Saturday, April 19, 2014

Hangman by Stephan Talty

Five years ago, Buffalo was terrorized by the serial killer the papers dubbed 'The Hangman'.  Marcus Flynn kidnapped four teenage girls.  Three were found, all hung in trees.  The fourth was never found, as Flynn was discovered in a motel room with a gunshot wound to the head and was left with significant brain damage, unable or unwilling to tell police where the last victim was.

Now Buffalo is on terror alert again.   While being transported to another location, the Hangman has escaped.  The top priority is finding him before he can get away or worse, start claiming new victims.  Every police resource is thrown at the case, including the talents of star detective, Abbie Kearny.  Kearny, who is the daughter of a respected former detective, was not in Buffalo at the time of the original murders and can provide a fresh eye.

One is soon needed.  A new teenage victim is found within a day.  Soon other disappearances start to occur and the tension is racketed up hour by hour.  Abbie is desperate to find a clue that might help her discover Flynn's hideout.  She turns to the Network, the informal collaboration of police and city employees that work behind the scenes and keep things running, playing outside the rules.

Stephan Talty has written a taut, compelling novel.  The Hangman is a memorable villain and Kearny's investigation is full of surprises and twists.  This book is recommended for mystery readers.

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