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The Breathtaker

3.44 of 5 stars 3.44  ·  rating details  ·  494 ratings  ·  65 reviews
A mammoth twister tears through the sleepy town of Promise, Oklahoma, and leaves behind three mutilated bodies in a ravaged farmhouse. Police Chief Charlie Grover believes the victims were impaled by flying debris...until gruesome evidence comes to light, proving that they were brutally murdered. How could the killer predict exactly when and where a tornado would strike an ...more
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Published March 1st 2004 by Grand Central Publishing (first published 2003)
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It was a wild ride reading this book (literally) with storm chasers chasing tornados all over Oklahoma and Texas and the growing realization that a killer is using the storms to an even more terrifying purpose. I admit to a fascination with tornados -- from a large distance away. I do not understand the adrenaline rush or compulsion to get up close and personal with this kind of storm power. Alice Blanchard takes you right into the vortex of the storms and into the emotions and motivations of th ...more
Jay Keys
Jul 07, 2007 Jay Keys rated it 1 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: People who don't care about details and accuracy
Oh, the shallowness of my methods for this pick! The Breathtaker appealled to me because it has a really neat cover and I am interested in tornados. I mean, look it at, that barn on the cover is doomed!

You see, if Ms. Blanchard spent half as much time writing this book as she did commissioning and artist for the cover and hawking it on the today show, maybe it would be a worthwhile read. And if "ifs" and "buts" were candy and nuts, we would all have a Merry Christmas. I am sad to say that Christ
I love a good murder mystery and this one fit the bill. There’s nothing like a determined small town Sheriff uncovering the truth about terrible crimes. If you're of the faint of heart kind then this one may not be for you. In this story the Sheriff not only doggedly hunts down a murderer in the Tornado Alley section of Oklahoma and Texas but finally learns the truth about his own terrible childhood and its ugly secrets.

He’s fighting several different fires at one time and each of them interesti
I really enjoyed the premise of this murder mystery (a mash-up of a standard serial killer story and the drama of the movie Twister). Blanchard’s plot was well drawn-out with plenty of suspense and tension - and even the killer’s identity surprised me! Blanchard included some pretty intense gore and rather grotesque images, but it worked well within the framework of violence from both nature and man. I liked this melding story a lot - and I was intrigued enough to buy one of her other mysteries, ...more
Steph Adams
Alice Blanchard's "Darkness Peering" was exceptional. I was disappointed by this one. The suspense is still there but the constant descriptions of the science of tornadoes was a real detractor.
Rita Monticelli
Scroll down for the English version.

Quando la natura toglie il respiro

Un bel thriller pescato per caso dalla mia collezione di ebook. La storia è ambientata in una cittadina dell’Oklahoma che viene periodicamente colpita dai tornado. Dopo uno di essi particolarmente forte, lo sceriffo trova un’intera famiglia morta nella sua casa, all’apparenza uccisa dai detriti lanciati della forti raffiche di vento. Ma qualcosa non quadra.
E così che inizia una storia che parla di un impavido serial killer che
Award-winning author Alice Blanchard delivers the must-read literary thriller of the year-a twister of a tale about a detective trying to outwit a killer-and
Mother Nature-in Tornado Alley. In the small town of Promise, Oklahoma, Chief of Police Charlie Grover has trouble on his hands. Located in the heart of
Tornado Alley, Promise has just been hit by a major twister, leaving behind 40 million dollars worth of damage- and one grisly murder scene. Though the
deaths of the Pepper family appear to be
Mary Shafer
Sep 10, 2012 Mary Shafer rated it 4 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: mystery lovers, thriller readers, storm and weather geeks
Recommended to Mary by: Amazon
Shelves: weather, fiction
I like to lead with the positive, so let me say this is a very well-written book that had just enough incredibly well-crafted sentences to bring me out of the story to say, "Nice!" but not so many that I felt the author was showing off or that dragged me out of the story against my will. The characters were all well-developed with the exception of one supporting character I'd like to have known more about, and the dialogue was great. I thought for sure I had the killer figured out from the secon ...more
RATING: 3.25

There are certain parts of the central and midwestern United States that are subject to exceptionally volatile weather. Just as other areas of the country have spring, summer, winter and fall, these sections have tornado season. Watching a tornado is an exciting experience, and there is a cadre of people who track them and chase them. These storm chasers spend hours determining which storms to chase and put themselves in danger while pursuing their quest.

Charlie Grove is the police c
Shirley Schwartz
A Surpisingly Terrifying Thriller! I'm not sure what I expected with this book, but it truly surprised me. It is very well-written, and the character development is well crafted. I usually don't expect these two components in a thriller, so this book was a pleasant surprise. The book is extremely well-plotted too and the tension builds up and builds up throughout the book. It literally left me on the edge of my seat throughout. Not only that, but I got a lot of information about storms and parti ...more
“The Breathtaker” is about a small town Police Chief in Oklahoma who suspects fowl play after examining the damage brought on by a tornado. When Police Chief Charlie Grover, finds three mutilated bodies in a ravaged farmhouse his first thought is that the victims were killed by flying debris. However upon closer examination his instincts, as an experienced cop, tells him something different. As he continues to investigate other tornado related deaths he discovers that the killer has a gruesome c ...more
Prince William Public Library System
I can't resist fiction that has to do with natural disasters, probably a holdover when I was a kid obsessed with tornadoes, earthquakes, and volcanoes (I was a weird child). Anyway, a massive tornado appears to be the cause of three deaths...except that it might be murder, and the murderer used the giant storm as a cover up. With the aid of a local tornado expert, police chief Charlie Grover sets out to solve this swirling mystery. -Tracy M.

