About the author
Born in Brazil of Italian origin, Chris Carter studied psychology and criminal behaviour at the University of Michigan. As a member of the Michigan State District Attorney’s Criminal Psychology team, he interviewed and studied many criminals, including serial and multiple homicide offenders with life-imprisonment convictions.
Having departed for Los Angeles in the early 1990s, Chris spent ten years as a guitarist for numerous rock bands before leaving the music business to write full-time. He now lives in London and is a Top Ten Sunday Times bestselling author.
Visit www.chriscarterbooks.com or find him on Facebook.
Also by Chris Carter
The Crucifix Killer
The Night Stalker
The Death Sculptor
First published in Great Britain by Simon & Schuster UK Ltd, 2013
A CBS Company
Copyright © Chris Carter, 2013
This book is copyright under the Berne Convention.
No reproduction without permission.
® and © 1997 Simon & Schuster Inc. All rights reserved.
The right of Chris Carter to be identified as author of this work has been asserted in accordance with sections 77 and 78 of the Copyright, Designs and Patents Act, 1988.
Simon & Schuster UK Ltd
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A CIP catalogue record for this book is available from the British Library
Hardback ISBN 978-0-85720-305-2
Trade Paperback ISBN 978-0-85720-306-9
Ebook ISBN 978-0-85720-309-0
This book is a work of fiction. Names, characters, places and incidents are either a product of the author’s imagination or are used fictitiously. Any resemblance to actual people living or dead, events or locales is entirely coincidental.
Typeset by Hewer Text UK Ltd, Edinburgh
Printed and bound in Great Britain by
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A single shot to the back of the head, execution style. Many people consider it a very violent way to die. But the truth is – it isn’t. At least not for the victim.
A 9mm bullet will enter someone’s skull and exit at the other side in three ten-thousandths of a second. It will shatter the cranium and rupture through the subject’s brain matter so fast the nervous system has no time to register any pain. If the angle in which the bullet enters the head is correct, the bullet should splice the cerebral cortex, the cerebellum, even the thalamus in such a way that the brain will cease functioning, resulting in instant death. If the angle of the shot is wrong, the victim might survive, but not without extensive brain damage. The entry wound should be no larger than a small grape, but the exit wound could be as large as a tennis ball, depending on the type of bullet used.
The male victim on the photograph Detective Robert Hunter of the LAPD Robbery Homicide Division was looking at had died instantly. The bullet had transversed his entire skull, rupturing the cerebellum together with the temporal and the frontal lobes, causing fatal brain damage in three ten-thousandths of a second. Less than a full second later he was dead on the ground.
The case wasn’t Hunter’s; it belonged to Detective Terry Radley in the main detectives’ floor, but the investigation photos had ended up on Hunter’s desk by mistake. As he returned the photograph to the case file, the phone on his desk rang.
‘Detective Hunter, Homicide Special,’ he answered, half expecting it to be Detective Radley after the photo file.
‘Is this Detective Robert Hunter?’ The raspy voice on the other end was male, the tone calm.
‘Yes, this is Detective Robert Hunter. Can I help you?’
Hunter heard the caller breathe out.
‘That’s what we’re going to find out, Detective.’