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John Katzenbach is the author of the bestselling In the Heat of the Summer, which became the movie The Mean Season.Two more of his books were made into films in the United States, 1995's Just Cause and 2002's Hart's War.
The Dead Student
A grad student and his ex-girlfriend team up to solve a murder in this psychological thriller from the New York Times–bestselling author of Just Cause.
Timothy “Moth” Warner, a Miami PhD student, wakes up on his ninety-ninth day of sobriety with an intense craving for alcohol. He asks his uncle Ed, a former alcoholic and now successful psychiatrist, to meet him at an AA meeting later that day. But when Ed doesn’t show up, Moth bikes to his office only to find his uncle lying in a pool of blood.
The police pronounce the death a suicide, but Moth can’t believe it. Devastated and confused, he calls on the only person he thinks he can trust: Andrea Martine, an ex-girlfriend he has not spoken to in years.
Each battling their inner demons, Moth and Andy travel into dark, unfamiliar territory, intent on uncovering the truth about Ed’s death and circling ever closer to a devious mind that will flinch at nothing for revenge.
A Publishers Weekly top 10 mystery & thriller for fall
An Amazon book of the month in the mystery/thriller category
“Katzenbach ratchets up his trademark intensity in The Dead Student.” —Sun Sentinel (South Florida)
“A twisted, compelling tale of death and deceit.” —Lansing State Journal
“An intricately woven plot with sensitively drawn characters.” —The Washington Times
“The Dead Student . . . demonstrates why [Katzenbach] has a place on many ‘must-read author’ lists . . . You will want to read [it] in one sitting.” —BookReporter
“One of the freshest and most unlikely duos to appear in crime fiction.” —Kirkus Reviews
“[A] clever cat-and-mouse thriller.” —Publishers Weekly
The Analyst: A Novel
Happy 53rd birthday, Doctor. Welcome to the first day of your death.
When a mysterious letter bearing these threatening words is delivered to Dr. Frederick Starks, his predictable life is thrown into chaos. Suddenly, the psychoanalyst is plunged into a horrific game designed by a man who calls himself Rumplestiltskin. The rules: in two weeks Starks must guess Rumplestiltskin’s identity and the source of his fury. If he succeeds, he goes free. If he fails, one by one, Rumplestiltskin will destroy fifty-two of Dr. Starks’ loved ones–friends, relatives, children–unless the good doctor agrees to kill himself.
You ruined my life. And now I fully intend to ruin yours.
Ignoring the threat is not an option. When one of his patients dies under the wheels of a subway train and a detective investigating the case is struck by a hit-and-run driver, Starks knows his tormentor means business. And then there are the messengers sent to guide Starks on his descent, from the seductive woman in a trench coat who calls herself Virgil to a lawyer named Merlin weaving a spell of havoc and lies. His bank account rifled, his credit ruined, and his reputation dragged through the mud, Starks must rouse himself from the cocoon of his life, unlock the secret of Rumplestiltskin, and find a way to stop the madman–before he himself is driven mad.
One thing of which you can be absolutely certain: My anger knows no limits.
A mesmerizing thriller that gives a wicked new twist to the doctor-patient relationship, The Analyst’s Last Days weaves a blistering race against time with a tale of identities shattered and chosen, disguises taken and discarded. With his trademark style, breathless plots, and brilliantly realized characters, John Katzenbach proves once again why both critics and fans alike have crowned him the master of suspense.
Hart's War: A Novel of Suspense
Second Lieutenant Tommy Hart, a navigator whose B-25 was shot out of the sky in 1942, is burdened with guilt as the only surviving member of his crew. Now he is just another POW at the fiercely guarded Stalag Luft 13 in Bavaria.
Then routine comes to a halt with the arrival of a new prisoner: First Lieutenant Lincoln Scott, an African American Tuskegee airman who instantly becomes the target of contempt from his fellow soldiers. When a prisoner is brutally murdered, and all the blood-soaked evidence points to Scott, Hart is tapped to defend the soldier. In a trial rife with racial tension and raw conflict, where the lines between ally and enemy blur, there are those with their own secret motives, and a burning passion for a rush to judgment, no matter what the cost.
The Madman's Tale: A Novel
It’s been twenty years since Western State Hospital was closed down and the last of its inmates reintegrated into society. Francis Petrel was barely out of his teens when his family committed him to the asylum, after his erratic behavior culminated in a terrifying outburst. Now middle-aged, he leads an aimless, solitary life housed in a cheap apartment, periodically tended to by his sisters, and perpetually medicated to quiet the chorus of voices in his head. But a reunion on the grounds of the shuttered institution stirs something deep in Francis’s troubled mind: dark memories he thought he had laid to rest, about the grisly events that led to Western State Hospital’s demise.
