* Prices may differ from that shown
==Synopsis of the book:==
Special Agent Kimberly Quincy is approached an eighteen years old prostitute Delilah Rose who advises she has information about fellow professionals going missing. The information is very sketchy and the main link seems to be a mysterious man who always wears a red cap and has a passion for spiders. Indeed Delilah believes she is only alive now because when he booked her she was not afraid of his spiders and let them run over her body and that seemed to turn him on.
FBI Agent Quincy believes about nine women have vanished and because only one has been reported the Police have done little to track down either the girls or whoever abducted them. To do this she must finds out more about the mysterious man with the red cap. So with Delilah's help they arrange to have her fitted with a microphone in the hope that when they meet they find out more about these missing girls. However, the meeting does not go to plan and Quincy finds herself embroiled in a very dangerous and fast moving investigation.
==My thought on this novel:==
I thought this was on the whole a very good crime thriller. It is not quite as good as a few of the books I have read from Lisa Gardner, but it was very cleverly thought out and always a riveting read. However there was also a couple of features that meant fro me at least it was not as good a read to the other ones I have tried.
Lisa Gardner is a very successful American author. So far she has written 14 books. All my previous reads of her work have been in her D.D. And Warren series which account for six of her books. The book I selected here is my first experience in the Quincy Rainie series but the sixth in the series. As I think it is always important to be able to pick up any book within a series and be able to enjoy it without feeling you have missed out from not reading them. And certainly on the positive side with this book that was written in 2008 while I was aware Quincy had been involved in other investigations it did not impinge on this story and I did not feel I had missed anything.
Basically I selected this novel from my previous enjoyment of this author's work. This is a bit unusual in one sense for me because Lisa Gardner is American and as a rule I do struggle with authors from there. But for me she writes with a lot of detail and her stories are always twisting and full of quality and I do not find the cultural differences an issue. Indeed I would describe Lisa Gardner as one of my favourite crime thriller writers.
I found this book at a Jumble Sale recently. I find these affairs a good source of cheap books and for someone who reads as much as I do a vital and sensible source. What first attracted me other than it was written by Lisa Gardner was the books intriguing title. I liked the sound of it and I was prepared to risk reading a different series of story. I flipped the book over to check out the summary of the story, this was good. I liked the idea of these missing women but I was a little concerned when it mentioned this twisted and creepy suspect. As from previous experience Gardner does not hold back when describing either a violent or sex scene.
The story started appropriately with an eight page prologue. And while was interesting and had me wanting to know more it was quite sexual. It was a far start and while it did not draw me in completely I was curious as to what bearing it would have the rest of the story. What surprised me was before the chapter began there was a couple of lines about spiders. And while I did not know it at the time each 43 chapters was to start in this way. It was certainly different and through these facts about spiders I found I learnt a little more about them, but it was a bit creepy!!
Like previous Gardner novels this one focused on several of the characters in the story. And while in the writing it always clearly identified Quincy or the investigating team in these there where characters it did not. These chapters tended to be shorter and written in italic print. I have to say the majority of those I did not enjoy because they were either about spiders or sexual activity. Please don't get me wrong I have no problem reading about sex, what I have a problem reading about is rape and sex with minors which is what this was all about. As a result I found these chapters quite hard to read and I certainly did not enjoy this side to the story.
That aside I did find I enjoyed the way the story developed in terms of the investigation. There was always a lot going on and plenty for the reader to think about. I always find this writer impresses me with her ideas and how her stories unfold. And while in this book there was little mystery in it it was rich in suspense the whole way through. I found I just had to find the solutions to it and see where the scenes involving the unnamed characters fitted into the main story.
I think because the sexual content and the scenes involving creepy crawlies, this will never be a book I will look back on as fondly as the others by this talented writer. But I did still enjoy it none the less. There is a real quality about this author's intelligent writing. Her descriptions while sometimes a bit too graphic where full of detail and helped the reader get a complete picture of the scene that was being set. The detail helped develop the story and with the fact you were never certain what twists and turns the author would throw into the mix it made for a fascinating read.
