A heart-pounding new Stevens and Windermere thriller from the award-winning author of The Stolen Ones and The Professionals.
Kirk Stevens and Carla Windermere of the joint BCA-FBI violent crime task force have handled shocking cases before, but this one is different. Stevens' daughter, Andrea, is distraught over a classmate's suicide, but what the two investigators find is even more disturbing - an online suicide club of unhappy teenagers, presided over by an anonymous presence who seems to be spurring them on. Soon it becomes apparent that the classmate wasn't the first victim - and won't be the last, either, unless they can hunt down this psychopath once and for all.
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Genuinely scary stuff. You are warned.
In the top 25%. Mr. Laukkenan and Mr. Ballerini are two very talented men, and each of the four books in this series is well-written and very well-performed. I do feel the responsibility to alert readers that this book is very violent and scary, and the subject matter is, frankly, repulsive. Not to give away too much, but our heroes are chasing a truly sick bastard who "works" on a suicide website. He gets teenagers who are interested in talking about the topic, and he malevolently steers them towards actually killing themselves. Everyone has webcams, and his real agenda is to have the complete suicide act recorded by the camera, for both audio and video. Then, if you can believe this, he sells the complete footage to some scumbum who resells them to truly disturbed individuals. This kind of thing may very well be not your kind of reading, so I wanted to warn you. The book is very well written and performed, but the material at hand is frightening and disgusting.
I think Mr. Ballerini's narration soars above everything else about the book. He is so adept at this kind of work that you just take it for granted that he will entertain and inform you in the best possible ways. The material itself is provocative, and certainly is worthy of discussing with friends and family members, if you choose to do that. Parents are likely to get truly freaked out by the possibility that predators of this sort are getting access to kids and teenagers via the web.
I don't really have a favorite. I would say that the climax of the book is extremely well-written, and it is often very hard to write an ending that is as good as the 300 pages that precede it.
No. This author doesn't have that power, at least not for me. He is an excellent writer, but just not an emotions-grabber.
If you are OK with the topic, then it is really worth your while to listen to this book. These two men have great gobs of talent, and it is always fun to read the work of people with such fantastic skills.
- Richard Delman
Worst case scenario of the affects of child abuse...