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3.4  ·  Rating Details ·  456 Ratings  ·  144 Reviews

A City Gripped By Fear

Seattle newspaper photographer Nick Wilder has snapped his fair share of gruesome homicide scenes. But when a serial killer dubbed the Street Butcher takes his sick crimes to new depths of depravity, Nick finds the case suddenly getting to him in more ways than one

A Killer Who Knows No End

With each new murder Nick is shocked by what he won't so

Kindle Edition, 385 pages
Published (first published January 1st 2009)
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Nov 01, 2009 Kelly rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
What can I say here to urge everyone to try this book? It was outstanding. A brilliant debut thriller, from a talented new author who will undoubtedly join the ranks of Dennis Lehane and James Siegel. This man is a genius. I started reading Mania day before yesterday and finished it about an hour ago. I found myself carrying it around with me all weekend long, not wanting to put it down until I'd finished; yet at the same time, I didn't want it to end. It was that good.

The story in Mania takes
Richard Derus
Rating: a revolted 3* of five

I don't think thrillers are all created equal. I think this book is a thriller because there isn't a sales category called "Noir" although, given the rate at which this kind of novel is being published, there soon will be.

I wasn't thrilled by the gory, bloody, lovingly depicted death and torture in the book. I wasn't thrilled by the editor's decision to leave a dizzying number of time-shifts in place. I wasn't thrilled by the sheer vileness of so many of the characte
Note: I won this book free through the Goodreads First Reads giveaway, which in no way influenced my rating or review. This review can also be found here:

This book was like a grade-A steak sandwich on moldy bread. I hated the beginning and end, loved the middle. It started off very slowly, which is an odd thing to say for a story that begins with a murder. Larsen's descriptions of scenery seem like filler rather than setting any mood, and slow the pace down. But with the int
Nancy Oakes
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Nov 08, 2009 Marvin rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Graig Larsen's mesmerizing thriller Mania may be a little disorienting for the first 50 pages. He starts with a shocker and then moves from present to past and back in a way that at first seems random. Yet every movement and every character in this suspenseful mystery holds a meaning. Very soon you are hooked. I thought I was following the clues and thought I understood where it was going but was pleasingly shocked at the ending. A good mystery writer surprises you at the end but leads you so we ...more
Janelle Dazzlepants
Wow. Without meaning to sound totally cliche, this book is really quite unpredictable. I thought it was going to be some typical psychological thriller, where the main character suffers from blackouts and kills people; or where the events are really figments in the mind of a hospitalized psychopath. It wasnt.

Once I'd realised that this book wasn't going in that typical psychological thriller direction, I really had no idea where it was going! There were a number of subplots going on, and I hone
C.H. Armstrong
My copy of "Mania" was part of the Goodreads giveaways, so I'd first like to give a *HUGE* thank you to the author, Craig Larsen, for sending this copy to me.

I've really agonized over how to rate this book. In the end I gave it only 2 stars - not because it was a bad book - but because I felt it was too predictable. That is to say that I felt like I knew who the bad guys - or most of them - were from the first page of their introduction, so when they turned out to be the bad guys I wasn't surpri
Georgiann Hennelly
Mania is an interesting read. Nick Wilder is a photographer for a newspaper he mostly photographs crime scene s. But when his brother Sam is murdered by the Street Butcher. Nick finds the case is getting to him in more ways than one. He,s not sleeping , he has disturbing dreams and flash backs to his child hood. Nick doesn,t know what is happening is he losing his mind. As the motives multiply and the suspects narrow , the cold stark Seattle winter gets even colder. the ending is a little confus ...more
Dec 31, 2009 Jim rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: gr-giveaway-wins
If nothing else, this book succeeded in 1) keeping me up way too late and 2) keeping me hooked. There are some nit-picky things I could get into but for a debut, Larsen has really hit the mark. He's done a great job with pacing and while there are spots where the flow is a bit jolting for the reader this is easy to overlook. The characters elicit emotional responses, both good and bad as appropriate which, for my money, is the name of the game.
Jan 26, 2017 Tamara rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: own
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Naomi Blackburn
The book didn't come together until the end and I was pretty disappointed with it throughout the book. I considered it to be mediocre and forgetable. Once I got to the end, it all clicked. I did plan on giving the book 2 stars, but with the ending, will bump it up to 3
Jul 13, 2017 Melanie rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I love horror movies and this would be a killer movie, no pun intended. The paranormal aspect is something that I am very intrigued by. I would warn anyone that wanted to read this that it is quite visceral. There are some really f***ed up sex scenes so consider yourself forewarned. I was a bit unnerved by some of the actual attack scenes. In fact, the story really creeped me out but that is what is supposed to happen in horror stories. A surprising ending, I definitely didn't see it coming. I f ...more
Feb 09, 2010 Gina rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: suspense/mystery/thriller readers.
Recommended to Gina by: The author himself
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Mania by Craig Larsen is an exciting book, I'll definitely give it that. I'm not much of a mystery/thriller reader (I couldn't get through five pages of The DaVinci Code because the prose was so terrible) I've basically pigeon-holed myself into Raymond Chandler and Agatha Christie books when I want a mystery, but Mania kept me reading, at the very least, to find out what the hell was going on.

