The Joplin Globe, Joplin, MO

September 28, 2007

Book review: Thrillers full of great characters

‘Eye of the Beholder’

By David Ellis (compact disc audiobook)

In 1989, the bodies of six young women were discovered in a basement of a building on a college campus. Each of the women had been tortured and mutilated in a different sadistic manner.

The police discovered evidence at the home of one of the college handymen, Terry Burgos. Burgos took his inspiration for the killings from the lyrics of a violent rock song. In addition, he had been stalking one of the victims. Burgos was arrested and he confessed to the killings. Paul Riley, the prosecutor for the case, argued for the death penalty. Eight years passed before Burgos’ execution, but his last words to Riley were: “I am not the only one.”

The case boosted Paul Riley’s career, and he is now a successful attorney in a large law firm defending white-collar criminals.

Another string of murders occurs quite similar to the murders all those committed years ago. The killer begins sending Paul Riley notes, clues to the killings. As Riley is drawn into the investigation, he even becomes a possible suspect in the slayings. Riley quickly realizes that the two cases must be connected as his own investigation evolves. The killer has obviously moved on to the second verse of the original song in committing the current atrocities. Riley also discovers that the killer isn’t the only one who wishes to keep the past buried.

David Ellis writes a suspenseful thriller full of great characters and plot twists that keep you on the edge of your seat. Dick Hill narrates this highly entertaining book. “Eye of the Beholder” is also available in regular print at the library.

‘Killer Weekend’

By Ridley Pearson (compact disc audiobook)

With “Killer Weekend,” Ridley Pearson begins a new series featuring Walt Fleming, sheriff of Blaine County, Idaho. Fleming was a rookie cop several years ago when he saved judge Elizabeth Shaler’s life when a would-be killer broke into her apartment.

Now, eight years later, New York State Attorney General Shaler is set to announce her candidacy for president of the United States in Sun Valley, Idaho, at a weekend conference for business tycoons. The conference’s sponsor, also a rich businessman, refuses to call it off when Elizabeth Shaler receives a credible death threat. In light of their history, Shaler trusts Fleming and seeks his advice. Sheriff Fleming must work with the Secret Service, the FBI and private security agencies in order to protect Shaler. This infuriates members of the other security agencies, who don’t want to cooperate with Fleming or each other and make the sheriff’s job all the more difficult.

Add to the mix the sheriff’s own personal problems — a deputy who is having an affair with Fleming’s wife, a nephew who may be in trouble with the law, and the unexpected return of his father — and he has his hands full.

“Killer Weekend” is an enjoyable thriller with great characters, many we are likely to see in Pearson’s next book in this series. Christopher Lane provides excellent narration for this fast-paced suspense thriller. “Killer Weekend” is also available in regular print.

Phyllis Seesengood is the technical services librarian at Joplin Public Library.