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Fan Mail (Sophie Anderson, #3) af P. D.…
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Fan Mail (Sophie Anderson, #3)

af P. D. Martin

Serier: Sophie Anderson (3)

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854253,081 (3.77)4
"Getting into a killer's mind is both a blessing and a curse for Aussie FBI profiler Sophie Anderson. The agent suffers through brutal premonitions in order to save lives. Now a resident of Los Angeles, Sophie is working on a case where fiction has become fatal. A popular crime writer is sexually mutilated, strangled and marked with an eerie lipstick kiss...just like the crime scene in the dead author's last book. As more writers are punished for their dark imaginations, there is a recurring theme--a chilling fan letter that arrives before each murder. In order to stop the slaughter, Sophie must delve into the writings of the dead authors. But the sinister mind behind the crimes is linked to an unsolved case from Sophie's past. And that person is determined to create a killer ending."--p. [4] of cover.… (mere)
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While it was fairly obvious whodunnit from about a third of the way in, this is still an enjoyable book to read. I really liked the main character, Sophie Anderson, and I found the concept of an FBI agent with clairvoyant tendencies intriguing. I also found the idea that a killer was targeting crime authors and using their books for inspiration to be quite interesting. Despite having guessed who the culprit was, I enjoyed watching the police as they struggled to piece together the evidence and come to the same conclusions as I did. This book isn't a masterpiece, but it is a fun read and well worth your time. ( )
  seldombites | Aug 8, 2013 |
In the third thriller to feature FBI profiler Sophie Anderson we’re taken to Los Angeles where best-selling crime writer Loretta Black is killed in a manner reflecting her newest book. Sophie, having just moved from the FBI’s Behavioural Science Unit to the LA field office, teams up with LA Police Detective Dave Sorrell to track down the killer. Realising that Black has received some rather nasty fan mail they concentrate on that angle quite early on. At the same time as this is playing out one of Sophie’s earlier cases is proceeding to its court phase in another state and there are some dramatic developments that take her attention from the present case at times.

This is probably one of the most realistic books I’ve read in terms of the way in which this kind of investigation might unfold. Unlike one of those TV crime shows, where each fingerprint or speck of dust leads speedily and miraculously to one of only two people on the planet who could possibly have ‘done it’, there are many dead ends, false leads and old fashioned follow-up here. It’s a really fine example of a modern procedural investigation and shows just how much painstaking work from dozens of experts is required for success. I will admit though that people who’ve read a lot of crime fiction might find the explanations of all the evidence collection theories and techniques a little repetitive (there can’t be too many fans of this genre that don’t know what Locard’s principle is for example) but it must be tough for an author to know how much prior knowledge of specialist subjects to include. The bonus side effect of focusing on the myriad of investigative approaches is that it allows the inclusion of lots of credible red herrings and plot twists in the story so you never quite know how it’s going to end.

Martin also does a solid job with her characters. Sophie has some psychic ability (normally a turn off for me) but it doesn’t take over her character and it’s quite fascinating to see how she is learning to accept and use her unique talent. Aside from that she and Dave Sorrell develop a decent working relationship over the course of this story and, again, it has a very realistic feel to its growth as the two feel each other out. The minor characters, including early suspects and the various crime lab experts are also nicely depicted.

My slight criticism of this book is the continuing thread that began in The Murderer’s Club. Apart from relying quite heavily on information from that book for at least one thread of this one, if you haven’t read The Murderer’s Club before Fan Mail you won’t be able to go back and read it because lots of the plot twists and information about the culprits are given away here. And the hint at the end of this book that we’ll hear from a key person behind The Murderer’s Club in future made my heart a little heavy. I think the idea of criminal mastermind being obsessed with a single investigator has been done to death (It’s one of the main things that prompted me to give up both Patricia Cornwell’s Kay Scarpetta series and James Patterson’s Alex Cross novels) and I’d be annoyed if this series takes that kind of turn. However I’ll cross my fingers and will definitely read the next one in this series some time soon (it’s already sitting in Mt TBR). ( )
  bsquaredinoz | Mar 31, 2013 |
Australian-born FBI profiler, Sophie Anderson, returns for her third thrilling case. She has moved to LA to further her experiences and hasn't even finished unpacking when she is called in to investigate a new serial killer. Just before she left Virginia a crime novelist,Loretta Black, visited the FBI academy at Quantico as research for her next novel. Now she has turned up dead - killed and posed exactly as the victim in her latest book. All too quickly another author is discovered murdered by the same theme - the way the victim was dispatched in her book. Sophie and homicide detective Dave Sorrell realise they have a serial killer on their hands.

