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13 of 13 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Thought provoking, satisfying crime novel!
This was a great twisty-turny psychological thriller and as soon as I finished I wanted to turn it over and start again! The novel begins with a sadistic killing broadcast live over the internet with Detective Robert Hunter watching on and trying to determine if this event is real or hoax. When the body turns up the reality of the situation becomes apparent. The pace...
Published 16 months ago by M. Trevelyan

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18 of 19 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars GREAT BOOK, BUT I'VE SEEN THE FILM....
I really like Chris Carter's Robert Hunter books and this is no exception. I am a real fan and downloaded this as soon as as I saw it. This is a great book, taut, thrilling and grisly. Robert Hunter is the perfect genius cop (literally).

However, and this review would otherwise have been five stars, I was really let down in that that the central premise/plot...
Published 16 months ago by ResolutionCool


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13 of 13 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Thought provoking, satisfying crime novel!, 15 Aug 2013
By 
M. Trevelyan (Brentwood essex) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
This review is from: One by One (Robert Hunter 5) (Hardcover)
This was a great twisty-turny psychological thriller and as soon as I finished I wanted to turn it over and start again! The novel begins with a sadistic killing broadcast live over the internet with Detective Robert Hunter watching on and trying to determine if this event is real or hoax. When the body turns up the reality of the situation becomes apparent. The pace doesn't let up holding your attention throughout!

Hunter and his partner Garcia embark on a hunt for the killer who is a computer genius, even outfoxing the FBI high flyers. The killer raises the stakes by allowing viewers over the internet to vote on the death method of his next victim and this provides an interesting thinking point. If you thought someone was about to be killed, would you vote on the method used? Would you watch? This novel as well as being an accomplished thriller which shows the murders from the killer, victim, onlooker and agent points of view makes you think about the implication of actions.

The novel talks about choices and the outcome as it builds is intense and surprising! The end of the novel is both satisfying and in keeping with the rest of the story not tamely tailing off and the murders are gory and unusual, if you've seen the SAW films expect something similar! If you are of a nervous disposition you may find yourself feeling uncomfortable. I wanted to get to the end to see how it would all happen, short chapters and just the right amount of technical information kept the novel moving along at a swift pace with enough characterisation that I felt I was getting to know them.

I would definitely recommend this book as a high quality novel but also as one that is thought provoking read it and you'll see - would you be part of the pack and vote, absolving yourself of responsibility because everyone else is doing it, or would you be disgusted and pretend you had never come across pickadeath.com?
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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A Dark Race Against Time, 15 Aug 2013
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This review is from: One by One (Robert Hunter 5) (Hardcover)
When it comes to crime and thrillers it makes sense to grab a reader's attention from the very first page. One by One certainly achieves this as it hits the ground running. Within a handful of pages, the main character, Detective Robert Hunter, is already going toe to toe with a deranged psychopath.

Hunter is a solid protagonist. Intelligent, driven and inquisitive, he is exactly what you would look for in an investigator. As the plot unfolds you quickly realise his partnership with Detective Carlos Garcia has a nice air of familiarity about it, you get a sense that these two men would always be there to back one another up. The author takes the time to establish realistic reactions and genuine motivations to drive the pair forward.

Hardly a surprise, but I'll say it anyway, the crimes in One by One are pretty damn gruesome. I wouldn't dream of spoiling anything for any potential reader all I will say is Euuuuwwww! Seriously though, those with a squeamish/nervous disposition be warned that things do get quite graphic. Personally though, I liked the diabolical methods and torture devices that the killer employs. Yes, they are perhaps a bit Pit and the Pendulum crossed with Saw, but once you discover the reasoning behind what is going on they make perfect sense.

Carter has a direct, punchy writing style and the chapters just whizz by. Each chapter tends only to be between three or four pages long. The entire novel is around five hundred pages in length so there are over one hundred chapters. I've come across this sort of structure in novels before, mostly thrillers. The short, sharp shock approach lends itself well to a story that is essentially a race against time. It ramps up the sense of urgency and keeps you guessing what's going to happen next.

A little internet research confirms that there are already four books featuring the character of Robert Hunter before One by One. The good news is that Carter doesn't dwell too much on any events that have happened before. There are just a few throw away lines that I suspect allude to previous investigations, but not much more than that. The story is quite self-contained and I never felt that I was missing out having not read the other books. If anything, based on my experience with this novel, I wouldn't be averse to reading more of Chris Carter's back catalogue.

I enjoyed One by One. I got caught up in the plot very easily. More importantly it held my attention for the duration. There is something wonderfully sinister about the way it taps into the Big Brother mentality of reality television, and internet stardom. Over recent years it feels like the viewing public have become more desensitised to violence, and more voyeuristic. The premise of this story explores that idea, and follows it to its natural, if somewhat dark, conclusion. It reads like some twisted variation of Andy Warhol's fifteen minutes of fame flipped squarely on its head.

