The Postcard Killers
By James Patterson and Liza Marklund
Read by Katherine Kellgren, Eric Singer, and Reg Rogers
Hachette Audio, (2010)
An Unabridged Recording on 6 CDs
Also available in Large Print.
Reviewed by Israel Drazin - November 22, 2010
James Patterson wrote this book with Liza Marklund, a Swedish author who sold nine million of her mysteries in thirty languages. The publisher gave her the same size billing with the same color on the title page, something that does not usually occur with co-authors of Patterson books, but her name is on the bottom, under the book's title. After reading Lee Child's best-seller yesterday, I would call this suspenseful novel light reading, it is for a different audience. It is written well and it held my interest throughout.
Two very charming and strikingly handsome twenty-four year old serial killers from the United States roam Europe and butcher couples who are generally young and good looking, some of whom are wealthy. We know this because the two authors describe how they murdered two of their victims. The victims are killed with knives and set up in what appears to be a grotesque manner, each time differently, or so it seems. The killers send postcards forewarning the murders and later showing the butcheries. Why are they killing? It seems obvious that they want to say something. What are they saying in the postcard pictures?
The father of one of the murdered girls, a New York policeman becomes obsessed in his drive to find the murderers. He travels to Sweden where a postcard had arrived warning of an upcoming murder. He meets a thirty-something reporter who had just broken off a lesbian relationship with a police woman who still loves her. She had entered this relationship after her four year marriage to a man had ended. Although she works at a newspaper she is reluctant to become involved in murder cases. However, the killers send her their latest postcards. Why her? Where did they get her name? Does she have sexual or other problems? Why is the cop so obsessed that when he meets the reporter he hadn't washed or shaved in a long time?
The two killers, who the authors described in the opening of the book, are caught in a camera in the hotel walking out of the room of two victims. They either made a mistake, or they did this purposely since all past murders were done far from cameras. They are questioned and reveal clear cut alibis for a couple of the murders. How is this possible? The authors showed us that they were murderers.
Will the New York cop be able to persuade the Swedish police to let him help them solve the crimes? Will he work with the female reporter? Will they become sexually involved? What are the murderers trying to accomplish? Are the killers related? Is there a sexual connection between the killers and their victims? The killers are able to seduce their victims; can they seduce the Swedish police, the New York cop, and the reporter? What contributions can the reporter give to the police who are experts at solving crimes?
Dr. Israel Drazin is the author of sixteen books, including a series of five volumes on the Aramaic translation of the Hebrew Bible, which he co-authors with Dr. Stanley M. Wagner, and a series of four books on the twelfth century philosopher Moses Maimonides, the latest being Maimonides: Reason Above All, published by Gefen Publishing House, www.gefenpublishing.com. The Orthodox Union (OU) publishes Wagner and Drazin's latest book Let's Study Onkelos on www.ou.org/torah.