Tuesday, 7 June 2011

Roadside Crosses by Jeffery Deaver - A Review

I am a bit behind on reviewing this one, as it was released back in 2009. The author has since released 3 other books that I intended on reading and reviewing before the summer was out, but I just wanted to write a little something about this one.

I have been a big fan of Deaver since I got hold of a copy of ‘The Vanished Man’ which was released back in 2003. Any good crime drama seems to need to sexual tension, some chemistry between the protagonists; the lighter side of all the death, science and cop work, and Deaver accomplishes this in all his books. I worked through the Lincoln Rhyme series of his books quickly, gathering them from libraries, charity shops, and borrowing them from family, as the characterisation of the quadriplegic Lincoln Rhyme, and the lingering chemistry between him and Amelia Sachs was a great read.

This book, however, focuses on the protagonist Kathryn Dance. She is a body language, or kinaesthetic expert: think the female version of Dr. Lightman from the American television show ‘Lie to Me’. I am a great fan of anything body language related and I’m really surprised I hadn’t picked up on this series earlier. In fact I only picked up these books in my local library for my mum to read, as I am more into my supernatural fiction (addiction?) but I picked them up after she has finished and have had to renew them so I could finish them!

‘Roadside Crosses’ promises to be an exploration of the synth world, blogging and MMORPG’s in the author’s note, but I feel it does this in a detached sort of way. Although it does explore how damaging the anonymity of online behaviour can be, and how it affects our lives I was expecting more action online.  Instead it started off as a more than standard crime book and at times I thought I might just put it down and read something else. However I am glad I stuck with it as the easy to read but complicated constructed narrative was a real treat to read.

I have always loved the way Deaver writes in the way that I never think about it. Some books are so badly written, with too much or too little action I find myself criticising the way it is written, but these are seamless page flickers that suck you in. The second half of the book in particular is a really good read. The characters are well rounded and show weaknesses that allow many red herrings to lead us as the reader down many dead-ends.

There are many shock victims, and suspects along the way, and the weaving of the personal life of Dance and the case presents shocking conclusions. I always like to try and guess how the book is going to end, and having an easy suspect only halfway through the book is always a giveaway to a change in direction, but the narrative took me on a blind journey the whole way to the end, and I loved the end.

4/5 (extra browning points added for the supporting material your can discover online)

I have now ordered 2 copies of Carte Blanch (1 a first eddition signed copy and another to read) as well as a paper back of Burning Wire so look out for the reviews of those coming up soon too!

Thanks for reading,
Love Rie xx

1 comment:

  1. So it wasn't too hard to find that first edition! =P

    I enjoyed the Kathryn Dance book that I have read. I have to admit to prefering the Lyncon Rhyme series but thats mainly my science background. She is an interesting character and I like the way that her family is incorperated into the book. A lot of detective books ignore the family, but including them I feel is more realistic and add a new side to the story. A second ongoing fight she has to deal with. =]