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The dead student di John Katzenbach
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The dead student (edizione 2015)

di John Katzenbach

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901240,820 (3.08)4
Timothy Warner, a PhD student who goes by the nickname "Moth," wakes up on his ninety-ninth day of sobriety with an intense craving for drink. He asks his uncle Ed, a former alcoholic and now successful psychiatrist, to meet him at an AA meeting later that day. When Ed doesn't show up, Moth bikes to his office and discovers a grisly scene -- his uncle lying in a pool of blood, shot through the temple. The police pronounce the death a suicide, but Moth refuses to believe that his uncle would take his own life. Devastated and confused, he calls on the only person he thinks he can trust: Andrea Martine, an ex-girlfriend he has not spoken to in years. Each battling their inner demons, Moth and Andy travel into dark, unfamiliar territory, intent on finding out the truth about Ed's death and circling ever closer to a devious mind that will flinch at nothing to achieve his own goal of revenge.… (altro)
Utente:JillMcKiernan
Titolo:The dead student
Autori:John Katzenbach
Info:New York : The Mysterious Press, an imprint of Grove/Atlantic, Inc., [2015]
Collezioni:La tua biblioteca
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The Dead Student di John Katzenbach

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You can rely on John Katzenbach to turn out a gripping psychological thriller, and this is no exception. The bad guy easily steals the show. This sociopathic stalker has been taking slo-mo revenge on the classmates who betrayed him decades ago. He’s smart, single-minded and assured – exactly the opposite of the young people who find themselves opposing him…

Timothy, the novel’s hero, is a shambles. He has very little going for him – and what little he has is yanked away when his uncle and AA sponsor seemingly commits suicide. Moth doesn’t believe the official verdict that his uncle deliberately bit a bullet. So begins his ramshackle amateur investigation into the death, one which will expose an old ex-girlfriend (who is in a pretty shaky psychological state herself) and a cocaine-addicted, deeply conflicted DA to the unwanted attention of a cold-blooded and extremely accomplished killer.

The writing is clean and crisp and the book is perfectly paced. The protagonists feel real; they’re a bit flaky, fairly incompetent at being criminals, and can’t quite be relied upon to do the right thing. The back story and the villain’s internal monologue are gradually revealed without interrupting the mounting sense of menace. The trail of breadcrumbs through the central mystery is well laid and stands up to subsequent scrutiny (unlike many thrillers where none of it makes a whit of sense once you’ve reached the end). The character of Dr Hogan is utterly excellent. Katzenbach has a knack for exploring the muddy waters of the human psyche, exposing the deep-seated pathologies which bring credibility to his killers.

I would have preferred to spend much more time with the analytical thinker, Dr Hogan, than with the impulsive and less intellectually rewarding younger trio. Hogan could easily have been a more fulfilling ‘hero’ – saving the day through rational deduction and psychological insight. Similarly, I felt that the girlfriend’s story was short-changed. She’s suffering her own emotional angst after terminating a pregnancy… and that could’ve been given much more weight if without the date-rape aspect.

So it felt to me as if there were a couple of points when this story could’ve been given more emotional heft and intellectual integrity, although it would take the narrative into dangerous territory for any commercial publisher. Instead it plays safe at the ‘coming of age’ end of the spectrum, where young people discover the depth of their convictions, relationships and responsibilities.

Even so, The Dead Student is a thoroughly enjoyable, solidly constructed and easily absorbed psychological thriller. It’s engaging and entertaining, and delivers plenty of tense entertainment.
7/10

There's more about this and other thrillers at
https://murdermayhemandmore.wordpress.com/2016/02/17/the-dead-student-stylish-ps... ( )
  RowenaHoseason | Jun 22, 2016 |
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Timothy Warner, a PhD student who goes by the nickname "Moth," wakes up on his ninety-ninth day of sobriety with an intense craving for drink. He asks his uncle Ed, a former alcoholic and now successful psychiatrist, to meet him at an AA meeting later that day. When Ed doesn't show up, Moth bikes to his office and discovers a grisly scene -- his uncle lying in a pool of blood, shot through the temple. The police pronounce the death a suicide, but Moth refuses to believe that his uncle would take his own life. Devastated and confused, he calls on the only person he thinks he can trust: Andrea Martine, an ex-girlfriend he has not spoken to in years. Each battling their inner demons, Moth and Andy travel into dark, unfamiliar territory, intent on finding out the truth about Ed's death and circling ever closer to a devious mind that will flinch at nothing to achieve his own goal of revenge.

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