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Harold Schechter has probed the minds of America's most notorious serial killers in his true-crime chronicles Depraved, Deranged, and Deviant. Now, this critically acclaimed writer explores the dark realm of his own imagination in a chilling novel inspired by the most shocking crime spree of our century.
Forty years ago, the macabre crimes of a timid Wisconsin farmer were discovered. He has since died. But the legacy of Ed Gein lives on...
In the dead of winter, Milwaukee is frozen in fear. The mutilated bodies of three young girls have been found in nearby rural areas. There is no apparent motive for the murders - only the grisly evidence of the killer's fiendish tools of trade: a pair of pliers, a needle, and a thread. The papers report each shocking detail, while a city waits in dread for the next attack. In a region renowned for its ties to Ed Gein, thoughts of the horrifying "Butcher of Plainfield, Wisconsin" are never far off.
When writer Paul Novak comes to town, he doesn't plan to pry into the Gein legend. His controversial bestseller - and his near-obsession with the madman - has nearly cost Paul his marriage. But when local lore leads him to the ramshackle home of a bizarre young man and his mother, Paul realizes he's stumbled across Ed Gein's best-kept secret. And he's about to discover that a killer's instincts never die...