Sunday, July 31, 2011

A Thriller, A Police Procedural and A Serial Killer

Vision Impossible
Victoria Laurie
Obsidian, Jul 5 2011, $23.95
ISBN: 9780451234067

No two people have the same aura as psychic Abby Cooper realizes since she has been reading them for much of her life. As a civilian profiler for the FBI, Abby is asked to go on a dangerous mission with her fiancé Assistant Special Agent in Charge Dutch Rivers as her paranormal skills are needed.

A scientist developed Intuit, a software program that reads the aura of a person or their video so that a weapon consisting of three deadly toxins attached to a drone can kill a targeted individual. Terrorists and rogue governments want the weapon. Someone stole the drone loaded with the software and toxins. The GPS indicates it is in Toronto. The plan is for Dutch to masquerade as weapons leader Richard Des Vries and Abby as his business partner. They are to contact arms dealer Viktor Kozahkov; he will introduce them to Boklovich who is hosting an auction to sell the stolen weapon to the highest bidder. In Tornto, someone attacks and almost kills Abby while arms dealer Maks Grinkovbatters Dutch. Abby and Mako (who supposedly works for the enemy as an arms dealer) are attracted to one another. Mission impossible moves to an island owned by Boklovich in which humanity’s most despicable gather to bid.

Making her hardcover debut, Victoria Laurie provides an enthralling thriller in which readers will understand the meaning of mission impossible when they try to put the novel down as the heroine has made believers of a reluctant government. She makes choices partly based on facts and somewhat on intuition as she sees A Glimpse of Evil aura. Her love for Dutch is strong in spite of her attraction to Grinkov. Fans will relish this mesmerizing paranormal espionage thriller. Harriet Klausner

Karin Slaughter
Delacorte, Jun 21 2011, $26.00
ISBN: 9780345528209

Georgia Bureau of Investigations Special Agent Faith Mitchell calls her mom Evelyn, a retired narcotics police officer, who is not answering her phone. Faith sees her mom’s door is open with blood on the knob and notices her baby is safely hidden in a nearby shed. Without regard to protocol or her own safety, Mitchell charges into the house where a hostage scenario turns ugly as one person is dead and another individual has a gun pointed at a third party; but mom is not there.

Faith and her partner Will Trent search for the former’s apparently kidnapped mom who allegedly was a dirty cop who may have been a cop killer. Both (more so Will) also spend time with widow Dr. Sara Linton who has seen first hand plenty of horror in Grant County as the former coroner and wife of the late police chief (see Broken and Undone). Meanwhile Faith has become the prime suspect in the shootout at her mom’s residence while some other police retirees come to the assistance of Mitchell and Trent.

The latest Georgia police procedural is the usual gritty, gory and somewhat complicated thriller expected from Karin Slaughter. The story line is action-packed with the underlying theme being family secrets can harm relationships. With a convoluted degree of seemingly no separation between key players, readers will still enjoy Fallen while wondering who’s done what to whom. Harriet Klausner

Jan Burke
Simon & Schuster, Jun 21 2011, $25.00
ISBN: 9781439152843

Sacramento reporter Aaron Mikelson calls his friend and former peer at the Las Piernas News Express Irene Kelly with the news that her worst nightmare serial killer Nick Parrish (see Bones) is walking after recovering from a spinal cord trauma. She is upset as it took her loving husband and a shrink to help her heal after her confrontation with Parrish and his original Moth groupie, both locked away in maximum security prisons. Kelly tries to warn her friend forensic anthropologist Ben Sheridan who lost part of a leg to Parrish. Ben and his roommate Ethan Shire arrive with their dogs.

Meanwhile, Kelly becomes the center again thanks to Parrish of a media feeding frenzy while the serial killer’s Moths threaten her bodily harm for what she did to their “god” and their increasing belief that his resurrection will be soon. The Moths expect to assist Parrish when he returns to confront Kelly. When the corpse of woman painted with moths all over her body is found in Kelly’s car, the reporter knows that even with her ruthless foe still incarcerated, she is back in hell as one of his disciples has begun the war.

This is an engaging thriller though the journalist does not have to do much investigating as the ruthless enemy brings the fight directly to her. Readers know early who Parrish’s most devoted and dangerous allies are which detracts from the tension. Still, with insight into the plight of printed newspapers and the stunning number of previously secret psychos like the Moths who have surfaced via the Internet, fans of the series will enjoy round two anticipating the face to face confrontation. Harriet Klausner

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