One of the most popular suspense novels of all time. Someone is stalking New York's high-class neighborhoods-and it's up to Captain Ed Delaney to find meaning in a killer's gruesome madness.
3 of 4 people found the following review helpful: A Psychosexual Thriller With Superb Characters- Outstanding, September 3, 2003 Reviewer: ceruleana from New York, NY USA The First Deadly Sin" was my introduction to author Lawrence Sanders' work. He is a gifted writer who uses his craft brilliantly. This extraordinary novel and mystery thriller is not plot-driven, although the storyline is unusually exciting and does move at a fast pace. Sanders' excellence is demonstrated through the fleshed-out, realistic characters he creates. He allows the reader to gain access to the most personal aspects of his two main characters, their thoughts, obsessions and behavior. Police Captain Edward X. Delaney, Commanding Officer of New York City's 251st Precinct, and Daniel Blank, a young business executive, a mountain climber, who has an extreme penchant for order, and strange sexual fantasies, are the primary focus of this unique mystery. The case deals with solving a series of bizarre murders, and understanding the intimacy that exists between the killer and his victim; between the detective and his suspect. Sanders takes his time developing these characters, along with the many interesting secondary figures necessary to the novel, but he does not slow the plot or sacrifice it in any way with his study of these two men. Captain Delaney takes a leave of absence to care for his hospitalized wife of 30-plus years. During his leave, a murder is committed. One fall night, while Delaney is waiting for his wife's operation to conclude, a Brooklyn councilman is murdered most savagely in the middle of the 251st Precinct. Delaney goes to the murder scene to investigate; detective work is his real passion. He soon becomes entwined in vicious local politics and a major power play for control of the City. The Police Commissioner wants Delaney to conduct a secret investigation of the murder, while he is on leave. The Mayor is backing the assignment. As soon as Delaney accepts the offer, another senseless and violent murder is committed, with all signs pointing to the same killer. And he keeps killing. One of his victims is a cop. Pressure is on and Delaney is at his best under pressure. Tension builds as Delaney discovers the killer's identity, but has insufficient legal evidence to bring him in, or even to request a search warrant of the man's apartment. I could not put this book down. I will say that it is a long and involved novel, which I always enjoy, especially when the writing is so good. Others, however, may prefer a thriller that moves at a faster pace and cuts to the chase quickly. Lawrence Sanders is not a writer that these readers would appreciate. I am sorry I have come upon his work so late - but in this case the old adage proves true - "Better late than never!" I highly recommend this book & happily give it 5 Stars. Now on to book two, "The Second Deadly Sin." JANA