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The Killing Circle by Andrew Pyper (2009-10-09)

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  • PDF | Unknown pages
  • HarperCollins (1752)
  • Unknown
  • 5
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Review Text

  • By J. Lessl on February 15, 2009

    Excellent, and a very quick, engaging read. The first chapter clues you in to what you believe will be the end of the story. Not so fast, though, there are still surprises to come! I enjoyed the way this author wrote, reminded me somewhat of Stephen King's style. Wry witty dialogue, yet this IS a thriller, not black humor as some of the blurbs I've read would indicate. Clever concept, this "writer's" circle and the "story" that unfolds. I had no "oh no" moments, you know the kind, where the story takes a disappointing turn. I would recommend this book to any one who enjoys this genre and for those who are new to it.

  • By MaryAnn on April 5, 2013

    This story has several layers: the story of a writer who wants to be an author,who finds a writing circle to help with his writer's block, and it becomes a ghoststory without a ghost, which becomes a whodunit. The reader follows PatrickRush through a maze. An interesting read

  • By kylrobb from Canada on January 10, 2013

    It took me a while to get into the book. Not as good as I thought it would be. I like to "love a book and this didn't make the grade. Sorry

  • By Meg Brunner on September 8, 2012

    Patrick Rush is a single father who was recently demoted at his newspaper job from well-respected book reviewer to writer of a frivolous column called "The Couch Potato," all about painfully inane reality TV shows with exclamatory names like, Falling From Buildings! and Animals That Kill!Miserable at work, and grieving the still-fresh death of his wife, he decides it's time he look into pursuing one of the goals of his youth -- writing a novel. To that end, he joins a writing group he sees advertised in the local paper. Each group member spends a week writing something -- anything -- and then they meet to read their work aloud and get feedback from the others. After a few weeks spent struggling to get even the most banal prose down on paper, though, Patrick decides his life just hasn't been interesting enough. He has nothing to say, because nothing has ever happened to him. The old adage "write what you know" only works if you know something, he decides.Thankfully, nobody else in the group is producing anything good either, so Patrick continues to coast through each meeting, mostly hanging around out of curiosity for his fellow failed would-bes.Then he hears chapter one of Angela's story, and everything begins to shift.Angela is a young, pretty woman whose story is strange, scary, and engrossing. It's about a little girl stalked by a killer she describes only as "a terrible man who does terrible things," and later dubs "the Sandman." As Angela tells more and more of the tale, Patrick notices parallels between what she's writing and recent crimes reported in the news. Just as he's begun to suspect her story is more autobiographical than fictitious, members of the group start disappearing -- some found dead, others simply vanishing into thin air. Patrick, obsessed with both Angela and the Sandman, becomes convinced one of the group's members, a big, ugly guy who writes disturbing stories about killing animals, is the Sandman, and when someone starts following him and then Angela herself disappears, Patrick realizes his life has not only gotten interesting enough to turn into a book, the book it's turned into is "a bloody page-turner."This is a pretty entertaining little thriller, with an interesting running theme about the nature of stories and storytelling. By the end of the novel, it's hard to tell how much of the story we're hearing, narrated by Patrick, is actually true, and how much is simply a fictionalized version of his life -- not necessarily fictionalized on purpose. This is a common issue with memoirs, after all; no memoir is ever pure truth, right? Can we ever look at our life objectively enough to report only facts? And, maybe more importantly, should we even try?The writing here isn't anything special -- it's well-enough crafted but not stand-out - but the story was suspenseful enough to make me want to look for more by the author. Definitely recommended if you're in the mood for a dark little mystery.

  • By Bookreporter on November 17, 2008

    Holidays like Valentine's Day bring special pain to thirty-something widower Patrick Rush. After the death of his wife Tamara, their four-year-old son Sam is all he has left. At work, his job as a critic and television feature writer at Toronto's National Star doesn't bring much fulfillment to his life. In fact, he turns bitter and envious from writing about other people's creative accomplishments. What Patrick really wants to do is unleash his own creativity and write his own story.One evening, after Sam is safely tucked in for the night, Patrick heads down to his basement office, which Tamara called "the Crypt," and makes a phone call that will change his life. He digs out a slip of paper and dials the number in a classified ad that offers an intensive workshop facilitated by Conrad White, an obscure poet and novelist. He tells the voice on the other end, "I want to write a book."The atmosphere of the writers' circle, which meets for five Tuesdays in the Kensington Market area of Toronto, is dark and mysterious. The circle is limited to Conrad and seven members --- Patrick, Petra, Len, Angela, Ivan, Evelyn and William --- who round out the odd assortment of people drawn together by their desire to share the stories of their lives. Yet Patrick, the published writer, seems to have nothing to share because there are some internal demons he doesn't want to unleash.Patrick is especially envious when he hears Angela read from her journal about the Sandman, who lurks in the shadows waiting to attack and destroy. While Patrick sits listening to Angela tell her story, he records her words.As weeks progress and circle members share their stories, the city of Toronto is plagued by a serial killer who is striking close to Patrick's home. Sam has nightmares about a man, "a bad man," in the house across the street. They sound eerily similar to events in Angela's story, and Patrick can't escape the feeling that his house is being watched and he is being stalked. After the circle has ended, the murders in his neighborhood stop.Several years later, Patrick has achieved success, fame and fortune. He also experiences a parent's worst nightmare when his beloved son is abducted. To find Sam, Patrick undertakes a journey to uncover the root of the evil that's been lurking in the background of their lives.THE KILLING CIRCLE is a dark, chilling and haunting tale of ambition, envy and the evil that lurks among us, complete with breathtaking twists and turns that will keep readers guessing until the end. --- Reviewed by Donna Volkenannt


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