Published by Joe Konrath on April 12th 2009
Genres: Mystery, Fiction, Suspense
Source: Kindle Unlimited
Buy on: Amazon, Barnes & Noble
A billionaire Senator with money to burn...
A thirty year old science experiment, about to be revealed...
Seven people, marked for death, not for what they know, but for what they are...
THE LIST by JA Konrath
History is about to repeat itself
“Some people are born with a fire inside them. The will to succeed. It isn’t a learned behavior. It’s just some unknown biological factor that makes them try harder.”
After reading some of Konrath’s horror novels (written as Jack Kilborn), I decided to go back to some of his earlier novels as I learned his characters have a way of popping up in his other novels. The List is about a homicide detective, Tom Mankowski, who arrives at a crime scene only to discover that he and the victim have something in common. They both have numbers tattooed on the bottom of their feet in the same ink and font. Tom’s tattoo has been on him his entire life, and he begins to wonder if the deceased man is somehow connected to his past. When Tom discovers there have been more he realizes that someone is marking these people for death, and Tom needs to discover who it is before he’s next on the list.
The List was a fast-paced thriller that was a far cry from the horrific Afraid, and Trapped. Not only was it more of a mystery with way toned down horrific scenes, the premise was pretty different from the other Konrath/Kilborn novels I’d read. As Tom investigated the the case, I really enjoyed how the story was set up. Just when I thought I knew what to expect, Konrath would flip the script. This kept the story interesting, and hard to put down.
Aside from the great plot, I really liked the characters. They were well-developed, and even the villains were nicely done. The tattoos on the bottom of the characters’ feet reminded me of the neck tattoos in Saw II, and even had just an important significance. I won’t say more about this storyline as it would spoil the novel, and I wouldn’t want that 🙂
“No. I think guns are just a symbolic substitute for male genitalia, and I’m okay in that respect.”
“Fine. If they get in the house, you can whack them with your genitals.”
One aspect of the novel I loved was the comedic lines that helped ease tension. Just when things got crazy, someone would say or do something funny to give me a laugh. This was a great thing, as Konrath’s other books tend to be a lot heavier, and it was nice to have a break from all the drama. I would recommend this novel to mystery fans who like an ensemble cast of characters, twists and turns, and loads of action. While this is part of the Konrath/Kilborn Collective, readers don’t have to read them in any particular order as they are written as standalone novels. However, Tom does appear in some of the authors later novels, Haunted House, and Webcam, so it might be nice to read this before those so you know a bit about his character beforehand. But it’s not required.