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Book description

Book description
PROTAGONIST: Paul Riley, lawyer and Michael McDermott and Ricki Stoletti, police detectivesSERIES: StandaloneRATING: 1.5Sometimes being a voracious reader of crime fiction can make it really hard to give a new book a fair chance. If you spend a lot of time on the dark streets or in a locked room, youve come to know (and often, detest) some of the clichés of the genre. Youre aware of the trends, and which themes and approaches are overdone. Its actually rather sad to pick up a book like Eye of the Beholder, read about six young women who have each been murdered in horrible and different ways, and instead of saying, I cant wait to find out what this is about, moaning, Oh, crud, another serial killer book. Being ever an optimist, I thought that I shouldnt pre-judge the book. After all, Ellis surely wouldnt use any of these timeworn devices in this book, would he?- Chapters told from the deranged serial killers point of view- The motivation for the murders being religious, probably with sexual overtones- Strange anonymous handwritten letters to the protagonistUnfortunately, he did, those and more. Lets not forget having the lead character be a suspect—after all, he was the last to see one of the victims, and his fingerprints are on her murder weapon. Raise your hand if you think he is guilty. I thought so.Well, back to the six dead bodies. Theyve been arranged in a college auditorium in the order in which they were killed. The police quickly locate a prime suspect, a man who was stalking one of the victims. And they just as quickly arrest him, since his house is a Fruminous Frenzy of Forensics. Terry Burgos is off to prison, courtesy of prosecutor Paul Riley. Riley shows that the victims were killed by the methods outlined in a song by Tyler Skye, with the lyrics related to various Bible verses.And now its several years later. Riley is a hugely successful lawyer whose main client is the father of one of the victims. Eerily, there is a new group of murders. Riley is the first to recognize that the killer is following the lines of the second verse of the song. Only Terry Burgos is in jail, and this second killer is very organized. He doesnt leave any trace evidence, and he isnt exactly following the rules. Riley begins to wonder if he missed something when he was trying the first case. That could have been an interesting premise, but Ellis obscured it with a tangled web of plot developments that were impossible to follow, much less believe.Its a pity that this book was such a complete cliché, as Ellis does write reasonably well. He did nothing fresh nor inventive, and that was the kiss of death as far as my reading enjoyment went. Its as if Ellis were playing a game of poker using a deck of Cliché Cards. He shuffles the deck and deals them out—assumed identities, swapped bodies, the KGB and more—but never plays a winning hand. I didnt cash in my chips, but ultimately, Eye of the Beholder was a misdeal for me.
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