The Murder Artist by John Case-A Review

John Case/ Fiction Fantasy

My rating:★★★★☆

[★-lost me ★★-average ★★★-worth a read ★★★★-excellent ★★★★★-amazing]

the murder artist

As a television news correspondent, Alex Callahan has traveled to some of the most dangerous corners of the globe, covering famine, plague, and war. He’s seen more than his share of blood and death, and knows what it means to be afraid. But what he’s never known is the terror that grabs him when, on a tranquil summer afternoon, he ceases to be an observer of the dark side and, to his shock, becomes enmeshed in it.

Separated from his wife, and struggling not to become a stranger to his six-year-old twin sons, Alex is logging some all-too-rare quality time with the boys, when they vanish without a trace amid the hurly-burly of a countryside Renaissance Fair.

Then the phone call comes. A chilling silence; slow, steady breathing; and the familiar, plaintive voice of a child–“Daddy?”–complete the nightmare . . . and set in motion a juggernaut of frenzy and agony.

The longer the police search, exhausting leads without success, the deeper Alex’s certainty grows that time is running out. And when, at last, telltale signs reveal a hidden pattern of bizarre and ghoulish abductions, Alex vows to use his own relentless investigative skills to rescue his children from the shadowy figure dubbed The Piper.

Whoever this elusive stranger is, the profile that slowly emerges–from previous crimes involving twins, from the zealously secret world of professional magicians, and from the eerie culture of voodoo–suggests that The Piper is a predator unlike any other. A twisted soul hell-bent on fulfilling an unspeakably dark dream. A fiend with a terrifying true calling. What Alex Callahan is closing in on is a monster with a mission.


Alex Callahan is a reporter, covering dangerous stuff like Afghan weddings, and is separated from his wife Liz, who is tired of him putting his work before his family. Alex and Liz’s six year old twins, Sean and Kevin are at Alex’s place for the summer. They decide[or rather, Alex is bullied] to visit the Renaissance Faire, in keeping with the twins’ sudden fascination for everything Arthurian. They are enjoying themselves at the fair, when at one of the performances, the twins go ahead near the stage while Alex is seated, and disappear. Into thin air. Last Alex saw them, they were petting a dog in costume. Police investigations reveal that the dog was with its master, also in costume, and the twins were seen walking out of the fair with them. Alex is highlighted as a suspect, but is soon ruled out. Meanwhile, there are strange things in the home: a row of dimes, a bowl of water, an origami rabbit made out of something suspiciously like skin, the t-shirt Sean was wearing stained with blood. Abduction for ransom money, retaliation, sexual purposes, kiddie porn and medical experiments is quickly ruled out. With no breakthroughs, the case is closed, and Alex and Liz become additions in relatives of millions of missing people in the world, and are told to accept the fact that their kids are dead. Which Alex is not willing to. He quits his job and spends all his town pursuing the case, looking into other missing person cases where twins were involved, which takes him on a chase from Washington to Florida to Las Vegas to Chicago and into the wide dangerous world of voodoo.

This book shows the love parents have for their children and how they will go to any lengths to protect them. A heartwarming read.

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