Killer on the Road
One of the earliest serial-killer novels, and still one of the best, Killer on the Road is a character study, not the story of a manhunt.
Martin Michael Plunkett has a genius intellect, a pitiless soul of brushed steel, and a heart of blackest evil. His criminal tendencies nurtured in a Los Angeles gripped by Manson Gang hysteria, he drifts to San Francisco, where he indulges savage impulses that show him his true vocation as a murderer. So begins a decade of terror as he blazes a trail of carnage across the country, a saga pieced together in retrospect through Plunkett’s own confession and police reports, media coverage, and the writings of True Detective magazine. Both fascinating and grueling, the novel lays bare Plunkett’s internal workings—his mental brilliance and moral insanity—in a way and style that is only James Ellroy.