This is perfect escapism for those who like their crime thrillers decidedly dark and fast paced.
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18 of 19 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars GREAT BOOK, BUT I'VE SEEN THE FILM...., 23 Aug 2013
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I really like Chris Carter's Robert Hunter books and this is no exception. I am a real fan and downloaded this as soon as as I saw it. This is a great book, taut, thrilling and grisly. Robert Hunter is the perfect genius cop (literally).

However, and this review would otherwise have been five stars, I was really let down in that that the central premise/plot of the book has already been done. The 2008 film "Untraceable", with Diane Lane and Colin Hanks, has a virtually identical central plot line and the fact I've seen "Untraceable" (good film btw) really diminished the reading of the book. To make it worse, one of the deaths in the book, involving a tank of water, is extraordinarily similar to the way in which Colin Hanks is murdered in "Untraceable". I'm not making allegations of plagiarism, as the idea is a staple of all "cruel" reality shows and I honestly don't think a writer of Chris Carter's stature needs help from Hollywood. BUT, be warned, if you've seen "Untraceable", the central idea of this book will seem very familiar. It's still a fanatastic and compulsive read.

I hate to criticise as I love Chris Carter's Robert Hunter books but the similarities are just too obvious. In fact and if anything, the central idea of "Untraceable" is better, as the method of death says more about on-line voyeurism that the methods of death in this book.

Sorry!
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Gruesome and numbing, 26 July 2014
By 
Michael Watson "skirrow22" (Halifax, England) - See all my reviews
(VINE VOICE)    (TOP 1000 REVIEWER)    (REAL NAME)   
Oh dear, I seem well out of synch with just about every other reviewer but I can honestly say that, for me, this book is only okay.

At the moment, there are a great many police thrillers on the go with an increasing number of them devoted to cyber crime.

This is one such and although our two LAPD heroes are mixing it well, it does seem there are an awful lot of pages which take you nowhere. This may well be how police investigations work out but for a reader it's all rather boring.

And then there is the matter of the death online murders which are nasty, gruesome and distinctly off-putting. Do we need this? Obviously, according to Amazon reviewers, we do. For me, however, dealing with a psycho means that their thought process is random so, unless by chance, how do you locate him/her?

I did reach the end; there's plenty going on in the world for new ideas to be presented to today's authors so hopefully his next book will be a more pallatable affair.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars A great read marred by fundamental flaws, 26 Jun 2014
I'm aware this will end up sounding like a hate piece. It's not. I'm also aware Chris Carter will never read this. However I found this book to be a textbook case of a novel that was almost great. Allow me to elaborate.

I read this book in a day. Not facetious about length here. It genuinely gripped me like a good thriller should. I was unfamiliar with the author prior to this and I found his sense of tension to be exemplary. This alone, gets the three stars. But...

I studied creative writing to a degree level, and there are major problems with the story telling mechanics I found unforgivable. The first, and lesser, was the Deus Ex Machina level of ability the characters display throughout (and particularly the third act) that cams across as laughable. The second and most damning is the curse of expository dialogue. Two police officers explaining basic procedure to each other for the benefit of the audience is clunky, dull and demonstrates an author who has done a lot of research he is desperate to share. The issue is incessant throughout and distracted from the otherwise competent world building.

But this all comes from a technical standpoint. The tension is well maintained and even the shallowness of the books final half didn't reveal where the narrative was heading. There's a lot to admire here, but problems at a basic story telling level prevent me from giving this book more than three stars.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Edge of seat thriller, 5 Sep 2013
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Really great book, lives up to all his others. A little stomach churning in parts but well worth the read, certainly makes you think and plays on a lot of your own terrors!
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A fantastic book, 5 Sep 2013
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This book I did not want to put down until finished, on a par with his others. A really gripping novel.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Nailbiting, 5 Sep 2013
I read all of the Hunter books and this book is sure to lose a lot of sleep with the twists and turns.
BRILLIANT READ.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Hunter + Garcia + serial killer = A great read...., 27 Aug 2013
By 
Raven (England) - See all my reviews
(TOP 500 REVIEWER)   
This review is from: One by One (Robert Hunter 5) (Hardcover)
Chris Carter has quickly carved out a niche for himself in the realm of the psychological serial killer thriller, and One By One marks the fifth outing for his detectives Robert Hunter and Carlos Garcia. Tapping into the fertile world of social networking and the sometimes insidious influence of the Internet, Carter has produced a truly chilling crime read, which most scarily could eventually happen...

