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Winner Take All
by Jeff Pate
ISBN 0967652804 / 9780967652801 / 0-9676528-0-4
Publisher Harlan Publishing Company
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In January 1997, a young coed is found strangled and naked near a creek in rural North Carolina. Special Agent Clark Hager of the State Bureau of Investigation's Investigative Support Unit is brought in to investigate and succeeds in linking the killing with the murders of two other young women. Hager, an FBI-trained profiler, detects the work of a serial killer and before long finds himself embroiled in a psychologically complex and terrifying case that puts him and his loved ones in mortal danger.
Jeff Pate's Winner Take All has all of the makings of a page-turner: sex, death, intrigue, and revenge. The author, a veteran police officer from North Carolina, is clearly in his element when describing crime scenes or law enforcement procedure. The plotting is not as subtle as it could be, and some of Pate's characters--females in particular--have a clichéd, one-dimensional quality. Stylistic errors (grammatical and syntactical) don't help. Still, Winner Take All has moments of strong drama and suspense. And the author's real-life knowledge of crime scene details will appeal to fans of the genre. --Svenja Soldovieri [via]