Psychopath by Keith Ablow

July 22, 2003
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A Novel
Keith Ablow

St. Martin's Press
July 2003
Hardcover/336 pages
ISBN: 0-312-26671-5
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". . . an engrossing psychological suspense novel with a struggling hero worth cheering for and one of the most fascinating villains ever penned."

"A brutal series of killings is terrorizing the nation."

"Be prepared to finish this book in one sitting . . ."

Hold my hand, look into my heart, let me see into yours. Unearth my demons and help me exorcise them from my soul . . .



A brutal series of killings is terrorizing the nation. The Highway Killer slashes his victims'' throats without any apparent struggle on their parts and then respectfully disposes of their bodies with their effects nearby for easy identification. There is no apparent pattern in his choice of victims. They are male and female, all races, ages and types. Worse yet, there is no way to determine when and where he will kill next.

Enter forensic psychiatrist Frank Clevenger. Clevenger most recently solved the high profile murder case of a brutal, rich man''s infant daughter, then adopted the rich man''s traumatized teenage son, Billy. Clevenger wants to stay close to home with Billy, but the FBI is adamant that he join their team to break open the Highway Killer case. About this time, Billy is thrown out of prep school for dealing (and using) drugs.

And then the Highway Killer starts writing impassioned pleas for help to Clevenger which are published on the front page of the New York Times. The media is buzzing about Clevenger constantly now. In spite of the high price he knows he''ll pay in his personal life, Clevenger struggles with walking away from the case. And the involvement of the brilliant and beautiful FBI psychiatrist, Whitney McCormick, in the case only makes it that more irresistible to him.

Psychopath is an engrossing psychological suspense with a struggling hero worth cheering for and one of the most fascinating villains ever penned. Ablow does an excellent job delving deep into the twisted mind of Dr. Jonah Wrens. Jonah, a psychiatrist himself, truly wants to be healed, but he cannot stop the pounding in his head and the lust for his victims'' blood. A "psychic vampire" of sorts, Jonah needs to "feel the pain" of his victims'' dysfunctional lives in order to feel complete. And if someone should hold back vital information from him? That''s where the hunting knife comes in handy.

As Clevenger faces his own demons of past drug abuse and gambling problems, openly admitting them in his response letters on the front page of the Times, he recognizes how much he and the Highway Killer have in common. When the pieces start to fall together for both, Jonah''s long struggle for healing can begin. But will the Highway Killer be caught before someone close to Clevenger dies? Be prepared to finish this book in one sitting to find out.

Reviewer: Cindy Appel


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