Mitch's Reviews > The Impaler

The Impaler by Gregory Funaro
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Mar 23, 12


A chilling look inside the mind of an insane murderer, this book employed some fairly gruesome scenes and kept me on the edge of my seat. Except for FBI agent Sam Markham, who I already knew would survive, I didn't know how many people the killer would take out, so there were some genuinely surprising deaths and twists. The FBI investigation into the killer was also well done, and to the author's credit they should have and did get some things wrong based on false assumptions from the evidence.

That said, this book is a bit too confusing to give it my full endorsement. While it's clear the murderer's entirely crazy and was influenced by his time spent in the Middle East, I didn't entirely get the connection with Nergal. Most readers unfamiliar with Sumerian mythology would probably be completely lost, especially with the killer's more convoluted than just plain insane scheme to use strategically placed corpses to communicate with this Nergal deity. The astrology part of the plan I got, but the numerology part went way over my head.

This confusion probably explains why Markham stumbles into the killer based almost entirely on sheer luck rather than investigative skill or work, which really sours the plot. Without a clear picture of the killer's methodology, the reader can only stumble along with the investigators to the conclusion, which is disappointing.
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