A stunning, shocking, wonderfully well written debut reminiscent of James Patterson and one that will catapault Boris Starling to the front rank of thriller writers. London is in the grip of a heatwave: airless days, strange steamy nights and a killer stalking the streets. Wealthy men are being murdered to some mysterious pattern, with no clues left behind, only corpses with silver spoons in place of their tongues...Set against this merciless butcher is DCI Red Metcalfe, an investigator with a celebrated ability to get under the skin and into the minds of the deranged killers he hunts. But as the city swelters and the body count rises, Red's own tortured past begins to turn against him - and the city is safe for no one. Sometimes, it is said, it takes a killer to catch a killer...The most compelling and suspenseful British thriller to come along in years, and Boris Starling is a startling and powerful talent to watch. Messiah is guaranteed to haunt your dreams...
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(178mm x 111mm x 31mm)
HarperCollins Publishers Ltd
Publisher: HarperCollins Publishers
Country of Publication:
UK Kirkus Review »
When Thomas Harris created the concept of the detective with almost supernatural ability to get into the mind of a serial killer, he can have had little idea that this would become the most imitated of elements in thriller for years to come (the TV thriller Millenium spins this one aspect of Harris into a whole series). So when a reader encounters yet another variation on the theme, the writer involved is really obliged to pull off something extra special to avoid seeming desperately warmed-over. Does Boris Starling pull off the trick with Messiah? Within a few chapters, it's evident that Starling has a particularly pungent grasp of locale, successfully diverting the attention from these over-familiar elements. The real skill here is in a marvellously detailed picture of London in the grip of a heat wave. As wealthy men are murdered to some mysterious pattern (the corpses left with silver spoons in place of their tongues), it's down to DCI Red Metcalfe to get under the skin of this remoreseless killer. Starling has created a memorable protagonist in Metcalfe, with the detective's murky past playing a key element as the final crisis approaches at speed. There's little new here, but Starling demonstrates real elan in the difficult task of reinvigorating the Harris formula. (Kirkus UK)
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Author Biography - Boris Starling
Boris Starling has worked as a reporter on the Sun and the Daily Telegraph and most recently for a company which specialises in kidnap negotiation, clandestine investigations and political risk analysis. He was one of the youngest-ever contestants on Mastermind in 1996 and went to the semi-finals with his subject: the novels of Dick Francis. Boris studied at Cambridge and currently lives in London.