Cover image for Kill me first
Kill me first
Morgenroth, Kate.
Personal Author:
First edition.
Publication Information:
New York : HarperCollins Publishers, 1999.
Physical Description:
259 pages ; 25 cm
Format :


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The man known as Merec is not only a ruthless terrorist, he's also a cold-blooded marketer of his massacres, filming the violence he creates so he can watch them on TV. When he kidnaps Sarah, his evil reaches new heights.

Reviews 2

Publisher's Weekly Review

"Nobody likes... to think of themselves as doing anything to stay alive. They think they'd say, `Kill me first.' " These words from kidnap victim Patty Hearst set up this debut novel from a former marketing assistant at HarperCollins, but they hardly prepare readers for the intensely absorbing story to come. Sarah Shepherd, 51, has lost her husband in a car accident and despairs of her own life. She gets placed in a nursing home that has been targeted for a terrorist act by Merec, a brilliant sociopath sought by the CIA. This elusive international criminal picks his team by pitting them against one another with loaded weapons: whoever survives makes the first cut. On the Fourth of July, Merec's band gathers the home's residents together and kills most of them. Sarah shows such spunk that Merec keeps her as a hostage. His videotapes of her torture make her a media star, which provides momentum for a plan that will dupe the country and defile one of New York City's most sacred shrines. The videotapes alert Agent Tresler, an FBI man on Merec's trail, to what the killer has in mind, but he can't stop the horrifying act. Nor can he guess the unexpected kink in Merec's planÄfor Merec falls for Sarah and offers her the chance to escape. She declines, having decided that she will have a more stimulating life with Merec than on her own. Her decisionÄwhile straining credulityÄturns the tables as the captor meets his match. This is a clever and unusual thriller, unflinching in its violence, economic in its plotting and unpredictable in its psychological developments. (May) (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved

Library Journal Review

Sarah Shepherd is a recent widow, devastated by the loss of her husband and filled with despair. She has been placed in a nursing home to recover from injuries suffered in the accident that killed him. A terrorist called Merec and his gang descend on the residents, mostly elderly, and as a form of torture, pair them up and ask each one which of the two he should kill. Sarah, who is in her early 50s, begs to be killed first. In his obsession with humiliation and control, Merec takes her hostage insteadÄvideotaping his beatings and torture of her. He uses the videos and personal appearances by Sarah to appeal to the public for millions in ransom. Sarah refuses to break and refuses to escape; she is willing to accept his abuse as an alternative to returning to her misery and hopelessness. The relationship between Merec and Sarah unfolds at a breathless pace, and the listener is swept along with the relentless evil of Merec and Sarah's gutsy resistance. Even though there are quite a few clich‚s in the situations woven around these two compelling characters, Betty Buckley's excellent narration is so beautifully paced that the plot turns out to be just a background for this fascinating relationship. The deep tones and whispery quality of the narrator's voice are mesmerizing. Highly recommended for all fans of psychological thrillers.ÄBarbara Valle, El Paso P.L., TX (c) Copyright 2010. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.