Review: When a woman is found mutilated and murdered on a boat, the police believe she is one of two women recently reported missing. Fearing they might have a serial killer on their hands, they begin their investigation by learning what their common bond might have been, in The Creeper, a novel of suspense by Tania Carver.
It isn't long before a connection is made, and there's more than one. Both women worked at a local hospital, and both had at one time dated the same man, a student at the university associated with the hospital. When a third woman goes missing, with the same connections, the investigating team redoubles their efforts to identify the killer.
There is very little to capture the reader's imagination in The Creeper. The characters aren't very engaging or memorable, the plotline completely predictable. The "who-is-it" element may be of mild interest to some, but even he — the titular character — is straight out of central casting, with little more than his horrific appearance to distinguish him from dozens of other serial killers populating thrillers today. (To be fair, there is a slight variation in theme here, but it's nothing that readers won't have figured out long before the police do.) One scene that spans several chapters, which does merit mention, is when the police are interrogating a suspect; the teamwork between the officer in the room and the profiler, the wife of another cop watching from another room, makes for a riveting experience.
The book is quite long, too long at over 400 pages, but the frequently short paragraphs comprised of short, choppy sentences do make for fast reading. The fact that much of what is written is so familiar also speeds things along. It is possibly best suited for train or subway commutes and the like, where one must quickly be able to bookmark a page on a moment's notice … and not mind doing so.
Acknowledgment: Pegasus Books provided an ARC of The Creeper for this review.
Review Copyright © 2012 — Hidden Staircase Mystery Books — All Rights Reserved
Location(s) referenced in The Creeper: England
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The Creeper by Tania Carver
Publisher: Pegasus Crime
Publication Date: August 2012
List Price: $25.95