John Sanford – Eyes of Prey (1991)

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In Eyes of Prey, John Sanford introduces us to a kind of serial killer, Michael Bekker a.k.a Doctor Death, who after killing his victims, makes sure he cuts out their eyes. The story starts with the introduction of a like minded killer Carlo Druze who is sent by Bekker with detailed instructions to kill his wife Stephaine Bekker.

Stephaine Bekker is the cousin of Del Casplock a Minneapolis Police officer. Del asks Lucas Davenport, the Special Intelligence officer of the Department and his friend to take up the case.

Michael Bekker is a pathologist and is obsessively interested in knowing what happens in the transition state from life to death. For that he kills his victims to study them. He is addicted to drugs to make him look young and handsome, and it has side effects on him. He hallucinates that his victims’ eyes are following him and accusing him, and hence he removes their eyes after he is done with them.

It poses a seemingly impossible case to prove. During the investigation and background verification we come to know that he has worked in army and there were two unexplained deaths during his stay there. However, no one could prove that it has anything to do with Bekker.

Second killing during the investigation is of a stage actress, Elizabeth Armistead. When she failed to show up for performance, Cassie Lach, a friend of hers , goes to her home and finds that she is killed. She helps Lucas in the investigations.

When the police department releases the news that Stephaine Bekker was not alone at the time of her death and the person she was seeing apparently fled the crime scene after cleaning the house of his prints. With this news Bekker and Druze are panicked and go about in search of her lover who might have seen Druze.

During the process Bekker gets a professor friend of his wife killed, owing to the similarities between him and the lover. Thinking the Lover Boy is killed, he goes on with his regular duties in his hospital. He is suspected to have killed a few terminal cancer patients. His object of interest now is Sybil a lady who can communicate only via her eyes, due to some illness.

Meanwhile Lucas, Lester and his team put a full time surveillance on Bekker. Cassie and Druze, get killed by Bekker who leaves no proof. However, he forgets to cut Druze’s eyes. Bekker feels haunted by Druze and sets out to scratch the eyes of his dead body.

Lucas holds on to this weakness of Bekker and catches Bekker in act and has him arrested. We get to know Bekker holds a very strong grudge towards Lucas.

The plotline is very interesting and it keeps us hooked to the book till we finish reading the line Bekker is caught in the act.

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