George D. Shuman
George D Shuman
From George D. Shuman who served twenty years with the Metropolitan Police Department, Washington DC, and whose international bestseller, ’18 Seconds’, is currently in production as a major Hollywood motion picture.
Better still, ‘Rattleman’ is George D. Shuman’s most gripping crime thriller yet.
The Rattleman knows every crevice, every creek, every cave, every ravine, every inch of his remote hunting grounds in the Appalachian Mountains.
He is a determined serial killer, always waiting for his next victim to cross his path.
When Park Ranger Jane Cameron literally stumbles across the remains of two of his victims, she discovers that she too has been caught in his trap.
And when the ‘Rattleman’s prey is at his mercy, she’s dead.
George Shuman is the international bestselling author of the Sherry Moore series about a blind woman who can see 18 seconds from a dead person’s life, using her innate ability to track down their killers.
George’s first four Sherry Moore books are published by Simon & Schuster. ‘!8 Seconds’ is currently in production for a major Hollywood motion picture.
‘Rattleman’ is the first of George’s books to be published by Taylor Street. It too will be a major Hollywood motion picture.
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First, let me say that I really enjoyed this book. Rattleman is a suspense thriller with all the threat and danger that the genre implies. Death is levied with impunity from the first victim to the last, and the villain, Rolfe Ledder, is realistic enough to keep one looking over their shoulder.
My criteria for rating:
Genre – Suspense/Thriller: This hit all the right notes of discomfort and eeriness. Any reader will wait anxiously for this killer’s final capture. You can’t help but check out your window while you’re reading this.
Plot: Complex and twisting!
Characterization: My only issue. See note below
What I liked: Shuman’s writing is evocative. His descriptions and dialog drew me seamlessly into a world that is unfamiliar, yet exists almost in my backyard. That gives a transcendent quality to the crimes that are happening, one that creates the cold sweat along the spine that doesn’t let go on the last page. It’s also obvious that the author applied his significant background with law enforcement and knowledge of historical events in the geographic regions to this story. Those sections flow very well. I also found the final scene between the villain and his final female victim well crafted. There isn’t a nice pat answer, and the unusual altercation that causes Rolfe to falter took me by surprise, but it made wonderful sense. Rolfe’s development, his past, and his actions are nicely layered and understandable, though not sympathetic.
What I didn’t like: The story initially moves from one character to the next without providing a consistent protagonist for the reader to latch onto, empathize with, and root for. Here’s a hint, the character in the blurb isn’t it. The character that starts the book, Sheriff Marty Wayne, is wonderful, a genuine likeable character with a moral code, but he doesn’t reappear for a while, which isn’t enough for the reader to hitch along his emotional road. In the same vein, it seemed the villain, whose purpose as an antagonist is to provide the plot’s push back, takes more than his fair share of the time telling his story instead of allowing us to experience it through the main characters’ observations or findings. I realize this comes down to my personal preference as a reader and nothing I mentioned here was a deal breaker, I just would have preferred more development and involvement of the main characters and much sooner.
That all said I enjoyed the story. The writing is excellent. The tale is frightening and riddled with the unexpected. There is a wonderful assortment of rich secondary characters and the quick pace makes this a fast, thrilling read.
I give this four stars*** and recommend Rattleman to suspense/thriller enthusiasts!