Fast pacing and skillful narrative misdirection make this supernatural thriller one of Saul's (The Homing) best?and one of his few not to focus on children in peril. Richard Kraven, the novel's heavy, is as nasty as they come: he eviscerates his victims before they die, in the misguided hope of learning the mystery of life. He also seems to be extending his murder spree after his execution in the electric chair. At least that's what reporter Anne Jeffers tries to prove to the incredulous Seattle police as the killings strike ever closer to her home and family, apparently in retaliation for her help in putting Kraven behind bars. Saul ratchets up the suspense by intercutting chapters told from the points of view of Anne, detective Mark Blakemoor and a serial murderer who thinks of himself as "The Experimenter." He complicates matters by introducing another murderer and by raising suspicions about Anne's husband, Glen, who suffered a heart attack at the moment Kraven died and now experiences blackouts that coincide with the killings. Saul depends on remarkably unobservant cops and a contrived occult explanation to tie all the subplots together, but he sustains the mystery of the killer's identity and motives throughout.