"Another Dark, Captivating Tale in Vermont's North Woods"
Reviewed by Katherine Petersen
Posted September 24, 2017
Thriller Serial Killer | Thriller Psychological
Eric Rickstad brings to life the northern woods of Vermont
in winter as much as any of his characters in his thrillers.
His stories star Sonja Test, a Canaan police detective and
Frank Rath, formerly of the Vermont state police as they
solve gory crimes that may or may not connect. Test and Rath
brim with character, each with his or her own demons or
obligations to fight.
Rickstad's most recent novel, THE NAMES OF DEAD GIRLS,
takes place immediately after the ending of THE SILENT
GIRLS. While it can stand on its own, the novel, and its
characters will have more depth if readers explore THE SILENT
Rath receives a phone call from Ned Preacher, a murderer who
played the system for an early prison release. Rath believes
Preacher intends to harm his college-age daughter, Rachel.
He rushes to her apartment after contacting the police to
find two officers and an empty apartment. Where is Preacher
and what does he have in mind.
Meanwhile, Test receives a phone call from Dana Clark's
daughter that she's late coming home. The daughter said her
mom mentioned a man near her in front of a closed store
where she'd stopped to find refuge and food from the fog
only to find it closed.
But these are just a few of the crimes in THE NAMES OF DEAD
GIRLS. Hunters find another body in the woods, and Test and
Rath pair up to find out who has done what and to whom.
Rickstad balances his points-of-view masterfully, keeping
the reader's interest as he slowly unravels the tale,
deftly moving from scene to scene just when one thinks one
can stop reading and take a break. But breaks are hard to
find In Rickstad's fast-paced psychological mysteries.
Fans of Greg Iles will appreciate Rickstad's blend of
crimes, twists and flawed characters and the ability to
immerse his characters in the landscapes and seasons of his
New York Times and USA Today bestselling
author Eric Rickstad delivers another Canaan Crime novel,
the electrifying sequel to The Silent Girls, and
features once again detectives Frank Rath and Sonja Test as
they track a depraved killer through rural Vermont.
Every murder tells a story. Some stories never end . . .
In a remote northern Vermont town, college student Rachel
Rath is being watched. She can feel the stranger’s eyes on
her, relentless and possessive. And she’s sure the man
watching her is the same man who killed her mother and
father years ago: Ned Preacher, a serial rapist and murderer
who gamed the system to get a light sentence. Now, he’s free.
Detective Frank Rath adopted Rachel, his niece, after the
shocking murder of her parents when she was a baby. Ever
since, Rath’s tried to protect her from the true story of
her parents’ deaths. But now Preacher is calling Rath to
torment him. He’s threatening Rachel and plotting cruelties
for her, of the flesh and of the mind. When other girls are
found brutally murdered, and a woman goes missing, Rath and
Detective Sonja Test must untangle the threads that tie
these new crimes and some long-ago nightmares together. Soon
they will learn that the truth is more perverse than anyone
could guess, rife with secrets, cruel desires, and warped,
Mesmerizing, startling, and intricately plotted, The
Names of Dead Girls builds relentlessly on its
spellbinding premise, luring readers into its dark and
macabre mystery, right to its shocking end.
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