Hangman by Jack Heath
I've always been a massive fan of Paul Cleave's writing and his novel THE CLEANER ticked so many boxes for me, considerably more than the Dexter franchise in which the first novel was okay, but things went downhill when the violence became too gory and it was hard to avoid a sinking feeling of sensationalism. When it comes to sensationalism though I reckon HANGMAN has it all over every single book that it's obviously a homage to ... in blood soaked, gore dripping, dented from over-use, spades.
This is obviously going to be a novel that polarises readers. I get there's humour attempted here, I get that the over the topness is part of the "thing", and I fully acknowledge that I obviously missed the joke, or the overtness just didn't work for me. I pretty much rolled my eyes, harrumphed and sighed my way through the entire thing. The twist was easy to guess, the storyline felt overtly manipulative, the plot holes and logic gaps not sufficiently compensated for, and I still can't work out how on earth the female FBI agent ever qualified because she comes across as too dumb to find her shoes, let alone tie her laces. On the upside the humour, if it works for you, and the over the top nature of it, if it works for you, will undoubtedly make some readers very happy with this novel.
Meet Timothy Blake, codename Hangman. Blake is a genius, known for solving impossible cases. He's also a psychopath with a dark secret, and the FBI's last resort.
A 14-year-old boy vanishes on his way home from school. His frantic mother receives a terrifying ransom call. It's only hours before the deadline, and the police have no leads.
Enter Timothy Blake, codename Hangman. Blake is a genius, known for solving impossible cases. He's also a dangerous criminal - the FBI's last resort.
But this time Blake might have met his match. The kidnapper is more cunning and ruthless than anyone he's faced before. And Blake has been assigned a new partner, a woman linked to the past he's so desperate to forget.
Timothy Blake has a secret, one so dark he will do anything to keep it hidden.
And he also has a price. Every time he saves a life, he takes one…
Already sold into five territories, Hangman is a mesmerising dissection of the criminal mind and a bulletproof thriller.