This is the second of three books featuring Deaver’s new character, Colter Shaw. I wasn’t aware that it was a sequel until searching for other books with the same character, so it’s definitely readable out of order. Having said that, there were references to Shaw’s father and his untimely death – that seems to be part of the longer narrative that spans the series.
Colter Shaw is the thinking man’s bounty hunter – he doesn’t just round up (and sometimes kill) fugitives, he approaches the contracts with humanity. In fact, his business manager urges him to be more ruthless, while Shaw is seen to be more focussed on doing the right thing than chasing the money. In this outing, doing the right thing involves investigating the mysterious suicide by one of his bounty targets. The man jumps from a clifftop without fear and with no little serenity. Shaw believes there’s something odd going on within the organisation where the man has spent the preceding months, immersed in new-age rituals and beliefs. So he signs up for a season of self-improvement himself, hoping to uncover the truth.
Shaw is a capable operator, trained by his father in a host of rules by which to hunt and evade capture. He’s also a decent fighter – but it’s his mentality that intriguing. Who, other than Jack Reacher, would put himself into harm’s way just because something didn’t seem right?
Roadside Crosses is a thriller by Jeffery Deaver, featuring one of his regular characters, Kathryn Dance. However, her signature skill of kinesic analysis (the ability to read body language, making her an ace interrogator) isn’t really needed in this story – much of it is set in CyberSpace. The story includes Michael O’Neil, Kathryn’s colleague whom she has admired from afar for several books. It also introduces Jon Boling, an IT expert who is brought into the inner circle of Kathryn’s team to assist with the investigation.
A central theme is a fictional blog that dives into local issues and is a magnet for vicious, under-informed comment from locals. Originally, the author supplemented the book by maintaining the blog at thechiltonreport.com, but it’s no longer available.
I found the book had too many story lines running in parallel and it would have been better to concentrate on one or two of them. For example, Dance’s mother is accused of a mercy killing and is arrested – but that turns out to be a sub-plot that doesn’t lead anywhere. Whilst the author did tie up all the loose ends of the story lines, I thought that the actions of the killer were completely out of proportion to his stated predicament and motivation.
According to the author’s note, the edition that I read is his re-write of an earlier book by the same title. This is the second re-write that I’ve read recently, the other being by Nelson DeMille.
On first impressions, the book has a dull plot – a promissory note is missing, and Taylor Lockwood (the lead character) has been asked to find it somewhere in the law firm. The intrigue comes from the plotting around the firm, where competing factions are fighting over leadership. The stakes are high enough for Taylor to be at risk of physical attack – and she sees both senior figures and younger up-and-coming professionals risking everything to get ahead.
This is another of Deaver’s Lincoln Rhyme thrillers. It features The Watchmaker, a killer from one of his previous books, who has turned up in Mexico. In fact, Deaver uses this side-plot to introduce his other character Kathryn Dance for some free publicity.
The main plot concerns a series of horrific incidents where the perpetrator connects a device to the main electricity lines to cause devastation. He’s not adverse to more direct action on individuals either – but Lincoln Rhyme is able to track him using uncanny forensics and insight.
I may have missed some of the suspense and intrigue because I hadn’t read the previous Watchmaker book – reading them out of order, I was a little underwhelmed.
This is another from Jeffery Deaver’s series of Kathryn Dance thrillers. Known for her advanced interrogation techniques, Dance meets her match in difficult suspect who’s speech patterns and body language lack the usual tells that give her interviews an edge. She has help from the peerless Lincoln Rhyme and Amelia Sachs (Deaver’s other principal characters).
The plot concerns Kayleigh Towne, a young country and western singer, who’s band and family come under attack. The plot has so many twists, it’s hard to remember exactly who is accused of what and why at various points.
In this book, Deaver introduces yet another new character, John Pellam (that’s along with Lincoln Rhyme and Kathryn Dance who are both sort of investigators). It took a while to get to know John Pellam, unlike the others, to whom Deaver cleverly introduces the reader in each other’s books. He’s not the typical star of a thriller – he works in the movie business, yet this book isn’t set in Hollywood or even on a film set, so the book plodded along until the real plot emerged. Fortunately, Pellam turns out to have experience as a stunt man, just as the action gets tough and he needs to roll with the punches.
Another in the Lincoln Rhyme/Amelia Sachs series from Jeffery Deaver – this one is pretty good and hints at the dangers for society with the growth of corporations that store massive amounts of data about private citizens.
Jeffery Deaver has introduced a new character. Special Agent Kathryn Dance is the star of this thriller and, for me, it’s every bit as good as one of his Lincoln Rhyme books. There are massive parallels – Rhyme is an expert criminologist who can track the movements of a suspect by the merest grain of sand that falls from his trousers; Dance is an expert interrogator who can pry into the innermost thoughts of a suspect by spotting the tiniest signals from their body language. I was impressed at the technical depth the author shows in his knowledge of the Kinesics (he even includes a list of books for further reading). And I loved the passage when Dance phoned up Rhyme for advice in the middle of the book and talks to his assistant Amelia Sachs, the other star of those books – priceless.
This is another in the Lincoln Rhyme series by Jeffery Deaver. Highlights of that series include The Bone Collector and The Coffin Dancer. This one falls short of that standard in my view, mainly because the whole plot falls down on a basic question – why is The Ghost (a sinister, violent figure from the Chinese underworld) going around trying to kill all the illegal immigrants that he was attempting to smuggle to America? Unusually, I was way ahead of the hero, Lincoln Rhyme, in questioning this motive – he only worked it out at the end of the book. Yet without knowing why this was going on, the book didn’t make sense to me.