Wednesday, August 15, 2007

The buzz is building for Entering Hades

Congrats to John Leake, whose debut release Entering Hades just received a starred review from Publishers Weekly. Here’s what PW had to say:

★ Entering Hades: The Double Life of a Serial Killer

John Leake. Sarah Crichton/FSG, $25

(336p) ISBN 978-0-374-14845-4

Austrian Jack Unterweger was many things to many people—celebrated author, well-known bon vivant and loyal friend. To prostitutes plying their trade in Vienna, he was a ruthless killer. When he hanged himself in his jail cell after being convicted of murder in 1994, Unterweger brought to a close a story of cold-blooded murder that crossed social boundaries and international borders. As told in page-turning, savagely intimate style in this debut by translator and editor Leake, Unterweger’s vicious killing spree comes alive in horrifying detail. Released from prison in 1990 for an earlier murder, Unterweger quickly began killing again. Passing himself off as a journalist, he took to calling the relatives of his victims. “At 5:00 p.m. the same voice called back and said, ‘They lie in the place of atonement, facing downward, toward Hades, because otherwise it would have been an outrage.’ ” His 1991 murder of a hooker in Los Angeles proves his undoing as the American police, working with Austrian authorities, track him down. Leake gets bogged down in the minutiae of the 1994 trial in Vienna, but this is a minor glitch in an otherwise cracking good true-crime tale that, while demonstrating respect to the victims, conjures a character in Unterweger that readers will not soon forget. (Nov.)

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