A murderer is stalking the streets of St Louis, and the only thing linking his victims is a system of special nightlines used by the phone company to test equipment. Lonely people use them to make contact with one another—but these people are dying.
[A short story.]
A dark, compelling suspense story that reveals a surprising insight into the background of Homicide Detective Frank Quinn, the popular continuing character of John Lutz's serial-killer thrillers.
John Lutz's work includes political suspense, private eye novels, urban suspense, humor, occult, crime caper, police procedural, espionage, historical, futuristic, amateur detective, thriller; virtually every mystery sub-genre. He is the author of more than forty novels and over 200 short stories and articles. His novels and short fiction have been translated into almost every language and adapted for almost every medium. He is a past president of both Mystery Writers of America and Private Eye Writers of America. Among his awards are the MWA Edgar, the PWA Shamus, The Trophee 813 Award for best mystery short story collection translated into the French language, the PWA Life Achievement Award, and the Short Mystery Fiction Society's Golden Derringer Lifetime Achievement Award. He is the author of two private eye series, the Nudger series, set in St. Louis, Missouri, and the Carver series, set in Florida, as well as many non-series novels. His SWF SEEKS SAME was made into the hit movie SINGLE WHITE FEMALE, starring Bridget Fonda and Jennifer Jason Leigh, and his novel THE EX was made into the HBO original movie of the same title, for which he co-authored the screenplay. When Lutz isn't writing, he's reading, following baseball, dining out with friends, or going to movies or plays.
Mystery writer Lutz ( Time Exposure ) here offers a contemporary horror tale that few readers will be able to put down. Things begin to fall apart for computer consultant Allie Jones when she discovers that her live-in lover, investment broker Sam Rawson, has strayed. After throwing him out, she needs a new roommate to help pay the rent. A discreet newspaper advertisement brings in Hedra Carlson, a mousy young woman who quickly begins to idolize and imitate her. A quiet air of menace develops, enhanced by Lutz's simple, direct prose. Is Hedra literally stealing Allie's life? Is Sam, who pleads his way back into her affections, really faithful this time? Is the aspiring young playwright who lives upstairs as open and supportive as he seems? And who is behind the spate of obscene telephone calls from men who seem to know her by name--perhaps a sleazy client after her body as well as her computer expertise? The ensuing violence leaves Allie alone, friendless and a fugitive. Although marred by its fairly pat conclusion, this psychological thriller remains an enjoyable diversion.
New Orleans is off Alo Nudger's beaten path; the St. Louis private detective likes the comforts of home. But he also loves jazz and when he's given a round-trip ticket to the Crescent City by legendary clarinetist Fat Jack McGee, who needs to talk to him, Nudger is willing to take a flyer. Fat Jack has a problem, maybe two: a singer named Ineida, whose father is a very important man in New Orleans, and a pianist named Hollister. Hollister plays the blues just fine, but there's something about him that disturbs Fat Jack. In fact, now that Hollister and the girl are an item, Fat Jack's scared. It doesn't take long before Nudger is, too...
For A Killer, Once Is Never EnoughHomicide detective Frank Quinn can't stay retired when a new breed of murdering madman is on the prowl. In a city terrorized by bloody brutality, Quinn and his team hunt a psychopath who lures beautiful women into a night of unbridled passion, then wakes them to a vicious, drawn-out death. Stumbling over a trail of horribly defiled bodies, Quinn can't seem to catch up to the killer--because the killer is about to catch up to him. . . "Lutz is in rare form."--The New York Times Book Review on Chill of Night "Gritty. . .Surprising. . .. Enthralling."--Publishers Weekly on In For the Kill "A dazzling tour de force."--St. Louis Post Dispatch on Chill of Night"Lutz knows how to make you shiver." --Harlan Coben