Eden Incorporated is not your run-of-the-mill matchmaking service. For the rather lofty price tag of $25,000, Richard Silver, the company's brilliant and reclusive founder and Liza, the computer and its state of the art artificial intelligence software that is more person than machine, will guarantee to find you a "perfect" lifelong soul-mate. Well ... not quite perfect, but so close mind you that the paired partners certainly aren't complaining. So nobody was more surprised than Silver and Eden's management when Liza, despite overwhelming odds against such a match, found six absolutely perfect pairings.
But when Lewis and Lindsay Thorpe, the first of Eden's starry-eyed perfect couples, are found dead as the result of an apparent double suicide, Eden's corporate alarms sound wildly and Christopher Lash, a former FBI forensic psychologist is hired to quietly investigate the death from the inside. Lash, struggling with demons from his own past and memories that the investigation has brought to the surface, finds himself faced with a situation spiraling completely out of control when another perfect couple is also found dead - a bizarre second double suicide!
"Death Match" is first-rate brain candy when it's compared to other plot driven thrillers that seem much more screenplay than novel - James Patterson's and Iris Johansen's recent factory driven voluminous output comes to mind. But by comparison to the rather high standards that have been self-imposed by his own previous work - the Pendergast canon in conjunction with his partner, Douglas Preston, and his first solo effort, Utopia - "Death Match" falls well short of that mark.
There were so many opportunities for those technical addenda, side-bars and essays that I think of as part and parcel of Child's and Preston's writing - forensics, artificial intelligence, the computer dating and match-making industries, the psychology of suicide, computer security and corporate espionage, for example. But, sadly, all of them (not to mention character development in the bargain) were virtually ignored and the only motive for turning the pages was a plot. Creative and well-crafted, to be sure, but rather naked and lonely!
Well, I enjoyed it and I'll certainly look for more of his work. It just wasn't quite as cerebral a thriller as I had hoped for. Recommended for those looking for a fast-paced lightweight summer read. Three stars and a thumb-and-a-half!
E-Harmony is an amateur compared to Eden Inc. At least that seems to be the case in Death Match by Lincoln Child. Only thing is, those that found the perfect mate are now committing suicide. At least that is what their deaths look like... Christopher Lash, a forensic psychologist, is hired to find out what's happening...I thought it was great that he failed to qualify for a match! I figured this mystery out, but it is still a … more
“Slick, sophisticated entertainment, as well as a cautionary tale about artificial intelligence.”–Washington Post
“Impeccably in tune with the times.” –Entertainment Weekly
“Child conquers the complexities of artificial intelligence–fueling the plot with material usually comprehensible only to technogeeks.”–People
“Speeds toward a suspenseful conclusion.” –The Commercial Appeal(Memphis)
“Fans of head-spinning ‘70s thrillers likeThe Stepford WivesorThe Boys From Brazilwill want to input this baby right away. . . . Fascinating.... A techno-thriller that cares as much about the heart as it does about the hardware.” –Mystery Scene