Play Dead Epub ✓ Kindle Edition

Play Dead Let me begin with two points 1 A lot of modern American thrillers read like a film script rendered into prose The chapters are short, so that they cut quickly from one place of action to another, much as a movie would do Further, chapters tend to be very image and motivation focused, there s no real depth to them much like an individual scene played out on the big screen Now I like books that are like books It s a very different medium from cinema, one in which you can create much mor Let me begin with two points 1 A lot of modern American thrillers read like a film script rendered into prose The chapters are short, so that they cut quickly from one place of action to another, much as a movie would do Further, chapters tend to be very image and motivation focused, there s no real depth to them much like an individual scene played out on the big screen Now I like books that are like books It s a very different medium from cinema, one in which you can create muchsubstance and explore an internal life in a way no film would touch without reams of voiceover As such, if a book is just aping the cinema, then I can t help thinking it ll be easier to wait until the DVD comes out.2 American serial killer novels certainly since The Silence of the Lambs greatly enjoy the serial killer as Genius I guess there s less scope for huge dramatic tension in the local handyman who kills opportunistically and relies on quite a bit of luck to not get caught The modern fictional serial killer has a grand plan, wants to make himself world famous and until the very end leaves diligent, bright cops who are hunting him remorselessly throughout trailing in his wake But I find, entertaining as it can be, that it just requires a greater deal of suspending disbelief How is this man supporting himself through all of this Do his neighbours never notice there s something odd there Why if he s such a strange loner does the whole world seem to bend so much to his will All very odd.A serial killer, dubbed The Collector , is kidnapping young female runaways and has a grand and magical scheme in mind A male and female detective combo are swiftly on his trail, Play Dead a title so generic as to be instantly forgettable suffers from the faults above, but it s not a bad way to waste some time if you re willing to let the whole ridiculous thing wash over you Great twist on Lilly, and the original Great CygneAlthough, I was unhappy with the failure to tell us where the voice was coming from.A very good thriller, racing against the clock pun intended, read it and understand An excellent police procedural involving sleight of hand magic and games The setting is familiar to me, so that was fun The killer is the son of a magician who lives in an old mansion where he maintains a passion for puzzles and murder All of the clues point to a puzzle maniac An expert in disguise, he preys on runaway girls whom he lures into the hidden passageways of the old house where he fails to understand why they don t appreciate his ministrations before he kills sacrifices, really An excellent police procedural involving sleight of hand magic and games The setting is familiar to me, so that was fun The killer is the son of a magician who lives in an old mansion where he maintains a passion for puzzles and murder All of the clues point to a puzzle maniac An expert in disguise, he preys on runaway girls whom he lures into the hidden passageways of the old house where he fails to understand why they don t appreciate his ministrations before he kills sacrifices, really them as part of his Seven Wonders.Detectives Kevin Byrne and Jessica Balazano are competent and what begins as the investigation of a cold case turns into a very hot one indeed The gradual uncovering of geographical clues and fitting them together into a tangram was clever The partners work well together even with their own demons, and it was refreshing to have partners of the opposite sex who didn t feel it necessary to tangle in the sheets Not that I have anything against that, it s just hard to make it realistic and solve crimes at the same time It was also fun to recognize Philadelphia landmarks where I went to school The first nine tenths of the book were really quite good, but much like chess where the endgame is usually the most difficult, the denouement left me slightly unsatisfied and felt rushed Everything is tied together too neatly and unnecessarily in the last few pages.Nevertheless, I stayed up too late to finish this book.Whether I give 3 or 4 stars to a book I like often dependson what time of day it is, if I have papers to grade, if the sun is shining, the outside temperature, if I ve just eaten, etc., so let s consider this 3.567498 stars which I will round up to four A really interesting and clever book Based on a magician and his warped son The devices used to murder were interesting and well thought out and the characters interacted well I enjoyed this book. Fourth book in the series because I wanted a fast and easy read There are another four books in the series but this is probably