Black Lightning
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Black Lightning

3.72 of 5 stars 3.72  ·  rating details  ·  2,202 ratings  ·  73 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. . . .

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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 SaulThe Manhattan Hunt Club by John SaulPunish the Sinners by John SaulComes the Blind Fury by John Saul
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15th out of 34 books — 55 voters
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Best Books of 1995
22nd out of 190 books — 76 voters


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Linda
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
Jack
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Andrea
I really enjoyed this book. Lots of twists and turns and it kept me turning the pages as fast as I could! :)
William
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
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.
Carol Brannigan
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.
Trisha
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.
Laura
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 :-)
Lizzie
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...more
Ana Chant
I can’t see why John Saul is such an underrated author. I still haven’t read a book by him that wasn’t extremely entertaining, if predictable. But so is the majority of King's work, who is far more popular in the genre, I just don't get it.

Normally, Saul’s stories are about a small town or community being haunted and something to do with children. Black Lightning was unusual. It’s about a reporter, Anne Jeffers, who dedicated her life to convicting a serial killer named Richard Kraven. Kraven is...more
Davis Hemingway
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...more
 Marla
2.5 stars. There was too much about the book that I didn't like, including the premise, the story and the characters.

Likes:
* 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...more
Trisha
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.
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Geen beschrijving te vinden.
Zal opnieuw het boek proberen te lezen.
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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...more
Farrah
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...more
Rick

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...more
Bandit
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
Andy
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 kennys.ie,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
Amanda Hendsbee
I wish I could say I loved this book because I usually really enjoy John Saul, but this is probably one of the most predictable, most unnecessarily graphic and violent books I've ever read. The plot is great, albeit not at all unique, but it goes too far and just becomes grotesque by about halfway through it. I knew a few chapters into it exactly what was going to happen, so I actually just skimmed the second half of it. This isn't terrible, but it's definitely not one of John Saul's best works....more
April
i can always count on john saul for a good read
Andrew
Picked this up at sort of random. I had only read one of John Saul's other books and decided to give another one of his a go. I was just blow away with how vivid he made the characters and their feelings. He did a pretty good job with environment as well, but the character development he did is well done. I kept having strong emotions for the characters and could actually relate or feel what they were feeling. I look forward to reading even more from this author.
Marie
Didn't like at all and couldn't finish. Morbid and dull is all I can say.
Jamie Brooks
I was really into this story at first. I thought the plot was interesting and that it had a lot of potential, but then that is all it had. Potential. I figured out the "twist", if you can even call it that, towards the beginning. I think Saul probably planned it that way, but to me it made it a lot less interesting than if he had had the reader try and figure it out. The ending was surprising either. Overall it was just an okay read.
Simon Deimel
The changing perspective reminded me of Dean Koontz.
The story is great, but it is a fault that one big mystery is solved in the middle of the book and the second gets too obvious by then. And the last few chapters seem to be a bit too hasty... as if the author had been in a hurry, thinking "this gets too long, I have to come to an end". Nevertheless it was good entertainment.
Steve Schlutow


I thought this book started out pretty good. A serial killer is put to death while at the same time our hero's husband has a heart attack and needs to be brought back to life. Question becomes is it the same person who came back in the husbands body. This is when the story started to drag, and the ending was horrible
Joe Brodecki
This one has probably been my least favorite audio-book so far. The story was long and drawn out and it just didn't seem to move along well. I found myself plodding through this book instead of enjoying my car-rides to and from work.

There was nothing new or original with this story, so my overall feel for the book was "Meh".
Richard
Feb 23, 2011 Richard marked it as unfinished  ·  review of another edition
I deliberately left this one at a hotel in another country just so I wouldn't be tempted to finish reading it.

"HIS MOST EFFECTIVE THRILLER TO DATE. . . [A] COMPELLING READ." - Seattle Times

I'd hate to be subjected to one of his less effective "thrillers". Yawn. Going to steer well clear of this genre in the future.

Leah
Sep 02, 2007 Leah rated it 4 of 5 stars Recommends it for: anyone
John Saul has become one of my all-time favorite authors, and this was the first book that got me into him. He comes up with riveting (albeit peculiar) plots and twists, and he focuses on blending the paranormal, the supernatural, and psychological thrills, and results in a well-crafted book.
Kyle Morris
Love all of John Saul's books. He focuses on teenagers, at least all the books of his that I've read were that way. I empathized with his lead characters because I always feel like an outsider, which his characters always wind up being. Saul mixes it all up with some Sci-fi to boot.
Rob Bliss
This was standard fare for Saul.

Ive read many of his novels. Good enough thrillers for a quick read, and his trademark seems to be an inconclusive conclusion. Great for sequels, which he rarely if ever does.

Some of his others I liked better, some less, this was in the middle.
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The Manhattan Hun...: Black Lightning (Group Read - July/Aug 2012) 54 12 Aug 07, 2012 04:47PM  
book reveiw 2 7 Jun 14, 2012 07:07PM  
book reveiw 1 3 Mar 31, 2011 04:26PM  
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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...more
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