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Cadaver’s Ball

A novel of revenge!

Psychiatrist Peter Grainger is struggling to get back on track.  Traumatized by the accident that killed his wife and unborn child, he returns toManhattan to start over.  Late one night he’s called to the emergency room to evaluate a seductive and suicidal medical student.  Things rapidly spiral out of control, as the student—who’s been prostituting to pay tuition—is murdered and Peter is the prime suspect.

Like Peter, Detective Nicole Luria is losing it.  Her marriage has collapsed amidst a family tragedy, and she’s now sucked into a case that brings up dangerous skeletons from her past.  Into the mix, she’s falling hard for Peter, only to discover that behind his caring eyes may beat the heart of a killer.

Then there’s Ed Tyson, a brilliant researcher who has loved two women in his life, his mother and Peter’s dead wife, Beth.  To Ed, Beth’s death was no accident and the time has come for Peter to pay.  


On The Cadaver’s Ball:

As with my other novels, The Cadaver’s Ball is both personal and psychologically rooted.  I began this book following a personal tragedy.  I decided to give my protagonist–Peter–the emotional turmoil I experienced.  The book, while first and foremost a hard-driving chiller, provides an opportunity to explore the nature and impact of trauma.  I try to get at the question of: Why do some people transcend bad things while others are destroyed by them?

St. Martin’s Press/Thomas Dunne Books

ISBN 0-312-34204-7

October 1, 2005

To purchase the e-book, or other versions, through click here

Review Links:

Harriet Klausner for The Best Reviews (This complete review can be read here)

Stephen Padilla for New Mystery Reader (This complete review can be read here) 

Charles L.P. Silet for Mystery Scene Review (The complete review can be read here)

Kirkus Reviews (The complete Kirkus Review can be read here)

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"Fabulous Psychological Thriller"

Harriet Klausner for The Best Reviews

"A psychological thriller of the first order, this one shouldn't be missed."

Stephen Padilla for New Mystery Reader

"A work of art in science. The Cadaver's Ball is recommended to all, particularly physicians."

David Hodo, MD Journal of the American Medical Association JAMA

"The Cadaver's Ball is a savagely entertaining journey into the human mind and heart from an author who knows the territory. With a plot that evokes Hitchcock, Charles Atkins takes the reader on a terrifying ride."

Paul Levine, author of SOLOMON VS LORD and the LASSITER SERIES

"Fast scary fun!"

Sarah Graves Author of HOME REPAIR IS HOMICIDE

"Its chilling suspense all but shackled me to my chair. Atkins creates an intriguing sociopath preying on unforgettable characters about whom we care deeply"

F. Paul Wilson author of THE KEEP and INFERNAL

"The Cadaver’s Ball, a revenge novel par excellence with surprises and tension enough for even the most exacting reader of thrillers."

Charles L.P. Silet for Mystery Scene Review

"A very skillful chiller"


"Intense and Immensely entertaining"

Kirkus Reviews