Macmillan Childrens Publishing Group
Five

Five

A Novel

Ursula Archer

Minotaur Books

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A woman's corpse is discovered in a meadow. A strange combination of letters and numbers has been tattooed on the soles of her feet. Detective inspector Beatrice Kaspary from the local murder squad quickly identifies the digits as map coordinates. These lead to a series of gruesome discoveries as she and her colleague Florin Wenninger embark on a bloody trail – a modern-day scavenger hunt using GPS navigation devices to locate hidden caches. The "owner" of these unofficial, unpublished geocaches is a highly calculating and elusive fiend who leaves his victims' body-parts sealed in plastic bags, complete with riddles that culminate in a five-stage plot. Kaspary herself becomes an unwilling pawn in the perpetrator's game of cat and mouse as she risks all to uncover the motives behind the murderer's actions. Five is definitely not a book for the faint-hearted, but it delivers great suspense, unexpected plot twists, and multi-dimensional characters.

EXCERPT

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The early morning mist enveloped her like a damp shroud. The dead woman was lying on her stomach, the grass beneath her soaked with dew and blood. The cows were taking care not to graze there, which was easy...

Reviews

Praise for Five

“Like so many satisfying European police thrillers, FIVE combines many story elements--Beatrice's painful personal history, the interpersonal dynamics of the detective squad, and a rogues' gallery of victims and suspects--with convincing specifics. … Most convincing of all is the book's heroine, who perseveres, braving much danger, pursuing an illuminating connection ‘like a thin red thread in the darkness.'” —Wall Street Journal

“A canny police procedural. The narrative does a slow burn at first, but builds up to an alarmingly faster pace in the second half, as clues and revelations come thick and fast. The novel itself is tightly structured and the mystery element has a terrific number of twists and turns built in that don't let up until the final page. Also excellent are the maddeningly intricate mind-twisters in note form that the cops have to solve in order to move onto the next clue (or, in some cases, the next corpse).” —The Boston Globe

“An intriguing melding of a gripping police procedural and an exciting update of the puzzle mystery. Archer imbues "Five" with an inventive plot, tense suspense and fully realized characters that seem as if they have been around for years. Archer's clever use of geocaching proves that the light puzzle mystery can be successfully incorporated into a hard-boiled novel with aplomb.” —Associated Press

“Ursula Archer takes you on a terrifying journey. This is a superior psychological thriller with twists at every level.” —Karin Slaughter

“A deliciously dark and terrifying cat-and-mouse thriller you won't be able to put down until the last page is read. Haunting.” —Allison Brennan, New York Times bestselling author of Dead Heat and Cold Snap

“Intriguing and gripping, I was hooked from the start and shocked by the end. A believable hero and a story cleverly told. I loved Five.” —Neil White, author of Next to Die

“A riveting mystery...The suspense builds until the shocking climax.” —Publishers Weekly

“[a] fast-paced thriller...Sure to appeal to Stieg Larsson fans.” —Booklist

“well-constructed ...an inventive plot.” —Kirkus Review

“Beatrice is a refreshing protagonist who isn't afraid to take chances... Archer's very effective procedural, with some clever twists (and gruesome crimes), also explores the intriguingly odd world of geocaching, and those who inhabit it. While some readers may have things figured out before the end, the journey is well worth it.” —Library Journal

“[Five is] definitely not a book for the faint-hearted, but it delivers great suspense, unexpected plot twists, and multi-dimensional characters.” —Mystery Tribune

“Intriguing...this unusual story will kee you guessing and your heart pounding.” —RT Book Reviews

“This brisk German police procedural is anchored by a fully developed strong cast of law enforcement officials and murder victims, but the freshness comes from the geocaching clues. Five is a strong serial killer cat and mouse hunt.” —Midwest Book Review

“...a hugely entertaining hunt as gutsy Austrian detective Beatrice Kaspary is pitted against a very creepy killer. Compulsively readable.” —The Sunday Mirror (UK)

Reviews from Goodreads

About the author

Ursula Archer

URSULA ARCHER is a science journalist and an award-winning author of YA and children's books. Five is her first adult mystery. She lives in Vienna, Austria, with her family.

Ursula Archer

Ursula Archer

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