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Book Title: The Madman's Tale|
The author of the book: John Katzenbach
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Reader ratings: 7.7
Edition: Ballantine Books
Date of issue: June 15th 2004
ISBN 13: 9780345478474
Format files: PDF
The size of the: 9.39 MB
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It’s been twenty years since Western State Hospital was closed down and the last of its inmates reintegrated into society. Francis Petrel was barely out of his teens when his family committed him to the asylum, after his erratic behavior culminated in a terrifying outburst. Now middle-aged, he leads an aimless, solitary life housed in a cheap apartment, periodically tended to by his sisters, and perpetually medicated to quiet the chorus of voices in his head. But a reunion on the grounds of the shuttered institution stirs something deep in Francis’s troubled mind: dark memories he thought he had laid to rest, about the grisly events that led to Western State Hospital’s demise.
It begins in 1979, when twenty-one-year-old Petrel descends into the state-run purgatory of an overcrowded, understaffed Massachusetts mental hospital. Surrounded by inmates roaming the halls like drugged zombies and raving behind locked doors, well-meaning orderlies, jaded nurses, and patronizing doctors, Francis finds friendship with a motley assortment of fellow patients: a would-be Napoleon, a wise ex-firefighter, and a man obsessed with battling imagined devils. But there’s nothing imaginary about the young nurse found sexually assaulted and brutally murdered late one night after lights-out.
The police suspect an inmate, while patients whisper about visions of a white-shrouded “angel.” But the striking and mysterious prosecuting attorney who arrives to investigate has her own chilling theory—about the grim, telltale “signature” left on the victim’s body, a string of unsolved sex killings, and a very real devil who, by chance or design, has come to turn a madhouse into a slaughterhouse.
Now, with the past creeping back to haunt his thoughts, and nothing but a pencil and the bare walls of his bleak apartment, Francis surrenders to the overwhelming need to tell the story of those nightmarish days. But because the crime was never solved, it’s a story doomed to remain unfinished. Until, like Francis’s long-buried recollections, the killer resurfaces . . . with a vengeance.
A tour de force narrative journey through the eerily unpredictable mind of an utterly unusual hero, The Madman’s Tale will keep even the most astute thriller reader uncertain, unnerved, and unable to resist the tantalizing twists and turns of this fiendishly suspenseful shadow show.
From the Hardcover edition.
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Read information about the authorJohn Katzenbach is a U.S. author of popular fiction. Son of Nicholas Katzenbach, former United States Attorney General, John worked as a criminal court reporter for the Miami Herald and Miami News, and a featured writer for the Herald’s Tropic magazine. He is married to Madeleine Blais and they live in western Massachusetts.
He left the newspaper grind to write books, racking up 12 novels so far, psychological thrillers that have made him an international success. His first, 1982's bestselling *In the Heat of the Summer, became the movie *The Mean Season , filmed partially in The Herald's newsroom ans starring Kurt Russell and MAriel Hemingway.
Two more of his books were made into films in the United States, 1995's *Just Cause and 2002's *Hart's War. A fourth book, *The Wrong Man was recently made into the soon-to-be-released French film Faux Coupable.
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