In John Katzenbach’s debut novel, the brutal murder of a young girl leads Malcolm Anderson, reporter for The Miami Journal, into an obsessive hunt for a ruthless mass murderer in this fast-paced thriller that was adapted into the film The Mean Season starring Kurt Russell and Mariel Hemingway.
When a beautiful young girl is found dead by with a .45 bullet in her head, Malcolm Anderson is handed the front-page story of his lifetime. But as he chases after the career-changing lead, Malcolm becomes a bit too obsessive in his chase for quotes from the victim’s family and friends, material for the photographer, and the publication of the story in the paper.
Upon investigation of the crime scene, a note is found in the murdered teen’s pocket that reads “Number One,” sending the effort to identify the murderer into a race against time. As he continues his obsessive hunt, Malcolm begins receiving calls from the killer filled with torturing details of a traumatizing childhood and violent Vietnam experiences, pressuring Malcom to identify the killer and his motives before another murder happens.