It begins in 1979, when twenty-one-year-old Petrel descends into the state-run purgatory of an overcrowded, understaffed Massachusetts mental hospital. Surrounded by inmates roaming the halls like drugged zombies and raving behind locked doors, well-meaning orderlies, jaded nurses, and patronizing doctors, Francis finds friendship with a motley assortment of fellow patients: a would-be Napoleon, a wise ex-firefighter, and a man obsessed with battling imagined devils. But there’s nothing imaginary about the young nurse found sexually assaulted and brutally murdered late one night after lights-out.
The police suspect an inmate, while patients whisper about visions of a white-shrouded “angel.” But the striking and mysterious prosecuting attorney who arrives to investigate has her own chilling theory—about the grim, telltale “signature” left on the victim’s body, a string of unsolved sex killings, and a very real devil who, by chance or design, has come to turn a madhouse into a slaughterhouse.
Now, with the past creeping back to haunt his thoughts, and nothing but a pencil and the bare walls of his bleak apartment, Francis surrenders to the overwhelming need to tell the story of those nightmarish days. But because the crime was never solved, it’s a story doomed to remain unfinished. Until, like Francis’s long-buried recollections, the killer resurfaces . . . with a vengeance.
A tour de force narrative journey through the eerily unpredictable mind of an utterly unusual hero, The Madman’s Tale will keep even the most astute thriller reader uncertain, unnerved, and unable to resist the tantalizing twists and turns of this fiendishly suspenseful shadow show.
A reporter is the only hope for an innocent man on death row for murder—while the real killer roams free—in this “riveting, provocative” thriller (Publishers Weekly).
When burnt-out Miami reporter Matt Cowart receives a letter from a death row inmate pleading his innocence, he is tempted to dismiss it. But as the newspaperman digs into the case of Robert Earl Ferguson, an African American given the death penalty for the brutal slaying of a white girl, he begins to believe that Ferguson is the real victim of hate and prejudice. And if he doesn’t act, the wrong man is going to be executed.
In the months that follow, Cowart’s investigative articles not only set Ferguson free, but make Cowart a celebrity and win him a Pulitzer Prize—and set in motion a new chain of unimaginable horror. For there is monster out there, and he is not through with killing. . . .
Includes a preface by the author
“Tense, exciting, and very, very real.” —The Detroit News
“A classic cat-and-mouse story.” —Orlando Sentinel
“Katzenbach is a skilled storyteller. . . . With admirable subtlety . . . [he] manages to address the disturbing issues of race and crime. . . . Powerful.” —Chicago Tribune
“The criminal mind, racial bias, journalistic ego and the flawed fabric of the American criminal justice system are potent raw materials for psychological suspense master Katzenbach.” —Publishers Weekly
“Terrific . . . His best book by far.” —Lawrence Block
The Wrong Man: A Novel
Scott Freeman is a man of reason–a college professor grounded in the rational and practical. But he becomes uneasy after finding an anonymous love letter hidden in his daughter’s room: “No one could ever love you like I do. No one ever will. We will be together forever. One way or another.” But the reality of Ashley’s plight far exceeds Scott’s worst suspicions.
One drink too many had led Ashley, a beautiful, bright art student, into what she thought was just a fling with a blue-collar bad boy. But now, no amount of pleading or reasoning can discourage his phone calls, ardent e-mails, and constant, watchful gaze.
Michael O’Connell is but a malignant shadow of a man. His brash, handsome features conceal a black and empty soul. Control is his religion. Cunning and criminal skill are his stock-in-trade. Rage is his language.
The harder Ashley tries to break free, the deeper Michael burrows into every aspect of her life, so she turns in desperation to her divorced parents and her mother’s new partner–three people still locked in a coldly civilized triangle of resentment. But their fierce devotion to Ashley is the common bond that will draw them together to face down a predator.
For Ashley’s family, it is a test of primal love that will drive them to the extreme edge–and beyond–in a battle of wills that escalates into a life-or-death war to protect their own.
From the bestselling master of suspense, John Katzenbach, The Wrong Man is an elegantly crafted and breathtakingly intense read that asks the question, “How far would you go to save the child you love?”
What Comes Next
One man infiltrates the dark web to stop a sadistic game: A Booklist 101 Best Crime Novels of the Past Decade, from the New York Times–bestselling author.