Basically, protagonist Nick Wilder is a semi-freelance photographer for the Seattle Telegraph, his paren
Grey Liliy
Jan 14, 2012 Grey Liliy rated it liked it
I went back and forth with this one--the writing is a solid 4 rating (descriptive, engaging, emotional), but the story was probably a solid 3 (good, but a little predictable).

The book was honestly a little depressing. This was one of those stories where our protagonist Nick was not allowed to be happy. Ever. Sara brought some light into his life as the love interest, but the moments were swiftly smothered by the case surrounding his brother and the serial killer. The more Nick finds out about hi
Feb 23, 2010 Jay rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Mita
Shelves: first-reads
I was lucky enough to win this book because otherwise I would have steered well clear of it for the simple reason that I don't like 'thrillers'. I tend to avoid these books because the majority of them are simply a series of predicable, violent episodes strung together by a chase. While this book is referred to as a thriller, it is more a mystery with strong psychological elements.
I enjoyed this book so much that it practically read itself - I finished it in three days and was left feeling sati
Kari Anderson
Mar 13, 2010 Kari Anderson rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
On the rainy streets of Seattle, Nick Wilder is leaving a bar with his brother one moment, waking up and finding his brother dead the next. Nick is a photojournalist for a newspaper and with the snap of a finger, things start getting stranger and stranger for him. He starts blacking out and people start dying. Is he the one doing the killing? Why is he always around when the victims are found? And why are so many homeless men involved in murders?

This is one of those books that I can only read ev
Mania is a thriller with twists and turns that will keep you reading and guessing right to the very end. The title is very apt as mania = “a mood disorder; an affective disorder in which the victim tends to respond excessively and sometimes violently” and this is what you get but the real question is who is the victim? Craig Larsen has produced a fast-paced thriller which will see you turning the pages faster than you can say Mania.

The main character Nick Wilder is a newspaper photographer who f
Gareth Cuddy
Nov 09, 2009 Gareth Cuddy rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Rarely if ever have I read a book that is disturbing and enthralling in equal measures.
From the opening, disorientating chapters in which the reader is introduced breathlessly into the present, hurled to the past and dragged kicking back into the here and now, there is a masterfully crafted sense of paranoia and delusion, the purpose of which only becomes apparant towards the end.

The main protaganist is Nick Wilder, a down on his luck freelance photographer, whos job is to be first on the murder
Nancy Carty Lepri
Nick Wilde, photographer for the “Seattle Telegraph”, lives in a tiny studio apartment, just making ends meet. One night when he is out with his brother Sam, the two are attacked after leaving a bar. Sam is brutally murdered and Nick manages to survive a beating. Everything from that night is a blur to Nick, and as time passes, he wonders if he is going crazy. A month before the attack, Nick met a beautiful woman named Sara Garland in a coffee shop and the two became lovers. Sara confessed to Ni ...more
Dec 31, 2009 Vicky rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Scared to think that one day you could be Dr Jekyll and Mr. Hide? Nick Wilder, photographer for the Seattle Telegraph, finds he’s loosing control, but is it as simple as a magic potion or is it something more? Could the cure be finding out what’s the ultimate cost of money and power?

Nick, younger brother to Sam, finds he’s deep in the throws of conspiracy, murder, and mayhem. Problem is he doesn’t know where he fits in and who the players are. In the end betrayal tells the tale.

