Norman, Hilary

Sam Becket
Mind Games Mind Games (1999)
On the face of it, the double murder of Arnold and Marie Robbins looks just like another brutal Miami Beach killing - except that Cathy, their daughter, is lying between them. She is blood-soaked and in deep shock, but alive. Has she survived only to face murder charges?
Last Run Last Run (2007)
From Publishers Weekly
British author Norman makes up for a pedestrian start with a mind-blowing ending in this sequel to 1999's Mind Games that brings back Sam Becket, an African-American homicide detective; Becket's wife, child psychologist Grace Lucca; and their adopted daughter, Cathy. After someone viciously bludgeons janitor Rudolph Muller to death on a Miami beach, a crime accompanied by some bestial howls of rage that sounded less than human, Becket takes on the case. Soon other victims surface, both in and out of Becket's jurisdiction, but the main suspect proves to be disturbingly close to home: ambitious rookie cop Teresa Suarez, the attractive but obsessed girlfriend of Becket's younger brother, Saul. Despite merely adequate prose, Norman pulls off the rare feat of unveiling the killer mid-book, maintaining tension and suspense by revealing an unexpected but logical plot twist. Her fearless willingness to kill off sympathetic characters and explore the dark side of the human psyche should earn her some new fans. (Jan.)
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.
Caged by Hilary NormanCaged (2010)
From Publishers Weekly While Norman's lame fourth Sam Becket mystery thriller (after Shimmer) offers an original murder method (a serial killer glues together the couples he slays by the genitals), practically everything else in the book is derivative. Becket, an African-American detective in Miami Beach, Fla., has a supporting cast James Patterson's Alex Cross would find familiar, including a psychologist wife able to contribute to his work, a toddler son, and a 22-year-old adopted daughter. When the nude, glued corpses of newlyweds Suzy and Michael Easterman turn up under a large plastic dome on an art gallery's lawn and more killings fitting this pattern follow, Becket goes on a long-planned vacation cruise with his spouse, despite a public frenzy. Less than coherent prose ("Because even in a jurisdiction as civilized as Miami Beach, a Violent Crimes detective all too often had to deal with madness and evil") and a small pool of viable suspects don't help.
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

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