An Evil Mind by Chris Carter
Publication date: 31 July 2014
Publisher: Simon & Schuster
Length: 496 pages
Age group: Adult
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Buy it: Amazon UK | The Book Depository
A freak accident in rural Wyoming leads the Sheriff’s Department to arrest a man for a possible double homicide, but further investigations suggest a much more horrifying discovery – a serial killer who has been kidnapping, torturing and mutilating victims all over the United States for at least twenty-five years. The suspect claims he is a pawn in a huge labyrinth of lies and deception – can he be believed?
The case is immediately handed over to the FBI, but this time they’re forced to ask for outside help. Ex-criminal behaviour psychologist and lead Detective with the Ultra Violent Crime Unit of the LAPD, Robert Hunter, is asked to run a series of interviews with the apprehended man. These interviews begin to reveal terrifying secrets that no one could’ve foreseen, including the real identity of a killer so elusive that no one, not even the FBI, had any idea he existed … until now.
Having read most of his books in literally one sitting, I think it’s safe to say that whatever Chris Carter writes I fall in love with within seconds. An Evil Mind wasn’t any different. Although it’s very different from anything he’s written before, it’s just as tense and captivating as his other novels – but in a completely different way.
In case you’re not familiar with his writing, his previous books were famous for being of the nail-shredder, race-against-time variety and being on the gorier side. I enjoyed every second of every story but they were not for the faint-hearted. All his books featured various serial killers on the loose and Detective Robert Hunter trying to chase them down. So how is this book different, then? In An Evil Mind, the killer is already in FBI custody. We already know who he is and the fact that he’s guilty. What we don’t know is how many people he killed, who they are, and why he did it. All we know is that he knows Robert and refuses to talk to anyone else. So, once again, it’s up to Hunter to put the pieces together and figure out if Lucien is telling the truth and whether he has any other tricks up his sleeve.
Other than the fact that Carter’s writing is brilliant, I had absolutely no idea what to expect from this book. I don’t think I’ve ever read a book where you know who the killer is right from the start (solving the mystery alongside the detective is part of the fun, right?) so I was intrigued by the premise of Carter’s novel. It was definitely a pleasant surprise.
It might not be as terrifying as One by One was, for example, but it’s chilling on an entirely different level. Lucien, our main character and the killer in question, is incredibly smart. He reads people and their reactions like a book. He knows the FBI are looking for answers and they’re quickly running out of time so he know he’s running the show. And all the while, you have this feeling that it’s not going to end well.
Through each questioning we learn more and more about both Lucien and Robert and our sense of unease is constantly growing. You have no idea what could happen, what could go wrong (he might be a serial killer but he’s locked up in the FBI’s safest cell, for the love of God), but you have a feeling that something is about to happen. Soon.
I love the fact that An Evil Mind is Carter’s sixth book and we still learn new things about Robert (who’s probably one of my favourite main characters ever) and his past. I think there’s so much more to him that we don’t know yet and I do hope there will be another book in the series so that we can find out. The only person I missed from the book is Hunter’s work partner Garcia because the two of them have such a great chemistry, but it didn’t make the story any less fantastic.
There are so many other things I could say but I want you to experience Robert Hunter’s world without any hints or spoilers. The one thing I will say, though, is this. If you haven’t read any of the books in the series, you need to pick them up. They will keep you on the edge of your seat until the last moment and keep you guessing throughout the story.
An Evil Mind is yet another captivating piece from a favourite writer of mine – something that is guaranteed to grab you on the first page and keep you in its grasp until the very last sentence. In short? It could be the next Silence of the Lambs. Utterly brilliant and spine-chilling, highly recommended!