Simon & Schuster UK | July 2017 | 496 pgs
Source: Library

The Caller is the eighth book of Chris Carter's Robert Hunter series and I've to say it works well as a stand-alone since I've not read any of the previous installments yet this book provides enough background of our lead character, Detective Robert Hunter of the LAPD Homicide Special Section, which deals solely with serial and high-profile homicide cases. 

The story opens with a horrific crime whereby the murderer has his victim tied to a chair as he makes a video call to the victim's best friend. The rules of his game is simple: answer two of his questions correctly and the victim's life would be spared. The questions aren't that hard as it involves the victim, but the murderer has done his homework beforehand and knew that his questions would stump his target. Not only that, he is vicious to an extent that any wrong answer or refusal to answer or watch the video would result a punishment to the victim. Karen Ward died because Tanya Kaitlin didn't know her best friend's cellphone number. With the convenience of speed dial function and our reliance on it, people would seldom commit to remember the numbers unless necessarily and the murderer knew Tanya's weakness through the social media platform, which is another way to find people's profile and status easily if one is careless with his security setting. 

Before Hunter and his assistant, Carlos Garcia, have found anything surrounding Karen's murder, the murderer has moved on to his second target, then the third in a span of five days. Each victim died terribly and like Tanya, the victims' friend or family members are forced to witness the death of their loved ones after failing to answer the murderer's questions. The murders were brutal and were described explicitly so it is not for the faint of heart. 

While it wasn't easy to read through these parts, I've to say this story was fast-paced and very suspenseful as I raced through the book and wondered how Hunter and Garcia would hunt down this monster without any clues since he was clever and was always careful when evidence traces are concerned. The author has done a great job in fleshing out the characters (in particularly the murderer and Robert Hunter) as well as exploring the psychopath's state of mind and Hunter's profession through his expertise in criminal psychology. While it was satisfying to see there was justice towards the end of story, it was also sad to learn about the murderer's past and what drove him to insanity (not a spoiler since the murderer's identity and motives remain vague until towards the end of the book.) 

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16 Responses
  1. I am glad this is a series you can just jump into. It sounds extremely suspenseful.

  2. Melody Says:

    Wendy - Yes, I'm always glad to find series books work as stand-alone. This book was suspenseful but the descriptions of the crimes bothered me at times.

  3. Kay Says:

    This one sounds pretty grim. And I'm not actually familiar with this author or the series. Will have to take a look. I'm beginning to think that I'm going to have to jump into more series at whatever point I discover them. Especially for long-running series, I'll never catch up. LOL

  4. Nina Says:

    I haven't heard of this book before, but since December I'm interested in reading different genres.

  5. Jenny Says:

    I have a hard time with this never ending series so I’m glad to hear this one can be read as a stand alone. It sounds suspenseful!

  6. I'm so intrigued by your review! Adding this one to my TBR list right now. Also, I'm glad that I'm not the only one that starts smack dab in the middle of a series :)

  7. Melody Says:

    Kay - It was dark and grim, Kay. I hear you about series books, lol. I've the same thoughts.

  8. Melody Says:

    Nina - I hope you'll enjoy reading this one if you get to it, Nina.

  9. Melody Says:

    Jenny - So many series books out there, isn't it? I've a hard time following them too so I think I'll just jump into reading them whenever I like it.

  10. Melody Says:

    Samantha - I used to read series books in order but with so many shiny new books and not to mention the countless of series books out there, I figured reading on whim is my best bet at the moment. ;)

  11. Lark Says:

    That is quite the premise. Very scary! I'm adding this one to my list of suspenseful must-reads. Thanks, Melody! :)

  12. Melody Says:

    Lark - Yes, scary is the word to describe this story. Hope you'll enjoy it. ;)

  13. jenclair Says:

    Sounds intense! What a dilemma--to feel responsible for someone else's crime.

  14. Melody Says:

    Jenclair - Indeed. And the murderer was clever to inflict those emotion to the victims' loved ones aside from murdering them.

  15. Iliana Says:

    Oh a dark thriller! I used to be so adamant about starting with the first in the series but I think I'm slowly getting over that. There's just too many books! I think I wouldn't mind starting with this one as it sounds really good.

  16. Melody Says:

    Iliana - Yes, it was a dark thriller. It's always good to be able to jump into the middle of a series, isn't it?

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