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Thursday, March 7, 2013

The Stalker by Mack Tanner: Review

Recently I finished reading The Stalker by author Mack Tanner. I happened to pick up this book by chance at a local used-books store that I often frequent, and since the cover jacket sounded interesting, I thought I would give it a try. As I hadn’t heard about this book ever, I had no expectations, and in fact began reading it thinking if it had been worth picking up. I was sure to find out.

The plot is set through six different cities across the world, where strangely, six Americans are found murdered – hanging in the bathroom. While this is one common occurrence in all six deaths, there is another, extremely disturbing similarity in all these tragic incidents. What baffles all those investigating the deaths is whether these are tragic accidental deaths, planned suicides, or the work of an extremely sharp mind of that of a crazed serial killer. The FBI, the State Department, foreign police and the Horizon Insurance Company officials are at a dead end, trying to pool in their minds and resources to arrive at a conclusion and get that one clue that will let them make some headway. 

Here comes the protagonist of the novel, Jason Stalker, who is an ex-Marine sniper with fast instincts and intuitions, and is an expert at hunting the most crazy and deadliest of serial killers.

What I found extremely gripping about the book is that it demands your attention from the first page. You can read the first page of the book here.
As you discover the deaths, you become one with the crime scene investigators, trying to analyse all the evidence that you are presented with, trying to dissect them piece by piece and understand what could be that one thing out of all the knots that will help piece the puzzle. You try and reach at conclusions, feeling they are perfect, when suddenly, another new angle or death comes up, and there you go again! It’s almost like reaching the result and exclaiming in excitement that yes, you’ve solved it, when all goes back to square one and you are back at re-examining the entire scene and sequence of events that could have led to it.

The bigger thrill comes when Jason Stalker gives you an idea of what the game might be about. Is it a serial killer? If yes, what are the ways in which he/she is operating that leaves back no trace in so vast a killing spree that spans continents and borders? Along with the rest of the officers, you are taken inside the mind of the hunter and the man who hunts the hunter, in a page-turning game-hunt that you just can’t afford to keep down.

I finished this book in 2 days that too coz I had other work commitments and could not read it as fast as I wanted to. One hell of a book that I am glad I ended up picking.

Details about the book:
Title: The Stalker
Author: Mack Tanner
No. of Pages: 282
Published in the year: 1991
Publisher: Harper Paperbacks

- Debolina Raja Gupta