The story was always fast paced and I found myself very curious as to what would happen next to all the characters within it. My only confusion was this was part of the Quincy and Rainie series but they played only a supporting role in it. Because this story focused on Quincy's daughter Kimberly who like her father is also a member of the FBI. I just found this odd and felt they added little to the investigation when they were involved. It certainly did make me wonder and not in a good way about the other stories in this series.
The ending of the story was unsurprisingly very exciting and full of suspense. Maybe in truth I would have liked a longer drawn out ending where the Detectives corner their suspect because of brilliant or clever work but it was not the case this time. That said it was very good and because of clever and purposely writing it left quite a few issues and question unanswered. So that even at the end their was a mystery as to what had really happened and who was left standing.
This thank goodness was all answered and resolved in the nine page epilogue. As I don't a couple of unanswered questions and the reader decides but this would have been ridiculous. What transpired did make prefect sense, was realistic and rounded the story of very well. Although that said for once it did lack too much flesh on the bones because there was so much to close off. Again for me a little more detail would have been preferable but at this point I was just grateful for the answers.
The main character within this story was without question Kimberly. I found her a very good an interesting character. I liked the way she had to juggle her time between a demanding job and her home life with her husband. I found her very easy to like and relate to. And I respected how she went about her work. The only thing that surprised me was that she was caught out a couple of times in the story by events and certainly for one of those I would have expected her to fall into the trap. What I did feel though was the author when she wrote this book had a very clear idea of this character this was very successful shared with the reader.
I think the success of this book it due to the excellent story telling ability by the author. She really has some wonderful ideas and with her ability to draw all the stories elements together it makes for me at least a scintillating read. Although against that was the all to graphic child rape scenes that I found difficult to read and in no way enjoyable. I think the author is brave to deal with such topics which for me made some sections very hard going.
On balance I would still recommend this as a good Detective story. This is because Lisa Gardner tells a wonderful story, for me it has just the right amount of detail and complexity within it. So that the answers to the mystery need to be thought about and nothing is quite as it seems. The author will purposely mislead you into believing something then turn it on its head. The bits I struggled with was the child sex scenes and the horrible spiders.
Price 5.24 New at Amazon
Year first published: 2008
More about the author: www.lisagardner.com
Thanks for reading my review.
This review is published under my user name on both Ciao and Dooyoo.
© CPTDANIELS November 2012.
He's Going To Make Your Skin Crawl
That's what the front cover claims. And yes, he really does!
This is the story of Kimberley Quincy, an FBI Special Agent in Violent Crimes. A daughter of a profiler. Who's mother and sister were murdered. Who is married to another Special Agent. Oh yes, and is five months pregnant.
When her mobile (sorry, cellphone) rings in the early hours, it's nothing to write home about - happens all the time. A hooker has been picked up who claims to be her informant, and will speak to Kimberley, and her alone.
Delilah Rose claims prostitutes are going missing, and a strange client is behind it. A client with a creepy perversion. Spiders
Then Kimberley starts receiving strange phone-calls on her mobile/cell - a number which isn't readily available. It's up to her, and Sal (a Georgia Bureau Investigator) to unravel the web
I have to admit that I really don't like spiders all that much. Even less now. It really did make my skin crawl.
The story really grabbed my imagination, the characters were well rounded and believable. Though the pace of the story was good, the details were well covered and not glossed over as some writers do.
Interwoven into Kimberley's story, we meet a boy would was kidnapped by the Burgerman, and an old woman who sees her dead brother.
It really keeps you gripped as you try to work out how the other tales get tied up in the main story, and who is who in the sub-tales.
I have to confess that I had worked out one twist before the characters did, but there are many twists to the story as you speed towards the conclusion and the others I had no idea about. Like a good thriller should, this book throws you a curve ball to knock you on your ass, and keeps the pages turning
I have another Lisa Gardner novel to read, and after enjoying this one so much, I really look forward to getting stuck in!
P.S I bought this book (hard-back) on sale in my book club. £1.99 is a bargain!!
