William Diehl Show of Evil

ISBN 13: 9780099429425

Show of Evil

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9780099429425: Show of Evil

When Linda Balfour, a young mother, is found butchered in small-town southern Illinois, a coded inscription stamped in blood on the back of her head brands her mutilated body. For Chief Prosecutor Martin Vail, the Bloody insignia drags up memories he'd like to forget - memories of Bishop Rushman, slashed and dismembered ten years ago by an altar boy, Aaron Stampler. But if Stampler is locked away, he cannot have murdered Linda. With his career - and his life - on the line, Vail needs answers fast before the killer signs someone else's life away.

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From the Publisher:

I rediscovered William Diehl when I was interviewing for an editorial position here at Ballantine. In researching Ballantine authors, I came across the book 'Primal Fear'. While I had loved the movie, I had not read the book and had no idea that there were two sequels ('Show of Evil' and 'Reign in Hell') featuring the enigmatic Aaron Stampler and Martin Vail characters. I bought all three books on the spot and spent a wonderful weekend immersed in the cat and mouse game between attorney and killer. After completing the trilogy, I fell in love with Bill Diehl on the spot---my only disappointment was in discovering that he wasn't planning on any future novels featuring Vail (who he had actually killed off in his original draft of 'Reign in Hell').

By reading all three of the books within a short period, I was able to see the metamorphosis of the characters over their lifespan: The maturation of Vail as he moved from the role of defense attorney, to prosecutor, and finally to Attorney General; and the increasingly cunning psychosis of Stampler, who evolved from an angry youth guilty of a vengeful murder into a revolutionary zealot with the lives of hundreds in his hands.

Unlike a lot of sequels that just rehash a similar series of events with a few minute changes, this one takes all of your assumptions and turns them upside down, resulting in a completely unexpected read.

From the Inside Flap:

"Spine-tingling" said the New York Times of William Diehl's Primal Fear, the national bestseller about brilliant defense attorney Martin Vail and the psychotic murderer he saves from execution. Now, in Diehl's spellbinding new novel, Vail has become Chicago's chief prosecutor, the man with the power to tear down enemies in high places. But he must also confront his worst legal nightmare--a nightmare that he, himself, helped to create.
It begins with a shocking, unsolved murder: a young mother named Linda Balfour is butchered in a small town in southern Illinois, and no one can turn up a single lead. But then, months later, a tiny crack opens up in the case. By a stroke of pure chance, an investigator in the Chicago D.A.'s office discovers that Linda Balfour died with a coded inscription printed in blood on the back of her head. It is the exact combination of letters and numbers that was found on the head of Bishop Rushman, the beloved Chicago clergyman who had been slashed and dismembered years before by an angelic-looking altar boy named Aaron Stampler. The same Aaron Stampler whom Vail saved from the electric chair.
For the past ten years, Stampler has been locked away in a high security institution for the criminally insane, with no access to the outside world. So how could he have killed Linda Belfour? And then another altar boy turns up dead--with a similar inscription in blood on the back of his head.
If Aaron Stampler isn't committing these killings, who is? Martin Vail's career--maybe even his life--hangs in the balance....
In one bestseller after another, William Diehl has dazzled readers and critics with his riveting plots. But nothing Diehl has written before will prepare his fans for the explosive suspense of Show of Evil. Filled with unforgettable characters, crackling with the energy and hustle of Chicago, shocking in its insights into the mind of a psychotic killer, Show of Evil is Diehl at the peak of his powers.

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