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Der Kruzifix-Killer by Chris Carter
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Der Kruzifix-Killer (original 2009; edition 2009)

by Chris Carter

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174868,238 (3.89)2
Member:aliena0811
Title:Der Kruzifix-Killer
Authors:Chris Carter
Info:Ullstein Taschenbuchvlg. (2009), Paperback
Collections:Your library
Rating:***
Tags:2012

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The Crucifix Killer by Chris Carter (2009)

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Showing 5 of 5
The Crucifix Killer is Chris Carter's debut novel. And I can honostly say that he wrote a crime novel just the way I like them, dark, gritty and with the emphasis on solving the crime.

This book is about Robert Hunter, a homicide detective for the LAPD, who's assigned a new (rookie) partner, Carlos Garcia, and their first case is the gruesome death of a young woman found in a remote cottage. She is hung from two poles and her skin has been removed from her face while she was still alive. Soon after looking at the body the double-crucifix is found on her neck and Robert knows this is going to be one tough case, cause the killer to which this mark belongs was executed two years earlier. So is this either a copycat or the real killer still out there.

Although I'm not fond of detectives with personal issues (that just makes the story slide away from the crime solving) but Detective Hunter needed it. He received his PhD in the age of 23 and his thesis paper had been made into a book and became a mandatory reading, he has all the luck with the ladies and is always right. Without a little flaw in the guy he would hardly be an interesting character, but thank God he isn't as perfect as he looks. So in this case being a cynic and having a drinking problem can make you human.
The work relationship between Hunter and Garcia is interesting. Hunter is experienced and works from instinct and Garcia is a rookie and is methodical doing things as learned from books. This means they quite disagree on a few occasions.

This book definitely isn't for the squeamish. The crimescenes are quite detailed and the killings are all as gruesome as the first one. The book is told from different perspectives which gives you a more oversee of the events and case that is unfolding in this book.

Chris's writing kept me right on the edge of my seat even after I figured out who done it (don't know how that happened but yeah half way through the book I figured it out) I still was gripped by the events that took place. And there were still enough twists and turns in the story to make it interesting.

I'm looking forward to reading The Executioner. ( )
  KimvA | Aug 23, 2011 |
Think of the movie Saw and the movie Se7en. This is kind of like both of them but without Kevin Spacey. The characters are inoffensive and forgettable, with 'ain't' and 'wanna' randomly thrown into their speech when they feel casual. All their descriptions are nearly identical. The writing is technically terrible-- like reading a first draft, with word choice errors and dialogue tags to drive you crazy-- but the story moves forward, the mysteries aren't instantly guessable and the chapters are short so you can always put the book down to sip your Margarita or stare at the waves. It's a holiday book for when you really don't want to think about anything at all. Don't expect more than that and you'll be entertained. ( )
  jbrubacher | Jun 18, 2010 |
I just loved this book. Gripping, suspenseful, and ultimately satisfying, Carter hooks you in and keeps you on the edge of your seat until the end.
This is no masterpiece, but if you want an easy read with lots of gore, this is for you. It can be very nasty in places, so it's only suitable for those with a non-nervous disposition.
A great new writer on the scene, Carter is one to watch. ( )
  maz74 | Jun 5, 2010 |
Brilliantly, icky!

The Crucifix Killer starts with a fast paced teaser and hook, moves back to five weeks earlier where we are drawn into the lives of experienced Homicide Detective Robert Hunter and his rookie partner, Carlos Garcia, and their involvement with a sick killer who methodically plans and savours slow torture and mutilation in some delightfully enterprising yet grotesque ways. But the murderer, nicknamed The Crucifix Killer because of the double edged cross he carves on the neck of each victim as his modus operandi, has already been captured and executed. Did they catch the wrong person or are lives being taken by a copycat killer?

Assigned to the case again, Hunter, becomes the target of the killer's games; each time a murder is about to happen the killer phones him personally with a riddle to solve in order to save the next victim's life. Under pressure from the bosses, and against the clock, Hunter and Garcia diligently search for clues to the killer's identity and motives, but he's clever, always one step ahead of them and finding concrete evidence proves to be an impossible desperate task.

Through his characters, Chris Carter really involved me; I felt the detectives frustration as time began to run out, and despaired when another seemingly "impossible to overcome" obstacle got in the way. Hunter, has his share of problems; alcoholism, a dead ex-partner, and fears of the possibility that his new girlfriend, Isabella, could become a target. Young Garcia struggles to keep the required balance between his demanding new job and his relationship with his wife.

Even a secondary character, D-King, big-time pimp and drug dealer, will have you rooting for something that is illegal and imorral. It is claimed that Chris Carter can easily rival similar writers of this genre, such as Deaver (for plot) and Reichs (for tension), to me this is not just hype. The author is as sharp as his killer's blade and provides well-written evidence of a true storyteller; great plot twists, subplots and high-tension through multi-layered characters. Plus ingenious redherrings to throw the reader off course, as does the killer with Hunter and Garcia. When the killer's identity was finally revealed, I didn't see it coming. In addition, Carter studied psychology and criminal behaviour, and it shows in the cleverly entwined details. If you like to be taken by surprise and held tight, unable to stop reading or sleep well until the killer is caught, then this is the story for you. Brilliantly, icky.

Sassy Brit
July 2009 ( )
  SassyBrit | Aug 17, 2009 |
This book follows newly-minted-for-series Detective Robert Hunter in his quest to catch a serial killer who has struck again, two years after being executed for his past crimes. It’s no spoiler to point out that this is a subtle twist on an old favourite – in that, this time, there’s no twist; the wrong man was caught and the real killer is still at large and targeting new victims in a bloody and horrifying spree that leaves Hunter and his rookie partner clueless, baffled, and in considerable personal danger.

This is one of those stories that drags you along despite its flaws. I scoffed. I groaned. I made sarcastic remarks about clunky dialogue and the kind of explanations that CSI stopped tormenting their public with years ago (most crime writers have also figured out that their audience doesn’t need a breakdown of how time of death can be postulated from body temperature, and even if we do, the rookie detective does not – at least have your character explain it to a layman, if you feel the need to go there). I was even somewhat annoyed by the contrived explanation and dismissed-as-too-unlikely-culprit (I won’t go into why, wouldn’t want to spoil the ending for anyone), although it certainly explains the complete mystification on the part of the detectives.

Yet even while I was grumbling, I was still reading. Chris Carter, despite his ‘rookie’ handling of the detective genre, is a storyteller. He has great pace, great instincts for what will get the attention of the somewhat jaded crime-thriller reader, a marvellous feel for imagery and gives just enough description to satisfy. More importantly, he instils the need to know from page one.

I didn’t rate Chris Carter very highly during the first quarter of this book, but his skill seemed to settle sufficiently to get the reader to the end. I have every intention of reading the next Robert Hunter book, but if I could pass along some advice to the editor of ‘The Crucifix Killer’, I would point out that the prologue was unnecessary and detracted from the flow the story. Don’t let Carter get creative; just make him write until he has it … uh….nailed. ( )
  eleanor_eader | Jul 29, 2009 |
Showing 5 of 5
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When the body of a young woman is discovered in a derelict cottage in the middle of Los Angeles National Forest, Homicide Detective Robert Hunter finds himself entering a horrific and recurring nightmare.

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