Friday, August 9, 2013

Roadside Crosses ~ Jeffery Deaver review

Roadside Crosses (Kathryn Dance #2)
Simon & Schuster
June 9, 2009
397 pages
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When roadside crosses begin to appear not in memoriam for someone, but as an announcement, a warning of an intent to kill them, it becomes Kathryn Dance's case. It's not an ordinary case, either. Details -- fear, phobias, schedules, anything -- that the victims thoughtlessly shared about themselves online are now being used against them.

The investigation leads Dance and Deputy Michael O'Neil to Travis Brigham, a teen whose involvement in a fatal car crash has made him the victim of online bullying and scorn. As they work uncover the real identities of the posters on the source of those posts, The Chilton Report blog, Travis vanishes.

Using the skills he's learned in the MMORPG, Massively Multiplayer Online Role-Playing Game, where he spends most of his day, he's able to avoid Kathryn. All while his potential victims continue to be under threat, some they're able to keep safe, some not.

With the distraction of politicians, her boss, family matters and The Chilton Report's blogger, Kathryn will have to unravel everything before she possibly loses her job.

Roadside Crosses is the second novel featuring Kathryn Dance, following The Sleeping Doll [my review HERE]. It does build a bit on the relationships established in the introductory book -- who she works with, her children, her friendships, her past -- and doesn't explain as much about her being a kinesics, or body language, expert.

The secondary characters are still present but it's more assumed that we know who they are and how they play into things. The kinesics work didn't seem to be as much a part of this book as it was The Sleeping Doll. It was still definitely a part of the novel, the plot just didn't call for as much focus on it this time. Or it blended into the story better.

The blogging, posting, really everything online was a big part of the plot. It was definitely done with a point and one that worked for the plot. It was written well to keep things from being dated right away and making the book dated as well. (The book was published in 2009 and it still works.) While in 2013 Dance might know more about the internet, etc she also might not. It's still a very workable plot.

One with a 'message' that isn't message-y but fits the story and characters while still being worth thought.

I missed some of the 'A to B to X' that we had in The Sleeping Doll. There wasn't as much mystery in this second book, or, at least, not as much fun unraveling and unveiling of the mystery. I still really liked the growth that the characters experienced and seeing them work together for a second book. I know I'll be reading the third -- and looking forward to another.

It was also nice to see that, though, the main character didn't understand the MMORPG or blogging, they weren't scoffed at or made fun of as in some books. They weren't revered, either, (as in some) but were an honest part of how things came together -- or apart.

Rating: 8/10

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