Click on the link to find the book and check availabili
Purple Osprey
It could have been really good, dark detective story if the author had put some more work into it.
The beginning was quite promising, but then you could tell who the killer is as soon as he was introduced to the story, and then it got boring. The detective figures out who the killer is and the book just goes on after that for no good reason with some long movie inspired chase description.
I felt that the love story was totally unnecessary.

Amanda Mathis
This book literally sent chills down my was almost hard to read, yet you can't put it down. It's one of those books that terrifies you but you have to keep reading to find out what happens. It's been several years since I actually read this book, but it still stands out in my mind and I can remember very vivid details from the story. Not exactly for the faint of heart, but if you are looking for a good thrill, this one's for you.
Dans l’ombre de Patricia Cornwell, on trouve Alice Blanchard. Deux romans qui ont attiré l’attention des critiques et des lecteurs : Le bénéfice du doute (2000) et le récent, Le tueur des tornades (2003) confirme l’émergence d’un auteur talentueux en progression.

Le tueur des tornades présente un scénario original, un tueur en série se cache parmi les “chasseurs de tornades”, ces excentriques sans peurs qui poursuivent les colonnes de vents violents dans l’allée des tornades aux États Unis.

Ironic that I read this book during the recent outbreak of tornados across the U.S., does make you think about if something like this could happen, where a murderer plots out a killing that coincides with a natural disaster, to make it look as if the deaths were caused by the storm. The plot was OK, though I thought it got weaker as the book went on as the focus was less on the murders and more on chasing storms to try to find the killer before he or she strikes again.
The author's name rung a be
Promise, Oklahoma is hit with a devastating tornado. Police Chief Charlie Grover finds three mutilated corpses in a farmhouse and thinks the tornado has done immeasurable damage until he looks deeper and proves they were murdered. Detailed police work uncovers that this has been going on for some time. Someone can predict the exact path a tornado will take and during the height of that storm commit an egregious act of murder.

Could the murderer be one of the storm chasers? Charlie teams up with D
Julie Hughes
Long winded, over the top, twisted, gruesome and with an unnecessarily high body count; this is not a book that I recommend. It was also ludicrous that the writer referred to the Texas panhandle as “East Texas”. I figured the killer out with at least a third of the book left.
Ok mystery involving tornadoes. Too much info about tornadoes and not enough mystery.
Crappy ending though
A murder mystery set in tornado country where everyone either hides from or drives toward the big storms.

Someone however, is able to accurately predict the path of the storms so precisely that he has been killing for years and letting the wind and debris hide the evidence.

This is my favorite type of suspense novel - one that takes you into a world and keeps you there. Storm chasers, their equipment and mentality, are pivotal to the book along with the Chief of Police and his 16-yr old daughter.
Mar 11, 2014 Lara rated it 4 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Those who love thrillers
A very original and involving thriller!
A tornado rages into the town of Promise, Oklahoma, and leaves behind a path of destruction. In the aftermath, a family is found dead in their home and they appear to have been murdered. The police chief sees the evidence and is determined to find the killer. He finds that the killer has struck other tornado sites before. He enlists the help of some meteorologists to find out who could know where the tornado would hit. Between the storms and chasing a killer, this novel is action packed.
This was a good mystery story about a murderer that plans his killings along the path of a good sized tornadoe to disguise his devious deeds. A sharp Oklahoma police chief begins to attempt to solve the crimes once the killer, along with a large tornadoe, strikes his town. I like that the author came up with an original idea for this story and the final storm chase can be breathtaking along with a page turner. I qualify this one as Goodreads.
The Breathtaker has me hooked. This is a 10hr audio book, and I'm about 1hr in(listen to in the car). One thing I've noticed is that the author is very detail oriented. Blanchard's description are thorough, but in some cases get a bit long. That said, I am enjoying the story so far and am looking forward to finding out what happens next...guess I better go put more gas in
Just got done reading this awesome novel, and what a ride. Likeable yet deeply flawed protagonist, fleshed-out secondary characters, and a serial-murder plot that kept me guessing until the end. I'm not much into tornadoes, but this book presented the world of storm-chasing in a way I'd never encountered before, almost enough to make me want to chase them myself!
So I'll base my rating usually on whether the time I spent reading was worth it. Honestly, if you want to nit-pick, I could find some things wrong with this story. However, suspend reality, add in a lot of information on tornadoes and the storm chasers (big severe weather nut, so of course that's a plus for me) and it's an entertaining read for a lazy afternoon.
I chose this book because I enjoyed the author's previous book. Thhis did not disappoint me eithier. The chapters read fast and you wanted to find out what happened. The only part I did not like was at the end when the main character became like Bruce Willis in a DIE HARD movie- one man out to save the world. An easy read it would've been a good beach book too.
Steven Campbell
Murder, mystery, suspense, and romance, all wrapped around a gruesome tale of human and natural disaster.
The Breathtaker is an insightful peek into the world of science and the lives of the storm chaser. This book is much more believable than the movie Twister.
All said, this is a great thriller and keeps you guessing until the end.
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Alice Blanchard won the Katherine Anne Porter Prize for Fiction for her book of stories, The Stuntman's Daughter. She has also received a PEN Syndicated Fiction Award, a New Letters Library Award, and a Centrum Artists in Residence Fellowship.

Alice Blanchard lives in California with her husband

~~from the book jacket of The Breathtaker.
More about Alice Blanchard...
Darkness Peering Life Sentences The Stuntman's Daughter and Other Stories Catching Katie

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