Craig Larson pai
Jan 31, 2010 LuAnn rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: first-reads
I’ve mentioned before how much I enjoy reading books where the characters are journalists. I love reading how authors portray the passion that comes with the business of reporting.
Why? Because it’s what I do. It’s how I make my living and it’s what defines me as a writer. It’s in my blood and I can’t ever imagine doing anything else with my life.
That said, I now turn to “Mania.” This book puts the reader right into the crime scene so he or she can view it from a reporter’s eyes.
Granted, Nick Wil
Feb 26, 2010 Batsap rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: first-reads
I won this book through a first reads giveaway, so thank you to Craig Larson for sending me a copy.

Centering on the events surrounding the death of protagonist Nick Wilder's brother, this novel immediately drew me into the confusing and claustrophobic mental world that Nick inhabits. Almost from the very first sentence I could feel the cloying anxiety that seemed to effect Nick.

Frequent flashbacks throughout the novel also add to the atmosphere. Each time there is a flashback, a new piece of inf
Dec 18, 2009 Jordan rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Wow. I am incredibly lucky to have won this book from Goodreads Giveaways. This book takes twisty, turny plot lines to a new level. Everytime I thought I had something figured out, it twisted and made me doubt myself. Craig Larsen is now one of my favorite authors. He knows how to keep you on the edge of your seat, guessing what will happen next only to be right and wrong at the same time and then completely blow your mind with the ending even if you thought you had it figured out.

The scenes ar
Jan 31, 2010 ♦Jennifer♦ rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: mystery/thriller/suspence readers
I won on first reads

Mania is a suspense/thriller that I feel definitely fit the bill. It had an ending that I didn't see coming, and that is a plus. Seriously, when the ending was reveled my mouth dropped. Your led to believe that someone else is behind everything, and then BAMB turns out that someone completely unexpected was pulling the strings all along.

Right off the bat ,in the first couple pages, you are brought into the murder of Nick's brother Sam. Nick and Sam are walking from a jazz clu
First and foremost, thank you, Craig, for sending this to me. I did enjoy reading it :)

So. Nick. Creepy guy. From the start, he creeped me out. I knew that if I had ever met him in real life (if he actually existed off of the pages this novel), I would probably get that "creepy guy" vibe off of him. Now I know why... but I can't tell you that without giving it away!

I found the dynamic between characters interesting. This is one of the few books I've read where I didn't like absolutely everyone a
Dec 31, 2009 Danielle rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: first-reads-arcs
Initially a I kept putting off reading this book because I was afraid of how it would end. I'm a Happily Ever After kind of girl and from the very beginning this story took me outside of my comfort zone. But let me clear up any misconceptions, THIS MYSTERY/THRILLER IS GREAT!!! From the very beginning, I was asking myself what the hell is going on. I pride myself on being able to easily figure out a mystery but this one kept me second guessing myself. The book read like a movie (and I love moview ...more
Dec 30, 2009 Amy rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: anyone who loves thrillers, crime novels, or Shutter Island :)
Shelves: first-reads, 2010, own
I won this book on Goodreads! I can't wait to read it!

I think if I could, I would rate this a 4.5. I feel bad for the timing of receiving the book and the corresponding events of my life because it took me far too long to really sit down and READ this book. Once I sat down to really read it, on Friday night, it was difficult to set it down. I enjoyed this book as much as I enjoyed Shutter Island.

Larsen's Mania centers around Nick, a young newspaper reporter. A killer known as the Street Butcher
Dec 21, 2009 Mary rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: first-reads, 2010
Won this on GR...can't wait to read it!

ETA - This is unlike the usual books I read, in that the deepest I usually go into the thriller category is James Peterson's Women's Murder Club books and Patricia Cornwell's Scarpetta series. And my affinity to those books is tied to the fact that I have gotten to know the characters over the course of the series and look forward to learning more about their lives. However, I entered to win this with the hope that I could pass it on to my husband, who is a
Jan 11, 2010 Tom rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: mystery, first-reads
This book was a really good first effort by the author. The beginning and the end of the story were disappointing but the middle kept me hooked and reading late into the night.

I found his use of the flashback to be somewhat distracting, but effective. Unfortunately, it takes a long time care much about the main character. He is difficult to like from the start since he seems to be such a shallow and self absorbed person. Once you get into those flashback, you begin to see him in a little differe
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CRAIG LARSEN was born in 1963. He has lived in various places inside and outside the U.S. He currently resides in Northern California.
More about Craig Larsen...

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