Short Takes

Short Takes: Book reviews, in brief

June 22, 2013 


The Kill Room

Jeffery Deaver, Grand Central, 484 pages

Chapel Hill novelist Jeffery Deaver has written an ace thriller to keep readers guessing and gasping with his latest Lincoln Rhyme thriller, “The Kill Room.” A master magician with words, Deaver misdirects with one tale while what’s really going on is just off the reader’s radar.

A U.S. citizen visiting the Bahamas is shot and killed. Why would Rhyme, a detective with a brilliant mind capable of deciphering even the tiniest forensic clue, be interested? For starters, the “million-dollar bullet” was fired from almost a mile away. And the shattering glass from the shot killed two other people in the room. But what persuades him is New York Assistant District Attorney Nance Laurel, who believes the killing was ordered by a government agency. She hopes, with Rhyme’s help, to prosecute both the person who ordered the killing and the shooter himself.

What Rhyme and his team don’t realize is that they are dealing with an individual who knows their every move. The numerous twists and turns in “The Kill Room” are so fast and furious that by the novel’s end, the reader will be dizzy – and clamoring for more.

Associated Press

The Carrion Birds

Urban Waite, William Morrow, 288 pages

A criminal who vows to go straight after that one last job is an old idea, but Urban Waite makes it seem fresh as he adds the disintegrating of a family to his plot.

More than 12 years ago, Ray Lamar left his New Mexico home after his wife was killed and his toddler son left brain damaged in a car crash. Her death was retaliation against Ray by a drug cartel. All these years, Ray hasn’t seen his son nor his cousin, Tom, with whom he was raised like twins.

Ray plans to do one last job for a crime boss so he can return home. But Ray has barely begun before everything goes horribly wrong. Both cousins desperately want the kind of life that they can never have because it was torn apart by violence. Added to the mix is Edna Kelly, the current sheriff who is loyal to Tom, her former boss, but also to enforcing the law.

Set in a dying town where dried-up oil wells and abandoned housing developments dot the landscape, “The Carrion Birds” succinctly uses the barren area as a metaphor for the characters’ lives.

Sun Sentinel

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