Sunday, August 23, 2009

The Night Monster-James Swain

The Night Monster
James Swain
Ballantine, Sep 15 2009, $26.00
ISBN: 9780345515469

When. Jack Carpenter was just two years on the force of Broward County’s Sheriff Department, he handled a 911 call of a woman being assaulted in her apartment at Sunny Isles. He kicked in the door only to have the huge assailant hammer him breaking his nose as the giant tells him no pigs at his party. He leaves with Naomi Dunn.

Eighteen years later that case remains cold except in Jack’s nightmares. No longer with the police after being forced out for beating up a suspect, the former head of Broward County Sheriff Department’s Missing Persons Unit still reads unsolved cases hoping to find an edge including the Dunn case in which the culprit was 6’10”, 300 pounds and the victim a second degree black belt who kicked out two of his teeth yet failed like Jack to stop him.

After wrestling with an alligator to rescue an autistic child, Jack gets a call from his daughter Jessie, who plays basketball at Florida State and is in town for a regional NCAA tournament game. She tells him about a stalking videographer who frightens her and her teammates with his persistence. He meets Mouse and Lonnie the giant who has haunted him all these years. This time the target is Sara Long, the Seminoles leading scorer. He failed once but vows not again to capture the killer.

In his incredibly fast-paced third case (see MIDNIGHT RAMBLER and NIGHT STALKER), private investigator Jack Carpenter refuses to allow a second abduction to haunt him like the first one still does. In spite of Lonnie nearly killing him a couple times and his frequent trips to the hospital, he refuses to quit. The help from Sara’s dad Karl and FBI friend, Ken Linderman (whose daughter was abducted), add to a terrific action-packed one sitting thriller.

Harriet Klausner

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