Sunday, September 14, 2008


By Lisa Black
William Morrow
10 East 53rd Street
New York, NY 10022-5299
ISBN: 9780061544453
Hardback, 341 pages, $24.95
Genre: Thriller

Theresa MacLean is a forensic scientist called to gather evidence at the murder of a bank officer which her fiancĂ©, homicide detective Paul Cleary, is investigating. Later that morning, she learns that Paul has been taken hostage in a bank robbery which occurred at the bank where the slain man worked. Theresa heads to the scene and meets acclaimed hostage negotiator Chris Cavanaugh. Theresa convinces Cavanaugh to allow her to stay on during the negotiation and watches in horror as her fiancĂ© is shot by one of the armed robbers. In an effort to save Paul’s life, Theresa approaches the robbers and asks that she be exchanged for Paul. The robbers agree, and from that point on, things spiral out of control.

This book has the makings of a good thriller, but distracting factors are the initial slow pace and lack of characters with real depth. A forensic scientist makes for not only an entertaining but an edifying read; however, there is very little forensic information relayed in the book. Theresa takes too long to figure out what’s actually going on and can’t seem to keep her emotions in check. The robbers’ rationalization for robbing the bank is not plausible; there is a much simpler way they could have accomplished what they were trying to achieve.

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