Book of the Day



By J.A. Konrath

ISBN 978-0786042746
Publication Date:  May 29, 2018


Review by Jim Biggs


All good thrillers have a murder, a mystery, and a conspiracy. The List by J.A. Konrath is no exception. The tale begins with a wonderfully gruesome murder, a curious tattoo, and a late-night phone call to a senator that must behind it all.

The decapitated and de-digited body of librarian Tom Jessup had been discovered (the woman living in the apartment below noticed blood seeping through her ceiling and called 911). Detectives Tom Mankowski and Roy Lewis are in charge at the murder scene. They find the head, note that it appears to have been removed in one fell swoop and that the stumps of the fingers are tourniquet-ed with twist ties. But the one discovery that brings this case home for Mankowski is a tattoo of the number 7 on the victims left heel. For Mankowski also has a tattoo on the heel of his left foot–the number 5. He has had it his whole life and has no idea where it came from or what it might mean. Meanwhile, in California, a film executive, Joan DeVilliers is shaken by a voice message from someone who has scheduled her tattoo removal for that evening. Joan does have a tattoo–the number 2 on the heel of her left foot. But she is sure no one knows about it (she doesn’t even know where it came from) and she never scheduled its removal. But this is just the prelude to the horrific scene that awaits her at home. 

Part mystery, part horror, part comedy, The List reads like a Lethal Weapon movie script written by Stephen King. It is fast paced and fun! Okay, maybe the premise is a little far-fetched, but that’s ok. There is a perfectly reasonable (albeit maybe not scientifically plausible) explanation for it all. It is like an extended late night “what if …” debate with good friends over a few beers.  The characters are well crafted and quickly feel like old friends. The villains are very creative and perfectly flawed so as to not garner even one iota of your sympathy.  So, go exercise your suspended disbelief and hang on. It is well worth the ride. There are 12 more books in The Konrath Horror Collective and I can’t wait to read them all.

J.A. Konrath is a Guests of Honor at the 2018 Killer Nashville Writers’ Conference if you’d like to meet the man in person!