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The Killing Game    by Iris Johansen order for
Killing Game
by Iris Johansen
Order:  USA  Can
Bantam, 2000 (1999)
Hardcover, Paperback, Audio

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* *   Reviewed by Mary Ann Smyth

The Killing Game is a chilling thriller. In spite of myself (I don't usually cotton to the genre) I was on the edge of my seat the whole time I turned its pages. Eve Duncan's daughter Bonnie was killed by a serial killer ten years prior to the time of the story. The killer confessed and was executed but never revealed where he had buried Bonnie's body. Now a new killer has emerged and claims that he was really the one who killed Eve's daughter.

Bodies seem to erupt from the ground throughout the story, which is tightly written and researched. Joe Quinn, an FBI agent and old friend of Eve's, tries to help. Eve's emotional state is precarious and she can't see his involvement as anything other than that of an old friend. Actually, Joe cares deeply for her, but you'll have to read the book to find out if true love prevails.

A cadaver dog is used to sniff out dead bodies. It shocked me to realize that the dog suffers emotionally also. The characters go through deep turmoil in their minds. The author seems to understand how someone in such positions would act and react - and makes you stop to wonder if you yourself would be affected in the same way.

The story starts off running with 'The skeleton had been in the ground for a long time. Joe Quinn had seen enough of them to recognize that. But how long?' And the reader is left breathless by the startling ending. This is a well-written thriller. Just remember to read it in the daylight hours. The dark of night brings its own terrors without adding to them with The Killing Game.

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