What Sorrell doesn't realise is that Sophie has a unique talent that she is keeping a secret. She has visions of the crimes she is working on. These visions sometimes put her in the role of the killer, other times as the victim or as an observer. She hasn't had any control over them but is starting to train herself to use them as a potentially tool to assist her in solving her cases. Don't think that this brings a 'paranormal' element into the story. These visions take second stage to the investigation and are not the focus. Sophie Anderson is first and foremost an investigator.

FAN MAIL starts where MURDERER'S CLUB leaves off - and there is some information revealed in FAN MAIL that causes me to recommend that the books are read in sequence.

Sophie is growing as a character. So many series have the main character remaining much the same book after book after book. PD Martin has managed to avoid this with Sophie and it is really wonderful to visit and old friend and learn more about her. ( )
  sally906 | Jan 31, 2009 |
Sophie Anderson is a Melbourne profiler who featured in two earlier titles BODY COUNT and THE MURDERER'S CLUB. What makes Sophie stand out from the rest is her sixth sense which gives her visions, particularly images, related to the cases she is working on. Sometimes she sees events from the point of view of the perpetrator, sometimes from that of the victim. The visions are usually accompanied by dizziness, and can sometimes be triggered intentionally, but more often than not occur without warning. Sophie has been working for the FBI at Quantico and is now moving to the American West Coast so that she can get more "in the field" work. Only one person that Sophie has worked with knows of her visions. It is not something she generally wants her colleagues to be aware of.

She thinks her "visions" may come more reliably, or that she will be able to channel her abilities, if she can visit the scene of the crime. Her current role in the Behavioral Analysis Unit at Quantico is very desk bound, hence the transfer to the FBI agency in Los Angeles.

On her last day at Quantico Sophie is asked to conduct a tour for a novelist who writes rather gruesome crime novels with detailed crime scenes, but now the novelist has been found murdered - by someone who has copied the method from her latest novel. So begins Sophie’s first case with Los Angeles FBI Agency. She quickly finds out that there has been an earlier case – someone is killing crime fiction writers and using their own scenarios as a blueprint.

FAN MAIL takes up where THE MURDERERS' CLUB, the previous title in this series, left off. There is no doubt in my mind that, despite back-fill given by the author, the reader is in a better position to appreciate the continuity by having read the earlier title. Make no mistake though, the reader can treat FAN MAIL as a stand-alone, but I think Martin is on dangerous ground here if she stretches the threads in the series too far. She will need to decide whether, in future books, she expects readers to have read previous titles in the series, or just how important the back-fill is to the understanding of the current action.

I feel that PD Martin has come a long way in a short time in her skill as a writer. She is obviously increasing her understanding of the field with considerable research, and at the same time her control of the threads of the stories is very masterful. I thoroughly enjoyed FAN MAIL and look forward to the next in the series.

PD Martin lives in Melbourne, Australia and developed a passion for crime fiction and story telling at an early age. This interest was backed up with formal education through a Bachelor of Behavioural Sciences (with majors in psychology and criminology) and a Postgraduate Certificate in Professional Writing (creative writing).
Website: http://www.pdmartin.com.au ( )
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"Getting into a killer's mind is both a blessing and a curse for Aussie FBI profiler Sophie Anderson. The agent suffers through brutal premonitions in order to save lives. Now a resident of Los Angeles, Sophie is working on a case where fiction has become fatal. A popular crime writer is sexually mutilated, strangled and marked with an eerie lipstick kiss...just like the crime scene in the dead author's last book. As more writers are punished for their dark imaginations, there is a recurring theme--a chilling fan letter that arrives before each murder. In order to stop the slaughter, Sophie must delve into the writings of the dead authors. But the sinister mind behind the crimes is linked to an unsolved case from Sophie's past. And that person is determined to create a killer ending."--p. [4] of cover.

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