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Lunch » Tags » Books » Reviews » Roadside Crosses: A Kathryn Dance Novel » User review

This book has a lot to offer its readers

  • Oct 23, 2009
  • by
Rating:
+5
This is another of best-selling author Jeffrey Deaver's more than two dozen very suspenseful mystery novels, the third with Kathryn Dance as its principle character. There are two main plots and a host of interesting sub-plots.
A killer taunts the police by displaying a cross on the side of a highway with flowers and with the date that he or she will commit a murder. This occurs several times. Senior Detective Kathryn Dance must find the murderer before there are more killings.
As if this was not bother enough, Dance's mother, a nurse, is being charged with a mercy killing by a prosecutor whose apparent goal is nothing more than making a name for himself with a well-publicized case. Her mother seems to be angry at her for spending time on the cross-killings instead of helping her.
The subplots include a possible romance for Dance with a computer expert, her infatuation with another man who is married and a minister leading disruptive right to life demonstrations.
There are also several postmodern scientific subplots that readers will find to be both informative and exciting. One is the concept of a "synthetic world" in which young people - teen-agers through men and women in their twenties - play computer games. The games impact upon the personality of the players who frequently find themselves living in a second life which they prefer over reality. Contrary to what people think, the games do not cause people to act violently, but they do dislocate many players from the real world.
A second scientific phenomenon that plays an important role in the novel is "kinesic analysis." "Kinesis" means reaction or response. This is an ability that Dance has, the ability to read and interpret body signals, facial expressions and hand, body and leg movements. Yet, despite her ability, is Dance capable of reading the body signals of the murder suspects? Does she make mistakes? Can she see what the computer expert and the married man feel about her? Can she read her own reactions?
The third is the psychological effects of internet blogs both on blog writers and readers. People write their ideas on the internet and people react, frequently strangely to what has been written. Can blogs become addictive and, if so, to what extent?
In short, the novel is filled with a good story, with both suspense and ideas, and readers will find a lot to enjoy.

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More Roadside Crosses: A Kathryn Da... reviews
review by . June 13, 2009
Roadside Crosses
    (3.5 rating) Deaver mines fertile ground for this thriller, the internet, where an astute and committed blogger creates a lively venue for his audience in Monterey County, California, to vent their concerns on politics, local interests and, most recently, a terrible accident that takes the life of two teenaged girls. The driver of the car, sixteen-year-old Travis Bingham, is the focus of a raging flame war, especially when the surviving girl is attacked by someone in a hoodie, …
review by . June 09, 2009
Deaver mines fertile ground for this thriller, the internet, where an astute and committed blogger creates a lively venue for his audience in Monterey County, California, to vent their concerns on politics, local interests and, most recently, a terrible accident that takes the life of two teenaged girls. The driver of the car, sixteen-year-old Travis Bingham, is the focus of a raging flame war, especially when the surviving girl is attacked by someone in a hoodie, the act memorialized by a roadside …
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Israel Drazin ()
Ranked #66
Dr. Israel Drazin is the author of twenty books, including a series of five volumes on the Aramaic translation of the Hebrew Bible, which he co-authors with Dr. Stanley M. Wagner, and a series of four … more
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Wiki

The Monterey Peninsula is rocked when a killer begins to leave roadside crosses beside local highways -- not in memoriam, but as announcements of his intention to kill. And to kill in particularly horrific and efficient ways: using the personal details about the victims that they've carelessly posted in blogs and on social networking websites.

The case lands on the desk of Kathryn Dance, the California Bureau of Investigation's foremost kinesics -- body language-expert. She and Deputy Michael O'Neil follow the leads to Travis Brigham, a troubled teenager whose role in a fatal car accident has inspired vicious attacks against him on a popular blog, The Chilton Report.

As the investigation progresses, Travis vanishes. Using techniques he learned as a brilliant participant in MMORPGs, Massively Multiplayer Online Role-Playing Games, he easily eludes his pursuers and continues to track his victims, some of whom Kathryn is able to save, some not. Among the obstacles Kathryn must hurdle are politicians from Sacramento, paranoid parents and the blogger himself, James Chilton, whose belief in the importance of blogging and the new media threatens to derail the case and potentially Dance's career. It is this threat that causes Dance to take desperate and risky measures...

In signature Jeffery Deaver style, Roadside Crosses is filled with dozens of plot twists, cliff-hangers and heartrending personal subplots. It is also a searing look at the accountability of blogging and life in the ...

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Details

ISBN-10: 1416549994
ISBN-13: 978-1416549994
Author: Jeffery Deaver
Genre: Mystery & Thrillers
Publisher: Simon & Schuster
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