Saturday, November 5, 2011 on A Killer's Essence

Dave Zeltserman is arguably better known to literary critics and to fellow authors than he is to the public at large, which is puzzling. His output is steady and consistently strong. Best of all, his books have the potential to appeal to even casual fans of the mystery and thriller genres. His style and topics are meaty and accessible. Read the first page of any one of his books, and you will keep reading until the tale is told; read one of his books, and you will want to read them all. Part of the reason for this is that while Zeltserman deals with issues pertaining to crime in all of its manifestation, his stories also concern themselves with the affairs and situations of everyday living that are important yet often hobble us in the course of completing tasks that are (or seem to be) life-or-death matters.

So it is that A KILLER’S ESSENCE, Zeltserman’s latest effort, concerns itself with the hunt for a serial killer in New York, and much, much more. It is told in the world-weary voice of Stan Green, a New York City police detective who is driven and dedicated, possibly too much so. Green is assigned to a case involving the brutal mutilation and murder of a middle-aged woman on a bustling street in broad daylight. There is a witness to the crime, who, interestingly enough, is unable to describe the killer. Green is saddled with a superior who is never satisfied, even with the best work. There is no succor for Green at home, either. He is living with a high-maintenance girlfriend named Bambi (who, he hastens to tell us, is neither a stripper nor an escort); to be fair, she is asked to put up with a lot. His children live with his ex-wife and her new husband out of state, and his promises to them are more broken than fulfilled.

You can read the entire review here.

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