The Breathtaker by Alice Blanchard

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A mammoth twister tears through the sleepy town of Promise, Oklahoma, and leaves behind three mutilated bodies in a ravaged farmhouse. Police Chief Charlie Grover believes the victims were impaled by flying debris...until gruesome evidence comes to light, proving that they were brutally murdered. How could the killer predict exactly when and where a tornado would strike and use it to cover his tracks? With the aid of a tornado-chasing scientist, Charlie delves into a high-tech, high-risk search for a cunning criminal-one who may be stalking Charlie and his own daughter. For this is a predator unlike any other: one who conspires with the ferocious power of nature to commit and conceal unspeakable crimes.


About Alice Blanchard

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Blanchard has received the Katherine Anne Porter prize for fiction.
Published January 1, 2003 by Warner. 416 pages
Genres: Mystery, Thriller & Suspense, Literature & Fiction, Action & Adventure. Fiction

Unrated Critic Reviews for The Breathtaker

Kirkus Reviews

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Charlie, a widower, coping with a teenaged daughter's incipient rebellion, a budding romance on its way to becoming important, and some complicated office politics, now had to chase a killer with a thing about teeth and a savvy about twisters that would make him one hard sociopath to bring down.

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Publishers Weekly

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Blanchard's gripping second thriller follows a smalltown police chief's pursuit of a serial killer who strikes only during tornadoes, but the "Debris Killer" is only one of the highlights of this fast-moving shocker, which also features the keen characterizations and fine atmospherics of the auth...

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Book Reporter

The book is full of them: chasing storms, chasing clues and, ultimately, a wild ride chasing the villain.

Jan 21 2011 | Read Full Review of The Breathtaker

Reviewing the Evidence

I learned a great deal about tornadoes and about the predicting of them -- what kind of conditions will create the best chances of tornadic activity -- and I also learned about the people who chase storms, who get their thrills from just missing the terrible power that is wrapped up in even the m...

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Reviewing the Evidence

When Charlie checks into the deaths of the Peppers family, he makes a horrifying discovery-they have not been killed by the tornado but by a person who has used the tornado to cover the murders.

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The Best Reviews

Promise, Oklahoma Police Chief Charlie Glover knows the danger of an F-3 (Fujita Scale) twister having lived in Tornado Alley all his life.

Oct 24 2003 | Read Full Review of The Breathtaker

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