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Black Lightning

3.78  ·  Rating Details  ·  3,218 Ratings  ·  95 Reviews
For five years Seattle journalist Anne Jeffers has pursued the horrifying story of a sadistic serial killer's bloody reign, capture, trial, and appeal--crusading to keep the wheels of justice churning toward the electric chair. Now the day of execution has come. A convicted killer will meet his end. Anne believes her long nightmare is over. But she's dead wrong. . . .

Paperback, 448 pages
Published June 1st 1996 by Ballantine Books (first published 1995)
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The Blackstone Chronicles by John SaulSuffer the Children by John SaulShadows by John SaulBlack Creek Crossing by John SaulThe Manhattan Hunt Club by John Saul
Best John Saul Books
13th out of 34 books — 68 voters
The Golden Compass by Philip PullmanWicked by Gregory MaguireThe Reader by Bernhard SchlinkHigh Fidelity by Nick HornbyBlindness by José Saramago
Best Books of 1995
33rd out of 227 books — 99 voters

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Community Reviews

(showing 1-30 of 3,000)
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Sep 27, 2010 Linda rated it did not like it
Shelves: mystery-crime
A serial killer is executed at noon in Seattle, and reporter Ann Jeffers is covering the highly controversial event. Across the country, at exactly the same moment, Anne's husband suffers an all but fatal heart attack, requiring multiple efforts at resuscitation. Anne flies home, relieved to discover that Glen will recover. When he's well enough to go home, Anne rejoices, but little by little, it becomes evident that this is not the man she married. The doctor reassures her that some personality ...more
Jul 30, 2013 Jack rated it it was ok
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Feb 12, 2014 Andrea rated it it was amazing
I really enjoyed this book. Lots of twists and turns and it kept me turning the pages as fast as I could! :)
Suzan Poisner
Aug 14, 2015 Suzan Poisner rated it it was ok
ok writing. Didn't like the supernatural theme/ending.
Jim C
Jul 20, 2015 Jim C rated it liked it
My rating is 2.5 stars.

Anne Jeffers is a journalist who has led a crusade against Richard Kraven who is a convicted serial killer. Richard receives the death penalty and Anne is a witness to his execution. The only problem is that his mode of killings has started up again.

This is a middle of the road book. There wasn't much to the mystery aspect of this novel as it was pretty easy to figure out what was going on. The thriller aspect and the supernatural aspect was there but was neither engaging
I really enjoyed this book right up to the end and then found the ending very disappointing. I almost downgraded it to a three because of the ending. I found the premise to be pretty good but not original (serial killer executed at the same time a man dies and is revived from a heart attack.) There is lots of action and graphic description to please the not so faint of heart.
Victoria Martinez
Jan 06, 2009 Victoria Martinez rated it it was amazing
WOW! This was the first book I have read of John Saul's and I fell in love with his style. This book scared me! I love ghost stories and watching scary movies but to actually read something that was written so thrilling was chilling. This is a book I will read again and again.
Christoph Segers
Jul 22, 2014 Christoph Segers rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: horror
Een pageturner van formaat. Lekker spannend, ietwat grotesk in zijn beschrijving van hoe de moordenaar te werk gaat en met voldoende aimabele personages. Alleen aan het eind gaat het fout en wordt duidelijk dat Saul geen King is. De apotheose is warrig en onbevredigend. Waarom niet iets doen met Danny bijvoorbeeld, die anders toch geen rol van betekenis had maar wel aardig wat pagina's mocht vullen. De auteur maakt er zich makkelijk vanaf: er is geen oplossing voor het probleem en wat we moeten ...more
Carol Brannigan
Feb 07, 2011 Carol Brannigan rated it liked it
The premise itself was good. It was lacking in some of the hows. I had the book figured about half way through and kept hoping for the how which never came. I liked the book but its not the best by the author.
Nov 07, 2008 Trisha rated it liked it
Shelves: suspense
Saul does a good job keeping pace with authors like Stephen King and Dean Koontz in regard to suspense, but so far I am unimpressed with the endings.
Jan 22, 2009 Laura rated it it was amazing
This book is pretty intense & scared the crap out of me. Do not read if you are alone in your house late at night. I higly recommend it!
Dustin Crazy little brown owl
One of my favorite John Saul books. I think the subject matter is very interesting :-)
To be honest, I wasn't all that interested in Black Lightning when I started. The only reason I picked it up is because I felt guilty for NOT reading it; it had been sitting on my shelf since around 2002 gathering dust. I didn't expect to really get into it, let alone LIKE it.

Sometimes, it's the books you expect to hate that end up surprising you the most. Black Lightning is one of them. The supernatural flavoring (I can't say more; it'll ruin it) added to the thriller genre to which BL belongs
Davis Hemingway
Sep 25, 2013 Davis Hemingway rated it really liked it
I am almost about to complete the book, and I am on page 346

A serial killer is 'executed' at noon in Seattle. Across the country, at exactly the same moment, Anne's husband gets a fatal heart attack. Anne 'flies' home, relieved to discover that Glen will recover. When he's well enough to go home, Anne realizes that he doesn't seem like the man she had married. Meanwhile, supposedly the killer has been killed, but there is someone else doing the same experiment has the previous killer.

Anne, the s
2.5 stars. There was too much about the book that I didn't like, including the premise, the story and the characters.

