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.
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.
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.