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Saturday, January 31, 2015

Review - XO

I had purchased this book, my first Kathryn Dance novel, and am just now getting to read and review it.  I am interested in a CBI agent who specializes in reading body language, known as Kinesics.  Let's see how it fared. 

Author: Jeffery Deaver

Copyright: June 2012 (Simon and Schuster) 516 pgs

Series: 3rd in Kathryn Dance Suspense series

Sensuality: Stocking, sexual overtones, woman-in-jeopardy scenes, some clinical death

Mystery Sub-genre: suspense

Main Characters: Kathryn Dance, California Bureau of Investigation Agent and interrogator and kinesics (body language) expert

Setting: Modern day, California

Obtained Through: Personal purchase

Agent Kathryn Dance takes vacation in Fresno to record some music of a group of Mexican musicians for her private web site, but primarily to visit with country singer friend Kayleigh Towne.  She plans to attend Kaleigh's concert later in the week too.  Kathryn meets up with Kayleigh at a restaurant and realizes she stepped into the middle of Kayleigh being confronted by her stalker who had slipped past her body guard.  Shortly after that incident, Kaleigh's long time friend Bobby Prescott, head of the road crew, is tragically killed in a fire, her stalker Edwin Sharp is the primary suspect.  But proving it is the challenge as alibis are produced.  The stalker seems to have taken Kayleigh's songs "Your Shadow" and "Fire and Flame" as his inspiration and strikes again.  The songs may provide clues to who or where he will strike.  Kathryn Dance is asked by the local law enforcement to help them, after she injected herself initially, in the investigation since they need the extra help.  This deadly stalker may just push a stressed and pressured Kayleigh too far, for she has a secret of her own. 

In the midst of this investigation, Kathryn is worried about boyfriend and their lack of communication during her vacation.  Michael O'Neil, is a co-worker who joins her on the investigation and complicates her emotions too.  A few scenes are told from young Kayleigh's point of view and you get a good sense of her fear and unrelenting pressure she is under. 

Kathryn Dance, a widower and single mother is an expert in body language.  She isn't perfect as she makes her way through this intricate plot pitting her against a devious and calculating murderer.  Lincoln Rhymes and Amelia Sachs make a brief cameo appearance, which was a pleasant bonus.  Michael O'Neil is a major crimes CBI agent in Monteray and has history with Kathryn.  He comes running to assist her on the case.  Bishop Towne, Kayleigh's overbearing father, had a music career that died quickly.  Now he "manages" his daughter's career, but he manipulates her too.  Sheri Towne is Bishop's fourth wife and she likes Kaleigh but can't seem to make friends with the singer.  P.K. (Pike) Madigan, Fresno Chief of Police who is gruff, pig-headed, and addicted to ice cream.

Fresno California is nicely displayed and the California countryside are all given justice.  I liked the plot of a deadly stalker obsessed with a rising Country singing sensation.  It is far too real and some folks don't realize how many celebrities have had determined and deadly stalkers, even Stephen Spielberg experienced it.  There are a few twists and turns that keep you guessing.  The entire book takes place in a three day time-frame and thus the pace moves along briskly.  There is information sprinkled about the science of body language and the record industry which might have slowed sections just a bit.

Deaver is a master at misdirecting the reader, which made the climax tense and even a little too real.  The wrap-up ties loose ends on many fronts and clears the deck for the next installment.  Deaver's take on a celebrity stalker produces a devious villain pitted against a dogged CBI agent. His characteristic plot twists and reader misdirection keeps the pace accelerated in this suspenseful story.

Rating: Excellent - Loved it! Buy it now and put this series on your watch list

As part of this book, an album of the actual songs referenced in the story was recorded and released.  Here are two videos for your enjoyment.

If you would like the CD of the entire album, (click here).

I have been working on my "Create Your Shining Year Workbook," as you see here.  I can't express how much I love this workbook.  I got the combined Biz and Life version, but you can get just one or the other separately.  This is like nothing else I have used and I am sold on it for me, so I just wanted to share it with you.  You can start it any time, so don't worry that one month is done in the year.

Purchase your copy of "Create Your Shining Year Workbook, Planner, and Calendar" while they are available (click here).  I think you will find this a creative way to make 2015 a great year.   

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