Robert Hunter of the LAPD Robbery Homicide Division finds himself receiving the very personal attention of a cold calm killer: a killer who posts videos online of his victims on the verge of death, their fate to be decided in a voting system by those who click the link. Thanks to the propensity of video to quickly go viral globally, Hunter and his stalwart partner Detective Garcia, along with the finest brains in the FBI Cybercrime Division, face a race against the clock to reveal the connection between the victims of this twisted killer's game and close in on the perpetrator of these heinous acts. Carter has a natural knack for tapping in to our worst nightmares and by bringing this storyline so realistically alive, the reader is imbued with a real sense that horrifyingly this plot is all too easily imaginable in a world so influenced by the power, and less than savoury activities, to be found on the medium of the internet. Once again, I would issue a warning to the more fainthearted of readers as to the visceral detail of the crimes committed, but for the more ghoulish amongst you they really are quite engrossing and the killer's motivation is an interesting, and a surprisingly sympathetic one, when they are eventually unmasked.

Perhaps due to the demands of the compressed and quickly moving plot, which Carter unfolds in his normal meticulous style, there is little time for any real further development of the relationship between Hunter and Garcia- a kind of cerebral Batman and Robin. However, regular and new readers alike will quickly recognise the intrinsic understanding and closeness between them, gleaned from not only this book, but by the careful addition of references to previous investigations. As the two have plumbed the depths of a series of evil and twisted killers, there is almost a sense of telepathy between them in their actions and reactions that is seldom replicated in other crime novels, and in Carter's portrayal of these two men, and the differences between them in a psychological sense, once again, their professional and personal relationship lies at the heart of the strength of this series. One By One homes in on, not only the natural humour and camararderie between them, but also the strength of their symbiotic relationship, when this killer comes a little too close for comfort to one of the detectives nearest and dearest. Throw into the mix, Michelle Kelly, a former hacker and now a cyber geek for the FBI who teams up with our intrepid duo, who I found a very compelling character and liked what she brought to the plot, and you will not be disappointed. With great plotting, a precision control of pace and tension, and assured characterisation, Chris Carter once again proves his worth in this thrilling and chilling tale. Scary stuff...
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Watch Them Die - One by One - One Hundred and Eighteen..., 17 Aug 2013
This review is from: One by One (Paperback)
.. - some shorter, some longer - Chris Carter literally handcuffs his readers until the bitter end. Which might easily be the last thriller we read about the dream-team Robert Hunter and Carlos Garcia...
Why that? Read the book!

Right at the beginning we learn something about the ideal shot to execute a victim without causing any pain. What a consolation for the one who has to die...
Then a call arrives at the direct line of Robert Hunter, who signalises to his partner to listen to that call, too. They will be urged by the anonymous caller to go to a certain internet adress. Their eyes are glued to their computer screens right from the start.
From this moment we are caught in the middle of a drama which evolves via internet and in real time. In a glass container a man is bound to a seat, awaiting what? A vote from Hunter to chose the method of his death - fire or water...
And Hunter - who cannot save that man - chooses in the very last moment the solution which seems less painful to the poor victim. But the torturer kills that man in a way NOBODY could have forseen. And who believed in a hoax, will change their minds because the body will be found soon.

On the other side the FBI is trying to nail the caller's computer-IP, but they are helpless like is the LAPD to find out the position of the caller.
This is a monster who is a real kingpin with computers and communications. Soon a new website appears called ...pickadeath.com, with a new victim. But this time the killer has transformed his perverse "game" into a live murder reality show, where anyone can vote to decide the ending...
And the violence escalates with all the righteous citizens who can decide between two methods of death for a person declared GUILTY by the perpetrator. And the brave netizens vote!

Into more details I don't want to go, because everything may spoil something for someone :). And what I have written above is only the bare skeleton of the thriller, which shows the desperate attempts of the good girls and guys to save lives...

The deaths are gruesome - nothing for delicate souls.
But the more gruesome fact is that the people had the choice NOT to vote, when they knew that the transmission is NO HOAX. But they voted nontheless - simply to see a person they never knew die in a cruel way THEY chose.
And that is the sense of this thriller!
Chris Carter is holding a mirror up to all of us. But mostly to those who are voting at every "reality show" - because it gives them a feeling of some kind of power.
But on the other side he also makes it clear to the reader that it doesn't take a born and bred psychopath to plan and commit all those crimes.
Also totally normal persons simply can reach a breaking point, or a point of no return and snap. And if those persons start a vendetta and are very intelligent and very able in the Do-it-Yourself sector, too - they may come out like our killer.
I was fascinated about the way Chris Carter is able to encrease the thrill factor with every book he writes.
When I thought the last time with The Death Sculptor: that book must have been the limit, he finds an even more perverse way to hook his readers until the bitter end.

A full FIVE-star thriller for me, and I can only recommend it to all the readers who like their crime plots twisted and their heroes and heroines, but also the bad guy(s), tough and resolute.
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One by One (Robert Hunter 5)
One by One (Robert Hunter 5) by Chris Carter (Hardcover - 15 Aug 2013)
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