the last one for me They are all pretty much the same if you exchange the shtick of serial killer This one has a fetish for magic tricks There isn t much explanation for his psychopathy, the interactions between the two detectives is laconic and the string of coincidences is laughable I m just not enjoying the brain dead fun as much as I should Part of it is that Fourth book in the series because I wanted a fast and easy read There are another four books in the series but this is probably the last one for me They are all pretty much the same if you exchange the shtick of serial killer This one has a fetish for magic tricks There isn t much explanation for his psychopathy, the interactions between the two detectives is laconic and the string of coincidences is laughable I m just not enjoying the brain dead fun as much as I should Part of it is that it is difficult to turn off my critical brain even with the lighter fare which feels less like a Caesar salad andlike low hanging fruit I even thought of a better ending which the author might have gone with but it was executed better in the Prestige or Koontz s Whispers At any rate, I don t want to bag on a book that gave me a nice reprieve from a string of kind of depressing books but I will have to endeavor to find a better balance that entertains yet provokes thought I like Kevin Byrne and Jessica Balzano In fact I think that of all the old clich male senior in rank and age and female sexy and feisty cop teams these are the best Add to that Richard Montanari s gruesome writing and I m in heaven in reading terms.The duo are working cold cases and are assigned to the case of a girl sitting on a chair dead in a drinks can fridge, the sought that you buy your can of coke from in the local newsagent s The weird weirder part is there is no water on the p I like Kevin Byrne and Jessica Balzano In fact I think that of all the old clich male senior in rank and age and female sexy and feisty cop teams these are the best Add to that Richard Montanari s gruesome writing and I m in heaven in reading terms.The duo are working cold cases and are assigned to the case of a girl sitting on a chair dead in a drinks can fridge, the sought that you buy your can of coke from in the local newsagent s The weird weirder part is there is no water on the premises and the cause of death was drowning.As often is the case with this author s books you know who the killer is right up front and here with have the son of a magician who is preying on young runaway girls He sets puzzles for the police to solve after initially calling them to confess to the murder.A series of twists one early twist is superb and had me saying out loud Wow I never saw that coming follows as the killer is dubbed The Collector by the media The puzzles continue and the body count rises all to the target of the seven magical stages The race is on.My one gripe with the story is tangram puzzle the murders are based upon and the cops pretty quickly identify this as the key and way they will solve the case Personally I don t think anyone would have thought of this in a million years and because of this it s really a 4 star book for me that I ve rounded up because, hey I love this pair Definitely buy it and read it, I m sure that like me you ll love it PROTAGONISTS Detectives Kevin Byrne and Jessica BalzanoSETTING PhiladelphiaRATING 4.0One of the trends of the past several years has been a focus on the serial killer as the villain in crime fiction offerings At first unique, the device has become overdone and frequently ineffective It s almost the easy way out for an author to create a despicable character who does horrendous things and call that a mystery As a result, I ve become pretty turned off by the whole serial killer thing Theref PROTAGONISTS Detectives Kevin Byrne and Jessica BalzanoSETTING PhiladelphiaRATING 4.0One of the trends of the past several years has been a focus on the serial killer as the villain in crime fiction offerings At first unique, the device has become overdone and frequently ineffective It s almost the easy way out for an author to create a despicable character who does horrendous things and call that a mystery As a result, I ve become pretty turned off by the whole serial killer thing Therefore, you can imagine my dismay when I picked up Badlands and found the Prologue to be told from the point of view of a serial killer Not a very promising start for me but I m pleased to say that my initial negative reaction was quickly overcome once the narrative progressed Yes, there is a serial killer but he has a rather interesting background There is no psycho mother at play here well, there is the father.Philadelphia police detectives Kevin Byrne and Jessica Balzano have a new assignment, the cold case squad Their first case is a real puzzler Two years earlier, a runaway named Caitlin O Riordan was found in the basement of a tenement The cause of death was drowning, but there was no water nearby It seems destined to remain a cold case until a tip comes in on the police hotline suddenly, the team is engulfed in a group of cases