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The Architect (Frank Clevenger #6)

3.69  ·  Rating Details ·  885 Ratings  ·  96 Reviews
West Crosse is a genius at creating spaces uniquely fitting the people who will inhabit them. The catch: he works under a shroud of secrecy, charges his clients a fortune, and then sometimes, in the most skillful and horrifying ways, he kills them...

West has the best of reasons. He's designing lives as well as homes, obliterating everything that is ugly, accidental, or ill
Paperback, 352 pages
Published May 30th 2006 by St. Martin's Paperbacks (first published 2004)
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Jun 23, 2009 Sandie rated it it was ok
This is my first book by this author, Keith Ablow, and it will most likely be my last. His protagonist, forensic psychiatrist Dr. Frank Clevenger, is without doubt the most dysfunctional character in a tale teeming with dysfunctional characters. Clevenger's personal life is a train wreck and he is hard pressed to make it through a day without a few belts of booze. He is unable to make any meaningful contribution to the lives of those he purportedly cares about and any of the folks that he "loves ...more
May 29, 2013 Courtney rated it it was ok
I was really excited to read this book. Gosh once I started it I wish I hadnt. Im one of those that once I start a book I have to finish it no matter what.

It was slow. There wasnt enought thrill for me. for all the boring details and pointless talk, you would think they at least made a good ending. But nope.

I dont understand what happened with Whitney in the end. he went from loving her everything about her. to just dropping her. I understand she covered things but there was no leading that sh
May 12, 2009 Natalie rated it it was ok
maniac architect sounds like an interesting idea, pregnant with possibilities. Disturbed psychiatrist on the other hand - seems like a cliche at this point.
I thought the father-son portion of the book was really underdeveloped, pretty raw. Overall, book started out well, but got scattered towards the end. And, really predictable.
Couldn't wait to finish this one, but not in a good way...
Jan 08, 2012 Mary rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Anyone who likes contemporary mysteries
Recommended to Mary by: Library Book Sale
West Crosse is a brilliant, handsome architect with a love of ideal beauty and a commitment to creating it at all costs. But the rich, powerful families who employ him don't realize that he has a dark side: Crosse can't stop at designing their homes, he must make their lives beautiful as well.

To Crosse, that means murdering abusive spouses, a toxic lover, predatory business partners or anyone else who doesn't fit with his ideal of perfection. As Crosse begins his master work, the FBI's Frank Cle
Viji  (Bookish endeavors)
Feb 10, 2014 Viji (Bookish endeavors) rated it it was amazing
Shelves: psycho-thrillers
I loved the villain more than the hero. Did anyone else feel the same.? West Crosse is a brilliant character,complicated and intelligent. The plot is perfect and the climax was made-to-order. There were no mistakes in terms of logical consistency. One thing leads to another and then to another.. Could a man have planned any better than Crosse.?! I loved the story. HIGHLY RECOMMENDED.
May 15, 2012 Babete rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Original e interessante sem dúvida, mas quando começava a entusiasmar-me eis que acaba de forma abrupta, o resultado final foi ficar com a sensação de ter lido meio livro; a páginas tantas existe um personagem que tem um gabinete com " ... quinhentos e cinquenta ou seiscentos e cinquenta metros quadrados...", nem quero imaginar como seria o resto da casa! ;)
Sarah Glenn
May 14, 2012 Sarah Glenn rated it it was amazing
Recommends it for: Thriller fans, serial killer fans
West Crosse is an architect par excellence, a man of enormous creative vision and sensitivity to the needs of his wealthy clients. This is especially true of the homes he designs for families - anticipating both current and future needs. They are creations of light and space, temples to truth and beauty. Crosse is a man of high ideals.

But I wouldn't want him to design a house for me.

Crosse goes beyond planning perfect homes for his clients, you see. He also plans perfect lives for them. If a mem
Richard Good
Nov 01, 2011 Richard Good rated it really liked it
This book was mentioned in Donald Maass' "The Fire in Fiction", a book on writing fiction, and it was used as an example of how to create an effective and believable villain. I picked up this novel as part of a project I have started, using the examples in Donald Maass' book as a reading list.

Regarding the villainous aspect of the novel, Ablow does a great job of creating a truly diabolical serial killer with a unique and interesting twist. I took quite a bit from this novel in that regard, and
Dec 08, 2010 Alins rated it really liked it
Dr. Frank Clevenger is a forensic psychiatrist who could use a psychiatrist of his own. Oh wait, he has one. But he only has time for one visit while tracking down a serial killer who expertly dissects a single aspect of his victim's body.

