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Saturday, January 10, 2015

Fatal Distraction

Fatal Distraction

Review of Fatal Distraction by Diane Capri

Overview from www.barnesandnoble.com: Relentless victims' rights advocate Jess Kimball and Jack Reacher both deliver justice when the legal system fails. Reacher waits until trouble finds him and then he does whatever it takes. But Jess pursues legal justice and draws lines she will not cross. How can she win against killers who refuse to follow the rules?
Three years ago, beloved Florida Governor Helen Sullivan's world shattered when her only son died in a senseless car crash, killing his best friend, too. Helen quickly discovered Eric's crash was no accident and lured the killer to her son's funeral to be caught.
When the shooting ceased in the small country church, Helen believed her nightmare was over. Instead, she'd unwittingly escalated her duel with a cunning and patient assassin.
Now, investigative journalist Jess Kimball is driven to find the horrifying truth. Is the Central Florida Child Killer guilty? Or is the real killer still out there?
Helen and Jess together face the determined killer in a pitched battle of wit and nerve. Who will survive?

My Review:

This week’s story is a Thriller written by Diane Capri whose work I have reviewed before. Last time it was part of the Jack Reacher series I think though I later discovered that it was told from the perspective of different characters than the Jack Reacher stories were. Anyway, it confused me a great deal so in the end I didn’t like it.

This one, on the other hand, was an entirely different story. The story starts us off with Helen Sullivan, governor of Florida, who is contemplating a run for the senate when her term as governor is over which will be in a month or so.

Governor Sullivan is very resolute woman who has endured more than her fair share of tragedy. Many years ago her son died in a drunken driving accident that appears to be his fault. And his best friend was riding in the car with him.

Now she and her husband are trying to put the tragedy behind them but the more recent stroke that her husband Oliver suffered has left him distressed and in desperate need of therapy. Unfortunately Oliver’s mental recovery seems to be taking much longer than expected.

One night he contemplates suicide, even going so far as to right a note when something makes him change his mind. Yet while he sleeps, an unknown killer is planning his death by fire in an attempt to get Helen to crack. From there things just continue to get worse and worse for the couple.

Meanwhile a reporter named Jess discovers some new evidence that suggests that Sullivan should consider granting a reprieve in the execution of one Tommy Taylor who was convicted of murdering several children. But Helen is determined to see it through and not to leave the problem for the next governor. Jess and Helen then start to become convinced that there might be a connection between the attempted murder of her husband and the children who were allegedly killed by Tommy Taylor.

I don’t want to put any spoilers in here so I leave the rest of the plot for the reader to discover but I liked this story much more than I expected. The ending was refreshingly different and yet it made sense.

The characters were also likable. I was able to understand Helen’s apparent stoicism as much as Jess’s sudden displeasure in discovering that Tommy Taylor might just be innocent of some of the crimes he is accused of. The all seemed relatable to some degree, though perhaps the villain was a little less so but that’s the idea isn’t it?

Also, while the story has a few words of profanity in it, it was not so bad that I stopped reading and there were no fbombs that I can recall. I think this story would also make a great movie, probably PG-13 so I don’t know what those Hollywood executives are waiting for. If you like Thrillers, you could do a lot worse than this one.

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