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Black Lightning

3.76 of 5 stars 3.76  ·  rating details  ·  2,859 ratings  ·  82 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 SaulThe Manhattan Hunt Club by John SaulBlack Creek Crossing by John Saul
Best John Saul Books
13th out of 34 books — 64 voters
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Best Books of 1995
24th out of 206 books — 87 voters

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Community Reviews

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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
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I really enjoyed this book. Lots of twists and turns and it kept me turning the pages as fast as I could! :)
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.
Christoph Segers
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
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.
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.
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
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
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
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
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.

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
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
Mediocre. Not scary as I had been hoping for. Interesting premise, but that was all.
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
So far this is my favorite book from John Saul . Very good book .
A very slow read! Dumb ending.
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.
As many others have noted, this book was fairly predictable. I figured out the 'twist' around chapter 45. It was a good read, definitely a page turner but I was extremely disappointed with the way the book ended. Almost downgraded the rating to three stars, but thought I would give John Saul an extra kudo for keeping me entertained up until about chapter 70.
i can always count on john saul for a good read
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.
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.
Loredana Ulchianu
Good plot, poor ending.
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The Manhattan Hun...: Black Lightning (Group Read - July/Aug 2012) 54 12 Aug 07, 2012 04:47PM  
book reveiw 2 8 Jun 14, 2012 07:07PM  
book reveiw 1 4 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
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