The backstories in "The Architect" are distracting and really don't add anything. Clevenger is an alcoholic. That addicition inteferes with his bonding with Billy Bishop, a 19 year old recently adopted by Clevenger. Adopt a teenager? Young Bishop's problems wit
Smruthi Rajan
Jul 25, 2016 Smruthi Rajan rated it it was ok
I waited a year to read this particular book and it was a disappointment.
The main attractive feature of Keith Ablow's writing (just the 6 fiction novels) is how he ties the story with the psychological reasons and how it fuels the entire story. The main characters Dr. Clevenger and West Crosse, lacked the depth of character and the story itself ended without any help from the detective psychologist.
Being an architect myself, I believe West Crosse didn't deliver well as one.
spoiler alert - even
Feb 11, 2008 Ashley rated it liked it
Shelves: popularfiction
I thought this book was really pretentious and overdone from the beginning, but it kind of grew on me. The character is overly contrived at the beginning, almost as if the author is trying to over-dramatize the killer's various obsessions and compulsions. By the end, I was genuinely interested in what was going to happen. The suspense picked up mid-book for me.

The narrative simultaneously follows the story of a prestigious architect who also happens to be a self-trained surgeon and a freelance p
Jun 22, 2012 Katharine rated it liked it
This is my second book in my Read Alphabetically Thru The Library Project. The beauty of this project is that I read books that I would never pick up on my own. This is one of those books -- a dark, and at times grisly, thriller. The "Architect" is a diabolical serial killer who believes that he can creatively kill to put people's lives aright. He's scary, to be sure, but he's so implausible that this could have been fantasy. To be fair, it's the sixth one in a series by the author and I have no ...more
Apr 20, 2008 Trudy rated it really liked it
The issue for some with Ablow's books is going to be that they tend to be very graphic and intense. If you get past the first Ablow book, which I though was the most disturbing, then you should really enjoy his Frank Clevenger series.

As noted in other reviews, I love the series that give you just as much of a story in the main character as the main plot. And Frank Clevenger has quite a story to him as he is as screwed up as they come. A forensic psychiatrist with a thing for booze, coke and the
Jennifer Wardrip
Ablow's Frank Clevenger series began with an appearance by this forensic psychologist back in 1998 in Denial. In every subsequent book, we get a great thriller story interspersed with Clevenger's own personal trials, and THE ARCHITECT is no different.

The main storyline of this book, that of an architect who believes he's doing God's work by reshaping the lives of the people he builds houses for, is definitely overshadowed by the story of Clevenger himself. His own battle with alcoholism (remini
Sep 27, 2009 martin rated it it was ok
This book almost wins a third star for its ending alone - the good guys don't stop the bad guy in the last minute, save the victim or make the world happy and safe.

I read this in a day - it doesn't require too much thought. The cover oversells it (surprise, surprise) but it makes a reasonable attempt at what might be called the "psychopath messiah" crime genre. Married to an architect, I can really recognise and understand the artist / perfectionist mentality described and that for me was the b
Linda  Branham Greenwell
This is my 3rd book in the series... Frank Clevenger is a forensic psychologist/crime fighter. In this book Clevenger is contacted by the FBI to help them trace a serial murderer who carefully dissects parts of his victims - wealthy victims. Clevenger connects the murders to a well-known architect wes Cross, - an architect who is extremely talented and extremely disturbed. Cross builds the house around the family - their loves, passions, issues - to make the house totally their own. Cross sees h ...more
Barbara ★
May 17, 2009 Barbara ★ rated it it was amazing
This book is spectacular! West Crosse is beyond insane. He is an architect who designs homes based on what kind of family you should have not what you do have even to the extent of murdering someone to make the dynamics work as he sees it. He has murdered seven people so far and FBI psychiatrist Dr. Clevenger is investigating each death and searching for clues as to why they were murdered and who could have done it.

Dr. Clevenger has many personal issues going on at the same time he is hunting t
Mar 21, 2012 Vespertine rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Four stars for originality. Because it is a curious thriller.

First the hero is not a member of the police or the FBI but a psychiatrist and, as such, he only does that, talking to people and trying to understand them or, as he puts it himself, see if their explanations are plausible. He's really a consultant, not a man of action, which is kind of refreshing.

Weirdly enough, we know almost since the beginning who the killer is and what his motives are but it does not make the whole book boring th
Dec 16, 2009 Victoria rated it did not like it
I did not like this book at all. This is the first Keith Ablow that I read, and perhaps a part of my dislike have something to do with the fact that this is the sixth book in a series that was not named on the book's cover... Which is certainly no fault of Ablow's but is a particular pet-peeve of mine. What is the point of writing a series if your publisher doesn't correctly market your novel as a series?! But mostly, I didn't sympathize with the characters and the inclusion of the murderer's P. ...more
Dec 19, 2007 Samantha rated it liked it
This is the first novel by this author I've read. I didn't realize it was a series of books. However this book was a mystery to me. I have a feeling that it's a middle book of a series where it helps you get to know the character better. It had a lot of personal issues about the main character. You know who the killer is in this book however I didn't find him as smart, evil and fascinating as others. There are some political statements made in this book along with veiled statements about the Bon ...more
Apr 24, 2014 Adrienne rated it it was ok
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Jan 09, 2011 Jery rated it really liked it
Shelves: 2011-reads
Interesting thriller, I feel as if I might have had more sympathy for the protagonist if I had not joined the series midway through. His struggles as the adoptive parent of a troubled child and an alcoholic take nearly as much storyline as the main thread of a brilliant but psychopatic architect who specializes in creating perfect houses and 'life spaces' for people, with the added component of killing members of their family if they don't fit his perception of a perfect life.

