Saturday, April 18, 2015

Roadside Crosses by Jeffrey Deaver

They are, unfortunately, a common sight.  Roadside crosses, covered with flowers and stuffed animals, that mark the spot where a loved one has met death.  Some are temporary while others are maintained carefully and lovingly for years.  Each tell the story of dreams crushed and lives snuffed out.

But in the Monterey Peninsula, these crosses have taken a more sinister turn.  After a teenage wreck in which several popular girls are killed, the community's ire and scorn are heaped upon the teen driver, a gamer outcast named Travis.  No one can understand what a guy like that was doing driving the car of one of the most popular girls, or how he's been allowed to walk free after the wreck.  Sentiment is against him and the readers of the area's most popular blog have plenty to say about Travis and his family.  He is despised, scorned and ridiculed. 

Then new roadside crosses start to appear.  These are different from the usual memorials though.  They don't give the names and dates of those who have died.  Instead, they predict death and give the names of those who have used the blog to heap scorn on Travis.  After their cross is planted, the individuals named are murdered.  A huge manhunt for Travis is started, but he has disappeared.

CBI kinetic expert Kathryn Dance heads up the murder investigation.  She is helped by Deputy Michael O'Neil and local computer expert Jonathan Boling.  Together they try to track Travis through the world of online gaming to determine his next moves and stop the trail of death marked by crosses.

Kathryn Dance is Jeffry Deaver's alternate mystery sleuth.  This is the third novel to feature Dance and readers will be interested in her use of the science of kinetics to unravel suspect duplicity.  This book is recommended for mystery readers.

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