loulamac’s #CBRV review #19: The Night Stalker by Chris Carter

Oh dear. This book isn’t very good. It’s not Cinderella’s Secret Diary kind of terrible, but it left me wishing I was reading a Patricia Cornwell novel, and I don’t like her stuff very much at all.

The Night Stalker (which sadly isn’t about the terrifying real-life serial killer) is the third book featuring LAPD Detective Robert Hunter, and has little to do with night or stalking, but that’s the least of its problems. It opens with an explosion during an autopsy on a murdered woman. The explosion has been caused by a hand grenade that was sewn into her before she was killed by some kind of sick, twisted serial killer. Yep, you guessed it, we’re in the world of a sick, twisted serial killer. This guy is abducting and killing beautiful successful women in gruesome and excruciating ways, and it’s down to Det Hunter to catch him. That’s about all there is to it, but it still manages to go on for 115 chapters. ONE HUNDRED AND FIFTEEN.

The writing is pretty lame, but I’ve read worse. The problem really comes with the plotting and characterisation. Detective Hunter is a tortured ex-child prodigy genius who is too intense to get close to anyone. Whatevs. At one point he ends up sharing clues with an extraordinarily beautiful and charismatic ex-hostage negotiator cop PI. If I can see how ridiculous that looks written down, then why couldn’t the novelist? When it became clear in the first few chapters that IDing the first victim is beyond the massed powers of the LAPD and coroners team because the explosion has destroyed her remains I nearly threw my Kindle in the swimming pool. Apparently you can’t get DNA from sloppy old explosion mush. Chris Carter could do with watching a bit more CSI. Which now that I’ve finished reading this rubbish is what I’m going to go and do.

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