Sunday, June 14, 2009

“Library of the Dead”, by Glenn Cooper (Arrow)


A serial killer with a bizarre MO terrorizes New York City

Will Piper is the FBI’s best serial killer profiler, just counting down the days until retirement. Following a professional disgrace, he found himself demoted and just going through the motions. When the Doomsday Killer case gets tough, and the lead investigator has a stroke, Will’s called in to take point.

The Killer sends a postcard, ahead of time and marked with a date and time of death and a coffin, to each of his victims. There is little to connect his victims – they vary in age, sex, socio-economic scale, everything. Will and his new partner, Nancy, grind their way through the data in search for any clue of the killer’s identity. Little do they know, but the Doomsday Killer has roots far back in history, and this is much bigger than either Will or Nancy could have guessed.

Cooper’s style is pretty good. His plot is competently put together, and the reader is left guessing throughout. (Not always good, actually, as Cooper has a tendency to really make you wait for some things.)

His characterisation is pretty good, but it took a long time to get a read on Will. His internal monologue didn’t always match his actions – internally conscientious and aware of others, but his actions were sometimes abrasive and obnoxious(particularly when he first starts working with Nancy). The author weaves history and the present well, mixing existing myth with some new twists to classics. The flashbacks go way back, too, which only adds to the mystery.

A highly enjoyable thriller with a difference, with Library of the Dead Cooper shows great promise to have a long, successful career as a thriller author. I eagerly await his next novel featuring Will Piper, Book of Souls.

For Fans of: Sam Bourne, Dan Brown, Tom Knox, Chris Kuzneski, Scott Mariani

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