Another Review at MyShelf.Com

Inmate 1577
Karen Vail Series #4
Alan Jacobson

Norwood Press
July 19, 2011/ ISBN 978-0-9836260-0-8
Thriller / FBI

Reviewed by Elise Cooper

Alan Jacobson is a New York Times Bestselling author and his latest book, Inmate 1577, is an example of why he is so popular. Even though this latest novel is the fourth in a series in which the main character is Karen Vail, an FBI behavioral analysis profiler, the reader does not need to read the earlier books in order to understand the plot.

Inmate 1577 is a plot driven novel where the characters are the supporting cast.
Jacobson’s chilling descriptive plot leaves the reader in a suspenseful state. Victims are elderly women who have been abused and brutally murdered by a psychopathic sadist. Their husbands have also been killed and are found miles from the original crime scene with a number tattooed on their head. Jacobson’s writing style is unique in that he uses clues in the story like pieces in a puzzle. There is the constant cat and mouse action between Vail, the profiler, and the offender.

Jacobson intertwines two plots throughout the book: one that takes place in the 1950’s and 1960’s while the other takes place in the present day. By the end of the book these two plots come together with the key to the mystery being Alcatraz, an island that served as a Federal prison.

Although this book is a novel, the reader is able to gain insight about psychopathic serial killers. Jacobson includes in the plot the thinking of both the killer and the profiler. For example the reader learns that a psychopath takes a “trophy,” an artifact which allows them to relive the kill and a “ritual”, what the killer does to the body: their imprint. In addition the reader learns that psychopaths are organized, plan their kills, are not crazy, and know right from wrong.

There are great analogies in the book which also enhance the plot. After the first murder Jacobson describes the weapon used by the victim as “… impotent on the ground, like a cold revolver stuck in the deepest reaches of a holster, never given the opportunity to be of service.” Another quote shows the irony of how an investigation progress, “As the body count rises, so does our knowledge base.” These quotes add to the understanding and reality of the plot.

Inmate 1577 is a riveting book. It is not only entertaining but is very insightful with twisting and intertwining sub-plots. The reader will not want to put down this fabulous read.

Reviews of other titles by this author

The Lost Codex OPSIG Team Black #3
Dark Side of the Moon - OPSIG Team Black #4
Inmate 1577 Karen Vail #4
Spectrum Karen Vail #6

Author of the Month 2011

Reviewed 2011
© 2011