Lisa Gardner has become one of my favourite authors. Her writing is unpretentious and to the bones of the story. Her novel's mostly focus on her favourite FBI Agent Kimberley Quincy, who returns in this story to find another creepy serial killer. Gardner likes her creepy crawlies, with her Killing Hour focusing on a man who loved to drop his victims into a pit crawling in venomous snakes. This time, her killer is a lover of all things arachnid.
Kimberley and Mac are now settled into married life, and expecting their first baby. Of course Kimberley isn't keen to settle too quickly, and soon pokes her nose into a non-existent case of missing prostitutes. A girl, who just happens to be pregnant as well, sucks Kimberley into the case of her missing friend who she claims has fallen victim to a viscious pimp who loves to set his spiders on victims. Soon, the case is causing problems for Kimberley as Mac demands that she lighten her load, and her superiors refuse to give her resources for a case that doesn't have any merit.
Before long, Kimberley is in cohoots with a rogue agent and a girl who is potentially feeding them fraud information for her own agenda. All of them find themselves in danger as the dangerous predator cracks on to them and turns the tables. Meanwhile, the story is interwoven by the diary of a missing boy who is being kept captive by a sexual predator who might or might not be one and the same. Kimberley must get to the heart of the case before somebody gets hurt or worse...
I love that Gardner keeps bringing back this evolving character, as she is a real steely lady. Kimberley is still preyed upon by the demons of her past, and that is very much evident as she lets down her guard with new husband Mac. Its nice that her tough exterior is stripped down as she struggles with her new commitments and the fear of impending motherhood. However, the fragments that made her strong and wiley are all still equally evident as the agent in her comes to the forefront.
Gardner has sharpened her writing skills tenfold since her early incarnation of the Quincy family. Whilst the other members of the family are kept to a minimum here, there are still subtle echoes of them throughout this tale. For instance, we are treated to various snippets of the past stories that are just enough to keep the character of Kimberley evolving, whilst giving away nothing of the outcome of those past stories. Its also nice that we get to know a few newer characters here with new hubbie Mac taking centre stage after remaining mostly in the shadows in past entries.
The story is taut and fast paced, and manages to weave together 3 different threads without losing the reader's interest. There is something heartbreaking about a little boy being taken from his family, preyed upon in his bed, and then being groomed into a predator of sorts. It is so well written that we see him gradually become more and more accepting before becoming empty and cold from the years of abuse. Yet, this part of the story is a subtle diversion from the real action that is going on elsewhere.
If there is a small niggle, its only that this will make your skin crawl. Hidden in there is an education of all things spidery, and I for one struggled to refrain from scratching when those parts of the story unfolded. I'm not arachnaphobic, but I dont really like the look of tarantula's either, and they're thrust to the centre of the horror here. Gardner seems to be a nice lady from the interview's I've seen her do, but she has a creepy sense of story telling which is enthralling but borders on obscene.
Kimberley is probably one of my favourite written characters, and its nice to see her back in this new book. I hope, however, that she gets a well deserved break. Gardner deserves to focus on her other love Bobby Dodge who is also becoming a firm favourite. Maybe we'll even see Dodge and Kimberley steel up together in future entries, it would be nice to see Gardner bring her two best creations together. For now, I'll settle for this well written and thrilling installment.
Afraid of spiders...? You should be. Creepy crawlies take on a whole new meaning for the working girls of Sandy Springs, Atlanta, when a client comes to the red light district looking for something different. He wants girls to let his pet spiders walk all over them. Seems like a simple - if strange request - but not all the girls come back. When FBI field officer Kimberly Quincy gets called out to talk to one of the girls, she's already got enough on her mind. What was a routine evidence-tagging session at the scene of a cargo plane crash has gone horribly wrong. Just when they'd recovered all the crew bodies, they get an unwelcome surprise...an extra body caught in a tree. Without a head. When Kimberly finally gets home to think it all through, and climbs into bed next to her husband Mac, a phone call shatters the peace and proves that the nightmare is only just beginning. On the other end of the line, a muffled cry and the sound of metal on flesh.