Name: The Executioner (Robert Hunter #2)
Author: Chris Carter
Number of Pages: 492 (Kindle)
Published: July 1st 2010 by Simon & Schuster UK
Genre: Thriller, Mystery, Crime
Inside a Los Angeles church, on the altar steps, lies the blood-soaked, decapitated body of a priest. Carefully positioned, legs stretched out, arms crossed over the chest, the most horrifying thing of all is that the priest’s head has been replaced by that of a dog. Later, the forensic team discover that, on the victim’s chest, the figure 3 has been scrawled in blood.
At first, Detective Robert Hunter believes that this is a ritualistic killing. But as more bodies surface, he is forced to reassess. All the victims died in the way they feared the most. Their worst nightmares have literally come true. But how could the killer have known? And what links these apparently random victims?
Hunter finds himself on the trail of an elusive and sadistic killer, somone who apparently has the power to read his victims’ minds. Someone who can sense what scares his victims the most. Someone who will stop at nothing to achieve his twisted aim.
The Executioner is the second book in the Robert Hunter series.
A brutal murder with a possibly ritualistic air sees Hunter and his partner Carlos Garcia take on a dangerous killer who has an uncanny way of knowing exactly how to scare their victims to death.
Hunter and Garcia are a great duo. They’re a good balance for each other, Hunter with his solitary way, Garcia with his family and trying to keep his work from invading his family life. There’s a great new character in Captain Barbara Blake, and I think she’s one I’m going to like. Here we experience her initial frustrations with Hunter, and the pair learning to trust and tolerate each other, and work together, going against authority if required to solve the case, which sets the scene for a new partnership going forward and I’m looking forward to seeing how the two work together in future books.
I liked the inclusion of Mollie, a young woman with an almost supernatural gift, seeing flashes of the crimes being committed by the Executioner. Despite her story being unusual and quite difficult to believe, she comes forward, convinced she can assist the police in their investigation. Mollie added a slightly supernatural feel to the story that I’ve not come across so far in this series, and I liked the way her presence brought out Hunter’s protective side. He wanted all to be well for her, and would personally put himself at risk to see her safe.
As always the story flies forward at a great pace, delivering new shocks and horrors along the way. The time there’s also the addition of another case, that of The Slasher, another killer intent on wreaking havoc, so, not one serial killer, but possibly two. Talk about having a lot to contend with.
The killer dubbed in the press as The Executioner certainly gets imaginative in their methods. I read on with growing horror at what had been done to these various individuals, each one playing on their own private fear. Whatever scares them most in the world is used against them in the manner of their murder.
I kept wondering what was driving this person, what could have caused them to go to such extremes, so I was intrigued as the truth was finally revealed towards the fast-paced conclusion, with Hunter and Garcia once more thrown into massive amounts of peril and danger. Seriously, these two just do not seem to get a break.
The Executioner is a good follow up to The Crucifix Killer, and I’m going to carry on with this series. I’ve read four books now, so there are still quite a few left, but I might wait a short while at least. I’ve rarely gone through a series as quickly as I am with this one, and I want it to last a little bit longer.