by Jeffery Deaver
Recommended Ages: 14+
That's a lot to put on one person's plate, but Dance is good at multi-tasking. So, however, is the killer who has been targeting people who commented on a news blog, starting with a discussion about a certain weird boy who lives half his life in cyberspace. The kid may be a couch potato with no friends or real-world skills, but he proves amazingly elusive as attack after attack – the first few aren't fatal – seemingly exploit the victims' worst fears. Also, the killer somehow finds time to plant roadside memorials, with cut flowers and wooden crosses, every time an attack is due to take place.
Unless this is your first Jeffery Deaver novel, you probably already know by now that there will be multiple surprise twists. And by that I mean that you'll think you know whodunit, and that the mystery is over, more than once before it's actually so. Some of that goes down to Deaver's patented "there's more than one thing going on" trick, some to the classic "there's more going on than you think" trick (not the same thing) and of course, there's a final twist of the "every clue up to this point, except maybe one, has been a trick" trick. Full of tricks he is, that Jeffery Deaver. Somehow, however, this book leaves me more in the mood than some to give him credit for concealing the unexpected within a tightly woven skein of clues. It also digs into the emotional lives of its characters, especially Kathryn and her inner circle, to deliver more than an impersonal puzzle – a novel tinged with romance, family drama, workplace conflict and the ongoing formation of a brilliant sleuthing career.
This is the second of four Kathryn Dance novels by the author of some 14 Lincoln Rhyme crime thrillers and many other books. The series begins with The Sleeping Doll and also includes XO and Solitude Creek.