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We have Francis, he seems submissive and the typical person who is there but not...well that was not quite the problem but the opposite, he was sharp taking in everything...so much that ended up overwhelming him....when he's family commits him at a Mental Hospital, he'll be the witness of a crime taking place inside the hospital, now as an adult he'll leave the ...more
John Katzenbach – 10th non-fiction
Ballantine Books, 2004 – Hardcover
Francis Xavier Petrel, named C-Bird by his former fellow inmates at Western State Hospital, is now living on this own. But an invitation to the hospital, closed for 20 years, being made a museum, draws Francis back, both to the place and the memories of the events, people and murders there.
*** An incredible book which draws you in and keeps you there to the very end, this is not a ...more
This story cames out of the revelations of the sparky crazy mind of Francis Petrel (C-Bird) who recounts his stay in a mental hospital many years ago, disclosing the unresolved crime of a nurse assistant.
The story line works in different time dimensions a first person account and a third person recount adopting the scheme of a whodunit, where also the perpetrator of a distant past jumps into the recount and commit more crimes hidden in a bunch of crazy men, it also adds a ...more
Pros: a gripping page-turner, and the author manages to talk about killings and maimings and whatnot without lingering over the gore. The character development is good and the characters are nuanced. I liked the two aides.
Cons: the protagonist and the two other main characters on his side actually are fairly believable, but the other folks who are described in any ...more
This is a think-outside-the-box setting for a serial killer murder mystery - one of my favorite types of stories. Add to that a hospital full of ...more
I thought for sure half way through the book I had figured out who the "Angel" was.If so it would h ...more
A truly captivating and claustrophobic mystery! Part ''One flew over the cuckoo's nest'', part ''Shutter island'', the character development was interesting, every hero had his own complexity, and the craziness concept was very well executed in my opinion... The 3,5 stars are given because I was really dissatisfied by the identity of the killer, and because towards the page 350 and forward I almost skipped parts, the ending was coming so slow! Overall, it was a memorale readi ...more
An unpleasant reading experience with a lame ending. Confusing and silly at times.
Also, it rubbed me the wrong way that Lucy Kyoto Jones, partly Asian and with a scar on her face, was described as exotic at the beginning.
I'm taking this as my first spooky read of October.
As I said before, this wasn't what I expected. I had so many expectations for this book because I've read other works by Katzenbach and I found them atonishing, thrilling and incredibly written. This was certainly not the case.
The narrator is an schizophrenic man who has
recovered been under so many pills and routine that he no longer hears voices. I wanted delusions, fantasies, voices that crept under his skin and made you cringe. I actually
But for those who didn't read it, this was more like the introduction of the character and the hospital, it becomes bearable, don't worry about that.
It was a little bit slow in my opinion, and i fe ...more
Interesting tale told from the mind of a middle aged schizophrenic man, living in the community, who spent his early years institutionalized at a state hospital, subsequently closed. It goes into his time there and unravels a murder mystery which occurs on the grounds. Likable characters, but not as much depth as I like. A bit slow in spots for a thriller. Good job of capturing what it might be like to live with auditory hallucinations and good depiction of an institutional world ...more
It started well, we had a problem to solve, but the way the information is given to us is so unnecessary long. And the climax of the story happened in the last 30 pages. 30 out of over 500.
The characters felt incredibly under developed and 2d.
And at the end, when we finally now who the murdered is it's just so disappointing. There were so many other interesting options, it felt not worth the reading.
John, what happened? I kn ...more
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He left the newspaper grind to write books, racking up 12 novels so far, p ...more