Trade Paperback, 420 pages
Published July 12th 2011 by Grand Central Publishing (first published August 16th 2010)
Original Title: The Postcard Killers
ISBN: 0446569941 (ISBN13: 9780446569941)
Edition Language: English
Setting: Stockholm (Sweden)
James Patterson teams up with Liza Marklund, a bestselling author from Scandanavia, to bring readers on a romp through Europe to catch a pair of killers that use postcards to local newspaper journalists as their calling card. Dessie Larsson is a reporter for a Swedish newspaper, and she is the latest journalist to get such a postcard. It does not take long for her to be contacted by Jacob Kanon, a detective from the New York Police Department.
Jacob has an interest in the postcard killers, as well, though his interest is much more personal. His daughter was on vacation with her boyfriend in Rome when they became the first victims. Since then, couples have turned up dead in a number of cities with postcards and photographs being the only clues to direct local authorities to where the bodies are.
Thanks to their unique backgrounds, Dessie and Jacob are able to make some connections that produce possible leads in identifying the killers. Unfortunately, the Swedish legal system and the police themselves are not completely open to utilizing their suggestions. Some of this might be due tot he fact that Dessie recently broke up with one of the women detectives assigned to the case.
With that said, the police are not afraid to use Dessie’s connections at the newspaper to write a letter to the killers with the hopes of calling them out and making a mistake. Dessie knows that this is not something that will be well received by the media, but she has hopes that it will stop the killers before they target another couple.
As they work together, Dessie and Jacob find that they might want to be more than investigative partners and a relationship starts to develop. I do have to say that this seems to be a bit of an annoying subplot since Dessie’s bisexuality seems to be totally pushed aside for this to happen.
This is a typical Patterson novel with lots of gore and a the steady uptick in pace until the edge-of-your-seat climax. In some ways, the novel seems to draw on Dan Brown’s novels as art plays a major role in the resolution of the case.
The killers themselves prove to be pretty interesting characters. As with most of Patterson’s novels, the reader has an idea of who they are from the beginning with their narrative being told along side the detectives. They definitely have issues of their own since Patterson loves to use those with mental problems as his murderers.
All-in-all, I really liked this one. I am not a big fan of Jacob, who comes across as quite the arrogant ass. If he pushed in on my turf the way he does in this novel for the Swedes, I would probably ignore him, too. Dessie is quite interesting.
I will be curious to see if this one leads to sequels.