* twisted serial killer point of view
* Glen, the architect husband who survived the heart attack was my favorite character
* psychopath, Richard Kraven's mother was as crazy as her son
* homocide detectives taking a dead animal case
* everyone sensing something was wrong was well done foreshadowing
* Anne figuring it all out in the end, she should've been a police detective inst
Feb 21, 2015 Trisha rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2006
Anne Jeffers is vijf jaar lang op zoek naar een seriemoordenaar. En dan opeens hebben ze hem en zit hij achter tralies, maar nog voordat hij dood is worden er in de omgeving van Anne Jeffers weer lijken gevonden en begint de horror opnieuw.
Geen beschrijving te vinden.
Zal opnieuw het boek proberen te lezen.
John Saul is geboren in 1942 in Pasadena, Californië. Hij groeide op in Whittier en haalde zijn diploma in 1959 van de Whittier High School.
Na verschillende opleidingen aan net zoveel ber
Apr 05, 2016 Stephen rated it liked it
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Mar 15, 2016 Rissy rated it liked it
Shelves: john-saul
I read this book years ago, but I'd forgotten what it was about and from the back I was intrigued to read it again. It was interesting but entirely too far fetched, and the end left me questioning what exactly happened.


So, was Kraven actually the first killer or was he too possessed by this murderer? The plot reminded me a lot of Chucky to be honest and how he'd put his spirit into the doll to carry on his life and kill. And the end when Glen gets electrocuted on the fence, does he fall
Cathy Jarvis
Apr 06, 2016 Cathy Jarvis rated it did not like it
This is my first time with this yourself...this is one of the worst books I have ever turned a page for. An absolute waste of ordinarily "good" reading time. Mr. Dean Koontz, David Baldacci, Lee Child, Michael Connelly, James Patterson.....please....develop a writing style that has some style and substance!
Angel Waggoner
Apr 27, 2016 Angel Waggoner rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
This book would be good if it wasn't filled with so much nonessential information. The last few audio books I've gotten by John Saul have been very disappointing. I think it's time to move Saul to my 'don't get anymore' list.
Apr 30, 2016 Sharon rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: abandoned, 2016-reads
After the first couple of chapters it was painfully obvious what was going to happen, and sure enough after skipping to the near end of the book I was right, so no surprises there, and I didn't bother to continue on.
Mar 18, 2012 Farrah rated it it was ok
John Saul is my new i-have-to-read-them-all author after he was suggested by goodreads as a result of my loving dean koontz.

this being the second book i have read by him, the first book being shadows, i had high expectations, and to a certain point they were met.

the resolution to the plot however just flat out fails. all the character development is severely let down by an ending that completely didnt fit in with the tone of the book.

the result, a dull story.

recommended if you want a general hor
Jul 19, 2014 Leona rated it really liked it
I really enjoyed this book even though I had figured out the twist earlier in the novel. Still needed to find out how it ended.
Oct 29, 2012 Rick rated it it was ok

I'm a big fan of John Saul, but "Black Lightning" was a disappointment.
Within the first few chapters I recognized a plot premise that dates back as far as horror novels go. Anyone who has ever seen an episode of Twilight Zone will know what's going to happen w/in 50 pages.
Think I'm being overly critical? Try this: Anne Jeffers is at a prison to witness the electrocution of serial killer Richard Kraven. At the exact moment of Kraven's death, Anne's husband has a near-fatal heart attack and is bro
Bob Stuhlsatz
Aug 15, 2015 Bob Stuhlsatz rated it liked it
Shelves: thriller-mystery
The basic premise of how the conclusion was reached was very disappointing. The writing was good overall and kept me interested. It was just disappointing once the outcome became apparent.
Nov 07, 2012 Bandit rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
I keep giving John Saul second chances. Even after the abysmal Blackstone Chronicles. I thought this book might redeem him as an author, it does show effort of trying something new as in no more kid driven plots, this is about a serial killer with a bit of, shall we say, voltage. Saul can write page turners, his pacing is good, it's just that the characters and the plot itself were so blah and so predictable. It'll do to pass the time if you don't particularly want to get invested with the story ...more
Apr 13, 2015 Loretta rated it it was ok
Mediocre. Not scary as I had been hoping for. Interesting premise, but that was all.
Oct 05, 2013 Andy rated it liked it
John Saul was one of a number of American authors I grew up with but seemed to disappear from the bookshops here in England.I was pleased to find some of his books available through the Irish booksellers,Black Lightning was a book I had wanted to read for many years,though to be honest it was a bit of a disappointment.A serial killer is executed for his crimes,then the murders begin again.This time the killer homes in on the family of the Jounalist who campaigned for the death sentence ...more
Sean Cisneros
Dec 06, 2014 Sean Cisneros rated it really liked it
So far this is my favorite book from John Saul . Very good book .
May 02, 2014 Katrin rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
A very slow read! Dumb ending.
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The Manhattan Hun...: Black Lightning (Group Read - July/Aug 2012) 54 14 Aug 08, 2012 01:47AM  
book reveiw 1 9 Apr 01, 2011 01:40AM  
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John Saul was born in Pasadena, California on February 25, 1942, and grew up in Whittier where he graduated from Whittier High School in 1959. He attended several colleges—Antioch, in Ohio, Cerritos, in Norwalk, California, Montana State University and San Francisco State College, variously majoring in anthropology, liberal arts, and theater, but never obtaining a degree.
After leaving college, he
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