involving teenaged runaways killed in bizarre ways The reader learns about the murderer long before the police do Joseph Swann is a man who is obsessed with puzzles His father, Karl, was a magician who ended his career in disgrace Swann is attempting to perform a feat known as the Seven Wonders Essentially, that is a series of seven magic tricks each of which end in the death of his hand chosen assistant Thankfully, the gore is implied and off stage Swann has a knack for disguising himself and acting in ways that gain the trust of his victims He even fools Jessica His big mistake is in choosing a victim who hasto her than his usual choices.Although some parts of the book were a little over the top, most notably the layout of the home where Swann lived and the ease with which he killed his victims, the plot was quite believable I did find it overly fortuitious that a member of the police investigative unit found a site where videos of the murders were posted that felt like a cheat to me The best part of the book was not dealing with the crimes or the ultimate resolution it was the portrayal of the professional relationship between Byrne and Balzano In addition to being partners, they are caring friends Although not perfect, I did enjoy the book Part police procedural and part thriller, it kept me turning the pages This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers To view it, click here It rarely happens that a writer gives up his usual recipe for a crime series, but here it is I liked that we knew who the killer was pretty soon, that the end was not solved by the heroes and that the main characters and their families were left out of the endgame I only missed Victoria from the previous books, I liked her. In each soul, a secret Philadelphia homicide detectives Kevin Byrne and Jessica Balzano s first assignment from the Cold Case files is the brutal murder of a young runaway The lifeless body of Caitlin O Riordan was found carefully posed in a glass display case in the desolate Philadelphia Badlands but, as Byrne and Balzano rapidly discover, she was just the first pawn in the killer s twisted game A mysterious phone call leads them on a scavenger hunt for a second victim This time a young girl has been dismembered, her body parts left in three boxes in the basement of a deserted house More clues lead to other victims and, as the body count rises, it becomes clear that there is a serial killer on the loose, hell bent on completing the performance of a lifetimeAs runaways vanish, Byrne and Balzano come to realize that the homicidal mastermind plans to complete seven depraved tricks in his dark and dangerous magic act With Balzano increasingly obsessed by a case that haunts her, and Byrne struggling with a loss of his own, the stakes are mounting But this is one game they can t afford to lose I m having a hard time deciding whether to give this book 3 or four stars It had a great story line, a terrific buildup, but the climax was weak.The story concerns two cops, Jessica Balzano and Kevin Byrne, who are struggling to solve a series of riddles posed by a serial killer who is murdering young runaway teenagers We know the identity of the perpetrator from the beginning of the book, he is someone unknown to the cops, and we get quite a bit of his back story as the novel progresses He i I m having a hard time deciding whether to give this book 3 or four stars It had a great story line, a terrific buildup, but the climax was weak.The story concerns two cops, Jessica Balzano and Kevin Byrne, who are struggling to solve a series of riddles posed by a serial killer who is murdering young runaway teenagers We know the identity of the perpetrator from the beginning of the book, he is someone unknown to the cops, and we get quite a bit of his back story as the novel progresses He is a terrific villain creepy and incredibly clever He always seemed to be a step ahead of the detectives He was such a good villain I actually was rooting for him for part of the story, half wanting him to get away with it He was just the coolest character Of course, what he was doing was horrible murdering young girls by forcing them to play the part of assistant in a series of magic tricks each with a fatal outcome I really enjoyed the cat and mouse game between the detectives and the killer and the many little surprises that the author threw in during the chase the plot went through many twists and turns that were intriguing to follow.The weakness of the story was that the climax was not as well done as it could ve been The buildup was huge, and then the actual key struggle seems to have been offstage We re left wondering exactly what happened, and although later events bring some clarity, I would ve likeddetail at the crucial moment Also, the climax relies too heavily on serendipity and coincidence Making it a bit unbelievable.Overall though, this is a book worth reading It has some obvious weaknesses, which prevented from being a terrific read, but this author shows promise I hope to readof his books in the future

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