September 2013

Chris Carter - One By One

"...a fantastic read from a great author."

Detective Robert Hunter of the LAPD's Homicide Special Section receives an anonymous call asking him to go to a specific web address - a private broadcast. Hunter logs on and a show devised for his eyes only immediately begins. But the caller doesn't want Detective Hunter to just watch, he wants him to participate, and refusal is simply not an option. Forced to make a sickening choice, Hunter must sit and watch as an unidentified victim is tortured and murdered live over the Internet.

The LAPD, together with the FBI, use everything at their disposal to electronically trace the transmission down, but this killer is no amateur, and he has covered his tracks from start to finish. And before Hunter and his partner Garcia are even able to get their investigation going, Hunter receives a new phone call. There is a new website address and a new victim. But this time the killer has upgraded his game into a live murder reality show, where anyone can cast the deciding vote.

Chris Carter mixes gruesome murders, technology and the general public's fascination of reality TV to deliver a book with familiar characters but an inventive plot.

Not only does 'One By One' involve the phenomena of people wanting to 'vote' on the fate of others, this book also looks at human behaviour - and would people, in real life, really want to sit at their computer and watch another person be murdered? I feel that possibly Carter has correctly shown the actions of the majority. Whilst the killings are some of the most horrific used in a book, once the killer is revealed, I did feel some empathy and understanding towards their actions.

'One By One' introduces some new characters, all of whom work well with the existing ones. I would like to see in future books within this series, more depth and some history for Hunter, giving some reasoning as to why he is as he is. Other than that, a fantastic read from a great author.

Reviewed by: H.A.

CrimeSquad Rating:

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