Roadside Crosses Sunday, Aug 9 2009 

Bloggers beware: Jeffrey Deaver has a wicked look and an imagination to match.

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Anyone who has read one of his Lincoln Rhyme novels can attest to that–a protagonist who is a quadriplegic forensic scientist? An agent with the California Bureau of Investigation who is a kinesics expert?

In Roadside Crosses it’s CBI agent Kathryn Dance’s turn at bat.  The haunting beauty of the Monterey Peninsula becomes disrupted when a killer starts leaving roadside crosses complete with red roses and a disc with the date inscribed.  Only these aren’t memorials after a traffic accident; these are announcements of murders he’s about to commit.

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Deaver is a master of twists and unexpected turns, and Dance’s personal life entwined in an interesting but not absurd way.  The world of bloggers and of online role-playing games becomes a focus, and I learned more about the ins and outs of both of these worlds in a mind-boggling plot that will leave you breathless.

Just when I thought I had it all figure dout, there was one more twist, and then one more.  And the end was NOT what I saw coming at all.

Heads Up: Deaver knows everything about you!

The Memory Collector Wednesday, Aug 5 2009 

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Meg Gardiner caught Auntie M’s eye with her novel The Dirty Secrets Club, where she introduced Jo Beckett, a forensic psychiatrist with an unusual specialty: she conducts psychological autopsies, an investigation into a person’s life to determine whether their death was natural, accidental, suicide or homicide.

It’s an interesting premise for a protagonist, and Gardiner makes the most of Beckett, her expertise, and her background. This time Beckett is called to help deal with an aircraft passenger whose erratic behavior she finally determines is due to anteretrograde amnesia, an unusual amnesia where the patient has total recall of his past life, but is unable to hold onto new thoughts for more than five minutes.

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I’d never heard of this kind of amnesia, but Gardiner does a good job of explaining it and its devastating effects on her patient, security expert Ian Kanan.  Imagine living your life by scrawling yourself messages in pen or your arm, surrounded by post- it notes to keep refreshing what you were doing five minutes previously.

It’s an exhaustive and horrifying illness, and when it starts to affect people Kanan has had contact with, Beckett knows  she is up against some kind of deadly biological agent, and the race to prevent a catastrophic exposure to this agent becomes the focus of the action.

Gardiner also has five novels in the Evan Delaney series, including the Edgar Award finalist China Lake.

Whispers of the Dead Monday, Aug 3 2009 

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This is the third book Beckett has written featuring forensic anthropologist Dr. David Hunter.  While the first two took place in Hunter’s (and Beckett’s) native England, Whispers of the Dead takes Hunter across the pond in the heat of the Tennessee summer to Knoville’s legendary “Body Farm.”

In a bid to escape London and the violence  of The Chemistry of Death, Hunter has returned to the field laboratory where law enforcement personnel study real corpses in different stages of death and in different settings.  This real-life lab has been the setting for several other novelists featuring forensic analysts, among them Patricia Cornwell and Jefferson Bass.

Hunter needs to find out if he can still do his job dwelling on death after his own near-death experience.  He hasn’t been working long with his old mentor, Tom Lieberman, when the men are called to a grisly death scene.  It soon becomes apparent that the murderer is adept at masking forensic details, and as the bodies pile up, Hunter finds himself pushed further into the manhunt for a serial murderer who is trying to capture the exact moment of death.

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Beckett has an attactive protagonist in Hunter, a fallible man with strengths and weaknesses, and we eagerly follow him on this journey to track down a killer who is in love with death itself.

JoHanna Massey

"I tramp a perpetual journey." Walt Whitman

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JoHanna Massey

"I tramp a perpetual journey." Walt Whitman

MiddleSisterReviews.com

(mid'-l sis'-tǝr) n. the reader's favorite sister

My train of thoughts on...

Smile! Don't look back in anger.

Make

make Your House a home

K.R. Morrison, Author

My author site--news and other stuff about books and things

Wicked Cozy Authors

Mysteries with a New England Accent

Some Days You Do ...

Writers & Writing, my own & other people's; movies, art, music & the search for a perfect flat white - the bits & pieces of a writing life.

Gaslight Crime

Author and reviewer of period crime fiction

Crimezine

#1 for Crime

Mellotone70Up

John Harvey on Books & Writing - his own & other people 's - Art, Music, Movies, & the elusive search for the perfect Flat White.

A thrilling Murder-Mystery...

...now being made into a radio drama

BOOK SHELF

"Tell me and I forget-Show me and I remember-Involve me and I learn"

Past Offences: Classic crime, thrillers and mystery book reviews

The best mystery and crime fiction (up to 1987): Book and movie reviews

forensics4fiction

Forensics demystified for the fiction writer

milliewonka

Just another WordPress.com site

Eco Women: Protectors of the Planet!

Saving the planet one day at a time.