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 online world. Roadside Crosses is the third in Deaver's bestselling High-Tech Thriller Trilogy, along with The Blue Nowhere and The Broken Window.
"This is an excellent entry in what promises to be a series as popular as the authors Lincoln Rhyme novels." - Booklist
"Deaver's expert and devious plotting makes it a challenge to stay only a couple of steps behind him." - Publishers Weekly
"Don't miss this one." - Library Journal
"After 15 years as the master magician of the thriller, Deaver seems to be opting for a less demanding formula." - Kirkus
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Rated of 5
twists anf red herrings galore
Roadside Crosses is the second in Jeffrey Deaver’s Kathryn Dance series. The story starts with a roadside cross memorial which is dated for the following day, the day that police find a kidnapped teenager left for dead in the trunk of her car. Kathryn’s interrogation of the teen points to a blogging site where cyber bullying seems to have led to retaliation. More roadside crosses appear, and more victims follow. As Kathryn and her team race to identify those posting on the blogs to warn them of the danger, they find their efforts hindered by the blog owner and issues of free speech and anonymity. As if the case is not enough to deal with, Kathryn’s boss, Charles Overby, is playing his usual undermining role, her friend and colleague, Michael O’Neil is acting strangely, a former murder case appears to be running into problems, Kathryn is threatened with a racial discrimination charge and her mother is arrested for euthenasing a policeman. Luckily, Kathryn is able to enlist the help of a UC Professor to unravel the world of computers and blogs and online gaming, and comes to realise that kinesics are not quite so useful in the cyber world, where the visual cues that usually accompany speech are lacking. Deaver uses this story to emphasise the plethora of lies, misinformation, rumour and gossip that is rife in blogs, as well as the lack of accountability for the information due to the anonymity of posters. Once again, plenty of twists in the tale, a few red herrings and some brand-name dropping. TJ’s clever versions of Overby’s name provide some laugh-out-loud moments. The author blurb at the back says he’s working on a new Kathryn Dance for 2011: nothing so far, but I will be interested to read more of these.
Jeffery Deaver is the author of twenty-seven suspense novels, including the New York Times bestsellers The Vanished Man, The Stone Monkey, The Blue Nowhere, The Empty Chair, The Devil's Teardrop, and The Coffin Dancer, as well as Edge, Roadside Crosses, The Bone Collector, Speaking in Tongues and Garden of Beasts . As William Jefferies, he is the author of Shallow Graves, Bloody River Blues, and Hell's Kitchen. He is a five-time Edgar Award nominee, an Anthony Award nominee, and a three-time recipient of the Ellery Queen Reader's Award for Best Short Story of the Year. His books are sold in more than 150 countries and translated into 25 languages. Deaver was born in Chicago, attended the University of Missouri, and received a law degree from Fordham University in New York.
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