I am not giving aw
Apr 29, 2012 Dale rated it liked it
Recommends it for: Michelle
Recommended to Dale by: Linda
This is my first Keith Ablow novel. While a good read, there was no big mystery in "who" the serial killer was. But the author did a good job in understanding the "why." The basic premise was unique; and I have read a lot of psychological thriller novels. The forenic psychiatrist, Frank Clevenger, also has some personal drama so the book has subplots. The last page left his romance with Dr. Whitney McCormick, Director of the FBI's Behavioral Sciences Unit, on a cliff so I may look for more on th ...more
Lori Anaple
I love this book! I haven't read it in a long time, but if you like a book with a twisted psycho, then definitely read this! It is the second or third in a series, but it is stand alone. Each book has the same protagonist and you get more and more of his story with each book. The first in the series is Denial. Ablow is fairly graphic and not really for the faint of heart.

This one is my favorite. Who would have ever thought of an architect as one who arranges peoples lives???? Off the hook!
Jan 12, 2016 Maureen rated it liked it
I didn't realize this book is part of a series. I will start from the beginning because I enjoy character development. This book wasn't bad. It held my attention and I wanted to know what was going to happen to all the main characters. The ending fell a bit short for me, unfortunately. I think some books go on and on and should and could end much sooner than they do, but I felt this book needed a few more chapters to give the reader a more fulfilling ending. I don't want to ruin it for those who ...more
Feb 08, 2016 Dokusha rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: crime
Erst einmal ist ein guter Krimi mit einer Mörderjagd und diversen Nebenkriegsschauplätzen, um es lebendiger zu machen. So weit, so normal, und dafür hätte ich drei Sterne gegeben - zumal das Motiv des Mörders doch ein wenig ausgefallen ist.
Den vierten hat sich das Buch durch sein Ende verdient. Dieses war noch nicht mal extrem außergewöhnlich und bot keinen Last-Minute-Twist, aber es sticht trotzdem aus dem Normalbereich heraus. Details zu verraten ware natürlich gespoilert, und das mache ich n
Jan 12, 2015 Kishi rated it liked it
Being an Architecture student, I have stumbled on this book that caught my eye. Not really a fan of forensics, but I consider their work amazing.

West has much more of a value and is one of those cunning antagonists that stood as a focal point more than the protagonist was in the story.
The way the story ended was satisfactory, yet again showing that West ended his story as a free man and was not caught in the crossfire.

Overall, the book will show more of how the antagonist beats the protagonist i
Maureen Wagner
Jun 26, 2010 Maureen Wagner rated it it was ok
While I appreciate what the author was trying to do with this book, I still found myself not very invested in the characters and plot progression. Nevertheless, I found the villain and his peers provided timely political and social commentary, particularly with the protagonist's approach to the relationships in his life providing something of a foil, and I applaud Albow for not choosing a more conventional ending.
Feb 05, 2013 Stephanie rated it really liked it
This book didn't grab me right away but I stuck with it and I'm so glad I did!! I'd never read Ablom before, but I was immediately impressed with his ability to characterize both the "good guy" and the "bad guy" so to speak. The alternating viewpoint adds something special to this work and gives us a glimpse into the mind of a twisted serial killer. Very well done!
Chrissy Owens
Jan 14, 2010 Chrissy Owens rated it liked it
I think I was disappointed with this book partly because I read it on the heels of Murder Suicide. The story was very fascinating, but didn't feel as solid. I got the impression that it was written quickly, and that it may be awhile before we hear from Keith again. I don't know where he's taking his characters, and I'm not sure he does either.
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Keith Russell Ablow is an American psychiatrist, New York Times best-selling author, and television personality.
More about Keith Ablow...

Other Books in the Series

Frank Clevenger (7 books)
  • Denial (Frank Clevenger, #1)
  • Projection (Frank Clevenger, #2)
  • Compulsion (Frank Clevenger, #3)
  • Psychopath (Frank Clevenger, #4)
  • Murder Suicide (Frank Clevenger, #5)
  • Infam / Ausgelöscht

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“For a psychiatrist to be any good, he has to be willing to corner you, close off the easy exits, even when it hurts. It's supposed to. (46)” 8 likes
“Maybe learning to be human was about learning to live in pain, not trying to figure out how to live pain-free. (156)” 2 likes
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