A genius, hairless, seven foot tall psychopath, Leonard Land is many people wired into the cyber-subcuture of Satanism and Death Metal. He is smart and cunning. He is quick, brutal and deadly and he is everywhere. A fast paced page turner, a chiller, vivid and violent!
The man who dreamed up such TV heroes as Mr. T., Hunter, Jim Rockford and the Commish now introduces maverick U.S. Customs agent John Lockwood. This hero of Cannell's boisterous second novel (after The Plan) is "one of the best pound-for-pound bullshitters on the planet," who totes a gun with a two-inch barrel (although "he'd never been able to hit anything with it, at least it didn't poke him when he sat"). Not unexpectedly, Lockwood's breezy style infuriates some important superiors, but readers will enjoy how he puts together a team (beautiful Ph.D. Karen Dawson and handsome computer whiz/convict Malavida Chacone) to track down Florida-based serial killer Leonard Land, he of the "brilliant, twisted" mind and "fat, gluttonous body." The story rambles at times and includes too many forced, nick-of-time heroics, some jarring noir pensees from Lockwood and an anomalous burst of piety from Karen ("Lead me out of this darkness. In the name of your Son, Jesus. Amen"). The bloody climax sees Malavida and Lockwood, both severely damaged, dragging themselves to the rescue of Karen, who's offered herself up as bait. It's a lightweight, generally enjoyable yarn, and if readers have seen it all before, well, they probably will again, sometime between dinner and the 11:00 news. Author tour.
Ruth B. (rib) reviewed Final Victim (Audio CD) (Abridged) on
Leonard Land is a 7' tall, completely hairless computer genius, wired to the cyberpunk subculture of Death Metal and Satan worship. He is also a twisted, multipersonality maniac who is systematically murdering women. When he is The Rat, he is smart and cunning; when he becomes The Wind Minstrel, he is God and the Devil. The Rat only covets women; The Wind Minstrel possesses them.
Hot on Land's trial is a formidable, if unlikely trio of heroes: John Lockwood -- a renegade US Customs agent who never met a rule he didn't break or a regulation he didn't violate; Karen "Awesome" Dawson -- a beautiful and brainy forensic psychologist who never met a challenge she couldn't overcome; and Malavida Chacone, a street-wise hacker who never met a computer program he couldn't crack.
They pursue their quarry throug the convoluted corridors of cyberspace and deep into the Florida swamps. But when Land discovers who has been infiltrating his programs, his nemesis becomes his prey. The hunters are now the hunted, and they must stop Land before he claims...the Final Victim.
As with all Stephen J. Cannell's books, this is one you can't put down!