In a previous post I mentioned that I am doing some book reviews, especially of thriller novels that I have enjoyed. I decided to place these reviews also on my blog, so here is the first one:
Having recently felt the urge to read thriller novels that would keep me awake all night, I tried a few novels by some authors I had not read before. Most of these books I did not even finish, since they bored me so much that I felt I would rather sit and watch the grass grow. I must add that they were real insomnia-busters (I’m not going to name them, though!).
Then I picked up Death Match. I have actually delayed reading the book, since the cover on the paperback version that I possess really did not look very inspiring. But, boy, was I surprised! Eventually I found a thriller novel that would fulfill the premise of keeping me awake all night. I have only read one work of Lincoln Child in conjunction with Douglas Preston, which I thoroughly liked, but since this one was a solo effort, I did not know what to expect.
Eden Incorporated is a company that has developed match-making software running on a supercomputer. Their software is able to find close matches for clients running through millions of criteria, and ensuring a very close match — and this is why clients are prepared to fork out thousands of dollars to allow Eden Inc. to find their perfect partner in life. They even have matched so-called “super couples” who are clients that have been matched one hundred percent by the software and who decided to get married.
It all seems very idyllic, until one super couple is found dead and it appears that they have mysteriously committed suicide. To make matters worse, it happens again, and again with other super couples.
The main character, Dr. Christopher Lash is a psychologist who specializes in marital relationships. He also has an understanding of criminal behavior, since he was previously employed by the FBI. Because of his unique background, Dr. Lash is brought in by the officials at Eden Inc. to aid in the investigation of the suicides of these super couples, because the news about the deaths is starting to get very bad for business.
Death Match ‘turned’ out to be quite a page-turner, and although it started off a bit on the slow side, the pace was quickly stepped up and became more frantic towards the end. The plot was well-crafted and the characters engaging.
I especially liked how Mr. Child developed the character of Dr. Christopher Lash, and how he brought in some ghosts of his past life in the FBI to start haunting him again in his investigation of the suicides of the so-called “super couples” of Eden Incorporated. I also found the female character, Tara, very interesting, and seeing that she played a very prominent part later on in the book, I would have liked to see her developed a bit further.
Having an IT background myself, I could relate to the computer hardware and software jargon in the book, but I think it should be easy for the reader with an average knowledge of the field to grasp. I did some research and found that Lincoln Child also has an IT background, and that is why he was able to write so easily about the subject. However, I must add that all the computer hardware explosions at the end was a bit over the top for me — it seemed as if Mr. Child tried to write for the view made popular by Hollywood regarding the special effects rendered by computer hardware put under severe stress.
All-in-all, I want to congratulate Lincoln Child on an excellent thriller, and providing me with a story that I found very hard to put down.
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