This is probably one of the best psychological thrillers I have read this year. I can't say that I enjoyed it - how can you enjoy a story about a serial killer who not only enjoys killing but gets a kick out of torture before death and dismemberment of the body before and after death.
A freak accident when an elderly man has a heart attack and crashes into a parked car opens the trunk containing a couple of savagely tortured heads. When the police arrest the owner of the car, Liam Shaw, he refuses to tell them anything.
When the case is handed over to the FBI, the apprehended man asks to talk to Robert Hunter who is now lead detective with the Ultra Violent Crime Unit of the LAPD. Hunter soon discovers that Liam Shaw is his college room-mate Lucien Folter, a former PhD student in Criminal Psychology. Liam Shaw died many years ago and Lucien had taken his identity.
Hunter is partnered by FBI Special Agent Courtney Taylor and they soon realise that Lucien may be a serial killer who has been kidnapping, torturing and mutilating victims across the US for at least 25 years. Lucien is a dark and intelligent killer who soon gets Hunter and Taylor caught up in a clever web of intrigue as he plays a clever cat-and-mouse game with them which they must join if they are to find all the hidden and vicious secrets. Lucien keeps psychological control by slowly giving out clues to his dark world and his many victims. Hunter soon finds that Lucien's dark world has had an enormous impact on his personal world.
This is a chilling study of an intelligent, manipulative, and psychopathic personality. What is even more chilling is that Lucien may have documented his feelings about what he has done in an "Encyclopedia of Evil".
This is certainly not a book for the faint hearted or squeamish as the body count climbs to unspeakable levels. It is a heart-thumping and compelling and absorbing story about a totally evil person.