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The Postcard Killers    by James Patterson & Liza Marklund order for
Postcard Killers
by James Patterson
Order:  USA  Can
Little, Brown & Co., 2010 (2010)
Hardcover, CD, e-Book

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* *   Reviewed by Hilary Williamson

Here's a new take on serial killers - not a surprise in a thriller by James Patterson, though with a new writing partner this time in European star Liza Marklund. An attractive young couple, Sylvia and Mac who claim to be celebrating their honeymoon, litter European cities with the posed corpses of other young couples. How posed? In the manner of local works of art.

Though way out of his jurisdiction, NYPD detective Jack Kanon has a good reason to hunt the killers - they murdered his daughter Kimmy and her fiancÚ in Rome six months before, and it was Jack who gave them the trip as a Christmas present. He doesn't eat, drinks steadily, and contemplates suicide - but he has a job to do first. The killers send a postcard to a reporter in each city where they do the deed. Jack knows he should be able to glean something from the cards and the poses but lacks local knowledge.

Enter Swedish reporter Dessie Larsson (most of whose family are criminals). She receives a postcard from the killers in Stockholm. Jack finds her and demands her help. He also inserts himself into the Swedish investigation. After Dessie identifies the Swedish art the Postcard Killers mimicked, her discovery opens up a series of leads that culminate in the arrest of a young American couple for multiple murders and petty theft. They hire a copyright lawyer.

End of story? Not so. It seems that twins Sylvia and Malcolm Rudolph have alibis for key dates. They are released, despite Jack's objections. He flies to Los Angeles to investigate their backgrounds, before returning to Sweden and Dessie, to follow up on further Scandinavian murders. Certain they're on the track of the real Postcard Killers, Jack and Dessie follow a trail to Finland, with a little help from Dessie's criminal cousin.

The Postcard Killers is another gruesome and gripping chiller, with all of Patterson's trademark shockers and enhanced by Liza Marklund's European connection. Fans will devour it.

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