Detective (novel)

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This article is about the Arthur Hailey novel. For the Roderick Thorpe novel, see The Detective (novel).

Detective is a novel by Arthur Hailey. It was written in 1997 and it was the author's last book. Hailey depicts the work of the homicide department and its background and investigation methods.


Detective is the story of Miami Police detective Malcolm Ainslie, who had previously trained to be a Catholic priest. A serial killer breaks free in Miami. He is a religious freak and he starts killing people feeling that he is the avenger of God. He leaves certain things at the murder scenes that are symbols from the Book of Revelation.

Miami Police Detective Sergeant Malcolm Ainslie and his team start to investigate the murders. They eventually find the killer and arrest him. The murderer is nicknamed The Animal because he kills in such a barbaric manner. Now, when this man is about to be executed for the serial killings he did, he calls for Malcolm. 30 minutes before his execution he confesses to Malcolm that he did all the serial killings he is accused of except one, which was not done by him.

It was the killing of mayor of the city commissioner and his wife. Malcolm, at first, refuses to believe him because The Animal has a reputation of being a liar. But as he goes deep into the history of cases and studies all the killings he discovers that there are two killings in separate cities, unsolved murders which were confessed by The Animal.

When he carefully studies all the killings done by him, he finds out that the killings of city commissioner and his wife were attempted by someone else, a copy cat killer, and these murders were made to look as if done by the same killer. Thanks to his priestly training, he notices that the pattern of the symbols left by the Animal at scenes of all the other murders is derived from the Book of Revelation, but that the symbols left at the murder of the Mayor do not fit this pattern.

Malcolm suddenly finds himself facing a situation where a copy cat killer is roaming around free. And when the killings are of a city commissioner and his wife the matter became more complicated. His team starts to investigate and finds important people involved in the killings and a famous novelist is also involved.

Important Characters[edit]

Malcolm Ainslie
Cynthia Ernst


Detective (a. k. a. Arthur Hailey's Detective) was adapted into a television movie in 2005, directed by David S. Cass Sr., and with a cast that included Tom Berenger, Cybill Shepherd, Annabeth Gish, Rick Gomez, Frank Whaley, Wanda De Jesus and Rutanya Alda, between others. [1].