Thursday, January 14, 2010
Roadside Crosses (2009)
The Monterey Peninsula is rocked when a killer begins to leave roadside crosses beside local highways . . . not as memorials of past accidents, but as an announcement of his intention to kill. And to kill in a particularly horrific and efficient way: using the personal details about the victims that they've carelessly posted in blogs and on social networking web sites.
The case lands on the desk of Kathryn Dance, an agent with the California Bureau of Investigation and the state's foremost kinesics — body language — expert. She, along with close associate and friend, Deputy Michael O'Neil, and the fellow CBI agents introduced in The Sleeping Doll, follow the leads to Travis Brigham, a troubled teenager, who is retaliating against those who have posted attacks on him in a popular blog, The Chilton Report, for his part in a fatal car accident that took the lives of two high school girls.
The investigation reveals that Travis, who idolizes the Columbine and Virginia Tech killers, is bent on revenge — first against those who cyberbullied him, then against anyone connected with the blog that, he believes, has destroyed his life. He vanishes and, using techniques he learned as a brilliant participant in MMORPGs, Massively Multiplayer Online Role-Playing Games, easily eludes his pursuers and continues to track his victims, some of whom Kathryn is able to save just in time, some not. Among the obstacles Kathryn must hurdle are politicians from Sacramento, paranoid parents and the blogger himself, James Chilton, whose belief in the importance of blogging and the new media threaten to derail the case . . . and possibly Dance's career itself.
The book picks up only a few weeks after The Sleeping Doll ended and Kathryn must not only run the Roadside Cross case but has to confront issues that loomed at the end of that first book in the series — issues that threaten to tear her family apart.
Typical of the author's novels, Roadside Crosses is a roller coaster of a thriller. It takes place over four days, is filled with dozens of plot twists, cliffhangers and heart-rending personal subplots.
And, not surprisingly, the novel offers up several, well, surprise endings.
A searing look at the accountability of blogging and life in the online world, Roadside Crosses is the third in Deaver's high-tech thriller trilogy, along with The Blue Nowhere and The Broken Window.
I found this book very interesting and enjoyed the modern day element of a 'blog' involved. It was definitely a page turner. If you like thrillers that keep you on the edge of your seat you'll definitely like this one.