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The Killing Circle    by Andrew Pyper order for
Killing Circle
by Andrew Pyper
Order:  USA  Can
Minotaur, 2008 (2008)
* *   Reviewed by Tim Davis

After a powerful prologue, which reveals (perhaps too quickly) a pivotal moment that is essential to this thriller's later development, the early action of The Killing Circle slowly unfolds in an extended flashback wherein readers become familiar with the narrator Patrick Rush, a newspaper journalist, a widower, and a melancholy resident of Toronto.

Rush, so he says, has always wanted to be a writer of novels, and it is because of that asserted ambition that he joins an informal writer's workshop in Toronto that is known as the Kensington Circle. Getting to know the group leader and the other aspiring writers in the workshop, and becoming at the same time concerned about a series of apparently connected murders in the city, Rush - with good reason - becomes increasing paranoid about his own and his small son's safety.

Then, in an abrupt fast-forward from the writer's workshop experiences, readers learn that Rush, some years later, achieves a considerable measure of success as a novelist. However, what he has achieved may be horribly tainted by the past. And as the action of The Killing Circle rapidly escalates, Rush - and his son Sam - are in extreme jeopardy.

Written as a sublimely gothic tale overflowing with intrigue and terror, The Killing Circle will fascinate and seduce readers who don't mind having their pulse-rates dangerously elevated. At the same time, author Andrew Pyper's novel will appeal to readers who enjoy a post-modern meta-fictional study in which individual lives self-consciously become texts, subject to deconstruction and revision. On a variety of levels, therefore, The Killing Circle is highly recommended.

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