing torture and murder. I found the violence graphic while not dominating the plot.
I did grow weary of the constant descriptions of how tired McEvoy is during the investigation. I am sure all senior police officers are worn out during a major investigation as they try to balance time spent on the investigation with their home life.
I would have appreciated some more information about the officers working with McEvoy. We learn little about them.
I was most impressed by the ending. The conclusion will never find its way to a
Hollywood movie. I did not see
It is a good book. I wish it were not so hard to buy in Dublin bookshops. I finally found a used copy. (Dec. 13/12)