“What he saw made him reach for his pistol. Positioned on the other side of the glass was another camera.”
When Detective Jacob Striker is called to the shady end of town to deal with yet another suicide, he is shaken to discover the victim is a girl his daughter went to school with. Convinced that it wasn’t a suicide, Striker and his sassy hispanic partner Felicia race around town, hot on the trial of a rogue psychiatrist.
I always feel a bit so-so about these books. On the one hand, they’re pacy, exciting mysteries with plenty of hints but I never manage to guess the bad guy until the reveal. On the other hand, they’re filled with some pretty sick people and crimes. They often descend into stereotypes and clichés, and they always turn up on my doorstep in trade paperback form, taking up twice as much weight and volume as is really needed!
I enjoyed Slater’s previous effort The Survivor, particularly his detailed knowledge of the police system and all the bureaucracy that gets in the way of the good guys just doing their jobs. I enjoy the cynicism, the fact that we never know whether other police staff are crooked, which of the psychiatrists is the bad one, or whether those phone calls from a nearly lost contact are red herrings or helpful clues.
My criticisms are pretty foreseeable – the writing is pedestrian in quality, abounding with clichés (of course Striker and Felicia have an on-off relationship which makes his already dramatic teenaged daughter even more angry!), and we really don’t need a new chapter every 5 pages (109 chapters, 532 pages) – particularly when many of those chapters are only 2 pages long.
Great airport fiction. I’m not sure that the quality of the writing deserves hard-earned time off in a more tranquil environment.