Adrian Thomas is a psychology professor whose career was spent delving into damaged minds. Diagnosed with a fatal degenerative disease that is causing hallucinations and stripping him of his memories, Adrian wants to end his life—until he sees a girl snatched off the street and dragged screaming into the back of a van. Dismissed as an unreliable witness, Adrian must act alone. He knows what he saw, but he has no idea how dark it’s going to get.
Out of the basement of their Massachusetts farmhouse, a sadistic husband and wife run a website called What Comes Next. A global audience of subscribers is tuning in to watch an ongoing nightmare inflicted in real time—and to cast their votes on the fate of the kidnappers’ latest catch. For victim Number Four, time is running out.
“An experience akin to riding the scariest roller coaster,” What Comes Next is a bold and timely thriller about what lurks within the depths of society’s most depraved minds (New York Journal of Books).
“Powerful . . . fiendish . . . This is an exceptional novel—and a most troubling one.” —The Washington Post
“Draw[s] you deeper and deeper into a chilling atmosphere of evil, darkness, and shadows.” —The Miami Herald
“[A] re-imagining of The Pit and the Pendulum for the digital age.” —Kirkus Reviews
A psycho turns fairy-tale endings into nightmares in this “vivid cat-and-mice game” from the New York Times–bestselling author (William Bayer, Edgar Award–winning author).
Karen is a lonely middle-aged doctor with a house in the woods. Sarah is a grief-stricken suburban widow who has turned to booze and barbiturates. Jordan is a directionless high school student and a child of divorce. They are three women with nothing in common but their red hair—until a stranger who calls himself the Big Bad Wolf sends each one the same chilling letter. Just like vulnerable Little Red Riding Hood, they are going to be stalked and killed—but in three distinct ways, in three different locations, all on the same fateful day.
The one thing this devious madman didn’t count on was the Reds discovering each other. When authorities refuse to help, Karen, Sarah, and Jordan band together. But as they discover their power in numbers, how far are they’re willing to go to beat the Wolf at his own game.
From the New York Times–bestselling author of Day of Reckoning comes a “twisted riff” on a Grimm tale (Publishers Weekly).
“Must read for thriller fans.”—Booklist, starred review
“Few writers of crime fiction seem to understand the criminal mind as well as Katzenbach.” —People
From the New York Times–bestselling author: “A powerful, obsessive novel of murder and madness” traveling cross-country (The New York Times).
Miami detective Mercedes Barren, recovering from a traumatic shooting, has transferred to the relative quiet of the forensics department to get her life back on track. Yet this peace is put on hold when she gets a wrenching phone call: Her niece, Susan, has become the latest victim of a fiendish serial killer. When a local man is apprehended, Mercedes is convinced he’s guilty of all the murders—except for Susan’s. She has reason to believe her niece’s killer is a copycat now heading across America, mapping out his next deadly moves.
To track him down, Mercedes enlists the help of his brother, Martin, a psychiatrist specializing in sex offenders. Now, they’re following a trail of victims on a terrifying road trip where the lines between predator and prey begin to blur as they accelerate toward a “genuinely shattering climax . . . of devastating horror and suspense” (The Washington Times).
“Daring and admirable . . . compulsive reading.” —Chicago Tribune
“[This] scary book seizes your interest rather than asks for it.” —The Daily Record (Baltimore)
“Nail-biting suspense.” —The Philadelphia Inquirer
Day of Reckoning
A nice New England family has a dark secret in this “superb exercise in suspense” from the New York Times–bestselling author (TheNew York Times Book Review).
Megan and Duncan Richards are no longer the radical activists they were in 1968. He’s a banker, and she works in real estate. They have a fine house, impeccable reputations, and three beautiful kids. Their past is safely stashed away until the day Duncan gets a call from the woman he’s spent decades trying to forget.
Once, he knew her as Tanya, the charismatic leader of Northern California’s militant Phoenix Brigade. She had orchestrated their last robbery—a catastrophe that ended in bloodshed and murder. While Megan and Duncan escaped to their new lives, Tanya wasn’t so lucky. She’s spent eighteen years in prison . . . eighteen years planning the perfect revenge on her deserters. Now she’s free, and there isn’t a soul Megan and Duncan can turn to for help.
What happens when a family is pushed to the brink? The answer “is the stuff of which parents’ nightmares—and well-crafted novels—are made” (The Atlanta Journal-Constitution).
“Day of Reckoning is dynamite.” —Chicago Tribune
“Gripping.” —The Washington Post
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