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He Drinks Poison ranks among the great thrillers of all time. Laine Cunningham combines tenacity and courage along with profound insight to create a…disturbing yet fascinating account of the devastating effects of a serial killer. Through sparkling prose, her story sparks fury and tears. It is impossible to read this book unmoved. Pamela King Cable, Author Televenge and Southern Fried Women Laine Cunningham's latest, He Drinks Poison, marries mystery with the strong literary flavor for which she is known...The cultural richness of the Hindu panthion uses a lovely South-Asian FBI Agent protagonist to make a mark in Southern serial crime. With one foot planted in the laws of man and the other in a deeply spiritual world, Priya Conlin-Kumar fights to bring two serial killers to justice…This story is beautiful, smart, and as intriguing as any good genre mystery but the award-winning talents of the author make this tale intelligently deep with lyrical storytelling and strong character development. He Drinks Poison takes her talent to a new high, straddling the worlds of mystery and literary, crime-fighting and spiritual revelation, giving us a story we can't put down. C. Hope Clark, Author Lowcountry Bribe and The Carolina Slade Mystery Series Goddess Kali, may we introduce Dr. Hannibal Lecter? He Drinks Poison is a thriller in the same vein as Silence of the Lambs but on a whole different level. Using metaphors and visions from Indian mythology as a framing device, it becomes not just the tale of a monstrously brilliant serial killer pursued by a dogged FBI agent dealing with her own past but a battle in the ongoing war between Good and Evil. With its well-crafted suspense and quick, deft characterizations, it was hard to put down. Martin Smith, President Pencil Point Mountain Short-listed in the Pirate’s Alley William Faulkner-William Wisdom Contest Supported by Vermont Studio Center Residency and Grant Supported by Wildacres Arts & Humanities Center Residency Priya Conlin-Kumar, a South-Asian American FBI agent, was conceived when her American mother was gang-raped in India shortly after marrying a Hindu man. Despite the fact that Priya’s name means “beloved,” the knowledge that she was created by an act of violence influences her decision to become a sworn officer. After nearly fifteen years in law enforcement, she is assigned to the FBI’s Wheeling, WV location. The afternoon of her arrival, she looks out the hotel window and has a vision from the Hindu epic The Ramayana. Shaking off the fugue as mere stress, she is left with the nagging feeling that it was actually something more. She is quick to see that the murders, although similar, may not be the work of the same person. Cole Bennett, a thirty-something blue-collar worker, is a serial rapist who kills his victims in order to avoid capture. Quinn Lawrence, a furniture dealer, is a classic serial murderer. He is the ten-headed demon king Ravana, the same monster who terrorized women in The Ramayana. The body that proves the two-killer theory is soon found beside an offering tray filled with rupees and Indian fruits. Priya immediately recognizes that the scene has been staged for her personally, and that the Ohio River stand in for the sacred Ganges. Priya confides in Ohio County Sheriff Randal Pierson, a man who becomes her lover. The visions manifest themselves in physical ways—a drop of blood, a feather, a flame-red asoka flower from the demon king's garland. Priya also has visions of Shiva, the god who destroys the corrupt world then makes it anew with his great Tandava dance. In Hindu thought, male and female energy must combine for either to be effective. Without the creative female power of shakti, Shiva’s Tandava dance could never begin. As Randal and Priya's lovemaking grows fierce, the righteous anger Hindu warriors must feel if they are to be victorious explodes. Kali enters Priya before the final battle on the mountainside.

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