The Chosen Child, Graham Masterton (Forge)

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This thriller, first published in Europe in 1997, finds the veteran horror novelist equally at home in the crime genre. A particularly vicious serial killer appears to be terrorizing Warsaw, and police detective Stefan Rej reluctantly teams up with Sarah Leonard, an aggressive corporate executive, to find the culprit. It’s not a particularly original premise–the odd couple sleuthing team has been done a thousand times before–but Masterton gives it freshness. His setting is unique (When was the last time you read a thriller set in Warsaw?), his killer is gruesomely fascinating, and his storytelling is visceral and graphic. There is, of course (Masterson’s fans will expect this), a hint of the supernatural, just enough to give the proceedings a suitable eerie feel. A rousingly good thriller, effectively mixing horror and mystery elements, from a popular writer.

This review originally appeared in Booklist, November 2000.

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