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Torn Apart

"A high-rev, page-turning thriller that offers a searing look at the very thin blue line separating good and evil. Set in a sharply observed Midwest, Torn Apart features one of the best heroines to come along in years, whose dedication to her job throws her into a deadly cat-and-mouse game against complex, fleshed-out villains, some driven by good, some by evil, but all intent on leaving plenty of carnage in their wake." - Jeffery Deaver

"Beautifully drawn characters, sharply observed detail, and exceptional writing. Has the impact of a large-caliber handgun fired at point-blank range." - Douglas Preston

A finalist for the Thriller Award for Best Novel and named a Book of the Year by Suspense Magazine, Naperville Police Detective Emily Thompson's third plunge into murderous madness is her most personal and dangerous yet.

A four-pack of spree killers who call themselves the Zodiacs picks up a shipment of narcotics from Black River Falls, Wisconsin, with the intention of hauling it to the Chicago suburbs for distribution. On the way, they shoot cops, murder hitchhikers, and machine-gun beautiful, multi-horned deer just for the fun of it.

They arrive in Naperville to drop their narco load at a nondescript house on the city's north side. But their dingy, battered van looks suspicious to Annabelle Bates, a down-the-street neighbor who also commands SWAT for the Naperville Police Department. She and Emily, who's visiting best friend Annie that morning, walk toward the van. The Zodiacs spot them, grab one of Annie's daughters as a hostage, and take off. A wild chase through the winding, tree-lined streets of Naperville ensues, but the Zodiacs shake their pursuers.

They quickly sell Annie's daughter to a kiddie-porn ring that will drug the girl with a new synthetic narcotic called "Katrina," video-record her rape by a variety of men, and sell it on the Dark Net, the seedy part of the Internet unreachable by public search engines and where monsters worldwide buy and trade drugs, guns, sex, animals, and children.

Emily, Annie, Martin Benedetti, Hercules Branch, Chief Kendall Cross, and the rest of the police gang race to save the child of a cop. And even if they pull off that miracle - no sure thing, as nobody knows where the Zodiacs disappeared - they must simultaneously deal with tragic murder of one of their own.

And finally, you'll meet the magical deer who saves the life of a critically wounded sheriff's deputy in Wisconsin, despite being machine-gunned itself by the Zodiacs . . .

Important places

Naperville (10)


DuPage (19)


Illinois (2,704)


United States (64,950)

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Central Lowlands (North America) (1,334)