BookBrowse Reviews The Fractal Murders by Mark Cohen

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The Fractal Murders

A Pepper Keane Mystery

by Mark Cohen

The Fractal Murders by Mark Cohen
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  • First Published:
    May 2004, 320 pages
    Paperback:
    Jul 2005, 368 pages

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'Witty, smart, and inventive, and Mark Cohen is a terrific new voice on the mystery scene.'

The Fractal Murders is a fun thriller in a style similar to Robert B Parker, however it isn't without flaws. On the plus side is an interesting plot - experts in fractal geometry are being killed off at an alarming rate and our hero Pepper Keane is investigating - which gives him, and therefore the reader, the opportunity to learn about fractal geometry (a method of analyzing geometric shapes to identify patterns and predict behaviors in complex systems) which Cohen describes in an interesting and easy to follow style (even though I can't remember a thing about it now!)

On the downside (at least from my point of view) is that this is a 'guy' book.  Pepper Keane is an ex-JAG* and ex-boxer, and staying fit is an important part of his life - but I'm not particularly interested in reading about every detail of his exercise regime (so I did skip a few pages here and there), also the female characters are a little one dimensional. Lastly there are a few technical details that are already a little out of date - which is presumably the result of the book having been written about 3 years ago (see sidebar). However, despite all these nitpicks, this is a good first novel with much to commend it.

This review is from the July 20, 2005 issue of BookBrowse Recommends. Click here to go to this issue.



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