Saturday, July 08, 2006

Mystery Book Review: Blown Away by Shane Gericke

Mysterious ReviewsMysterious Reviews, mysteries reviewed by the Hidden Staircase Mystery Books, has written our review of Blown Away by Shane Gericke. For our blog readers, we are printing it first here in advance of its publication on our website.

The Bullet Trick by Louise WelshSynopsis (from the publisher): A serial killer is playing a deadly game. There are no rules except one: The killer always wins. The loser always dies.

Since joining the force, rookie cop Emily Thompson has had one ambition: to work homicide. Now she’s got her chance. A twisted sociopath is turning her safe Chicago suburb into a brutal killing field, and every single one of his grisly clues leads directly to Emily. In 72 hours, on her fortieth birthday, he intends to make her his greatest trophy. If she doesn’t stop him before then, Emily’s first case will be her last.

In a city gripped by terror, and with little more to go on than her instincts, Emily must match wits with a madman bent on chilling revenge. It is an investigation that will lead her into a nightmare world of unimaginable crimes, the dark secrets of her own past—and to a final shocking discovery…

Review: Blown Away, the debut police procedural thriller in a new series by Shane Gericke, gets high marks for action, but falls short on originality.

Rookie cop Emily Thompson finds herself the target of a psychopathic killer after (literally) stumbling across clues left for her to find, clues she and her fellow officers will need to decipher in order to identify him. Gericke, however, makes no effort to mask the identity of the killer to the reader, so Blown Away becomes more of a "whydunit" than a "whodunit".

There are several clever plot elements in Blown Away, the tautly written prologue is especially chilling, and some of the secondary characters are particularly interesting, but all of these are overshadowed by questionable lapses in logic as the plot unfolds and the depiction of a police force that at times seems unusually inept.

With Emily Thompson as a lead, Gericke has created a dynamic cast of characters that, together with more original plots, should serve him well in future books in this series.

Special thanks to Breakthrough Promotions for providing a copy of Blown Away for this review.

Review Copyright © 2006 Hidden Staircase Mystery Books

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