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Reviews of Taking Lives (1999)

Review by michael a draper (2015-09-21)
Taking Lives" by Michael Pye is a complex story of a serial killer who murders people and then assumes their identity.

The story begins slowly as Martin Arkenhout kills his first victim, finds it's an easy thing and gives him an appetite for murder..

John Costa is the story's narrator. He's a keeper at a museum and is searching for a Professor John Heart.concerning some missing papers. By the time this portion of the story gets under way, John Heart has become Martin Arkenhout's victim and Arkenhout has taken over Hart's identity. Arkenhout has had a narrow escape from one of his false identities and thinks that pretending to be a professor would be easy.

As a museum keeper, what was so important about why he was searching for Heart wasn't very well explained. I would have enjoyed knowing what was so important and why it was stolen. I've enjoyed the novels of Preston & Child and their descriptions of the goings on at the New York Museum of Natural Art.

The reader does get to know about John Costa while dealing with Costa's father's demise. The story takes the reader to many places and much is set in Portugal which is interesting.

Another point I was interested in is that the book has been made into a movie, starring Ethan Hawke; Angelina Jolie, Kiefer Sutherland and Gina Rowland. Imagining those stars acting out their roles in the movie added a fun element to my reading experience. I also feel that the victims of the killer could have been described more thoroughly so the reader might come to be interested or sympathetic to them.

There were times when I was reading the story and didn't know if the character was one of the serial killer's victim or the actual character.

(This review refers to the expression titled “Taking Lives”.)




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