Wednesday, June 23, 2021

A Caller's Game by J.D. Barker


Jordan Briggs is at the top of her game.  She has a call in talk radio show on SiriusFM and is a female shock jock, quick with a quip.  Her listeners never know what she will do or say and that's the hook that keeps them listening and Jordan a star.  But her fame and fortune comes with a price.  She's rich but has no time to enjoy her fortune. Her marriage is over and her relationship with her daughter, Charlotte, lacks time and depth.  She is considered cold and demanding by her staff and friends are another luxury she has put aside.

When the softspoken caller comes on the air, Jordan is about to cut him off quickly.  He doesn't sound like someone who can provide an exciting show.  But the caller asks her a question; taxis or Ubers?  Jordan isn't sure what he is asking but it quickly becomes clear. The man is planning to kill the driver of either a taxi or an Uber.  Detective Cole, on the street on traffic duty after irritating his superior, is the unlucky policeman who witnesses the first murder. 

It is soon clear that the first murder is just an opening salvo.  The caller seems to have plotted a plan that gives him access to Jordan's building as well as landmarks around New York City.  The murders start to add up, most by bombs that have been planted.  Jordan starts to realize that the man is focused on her.  Charlotte is on site as she has been dropped off by Jordan's ex.  Jordan must keep the man talking while hoping the police can find and disarm him.  But it is soon clear that Jordan will have to use all her wits and savvy to keep the man engaged and that the entire plot is a payback for a sordid episode in her past.  Can the police and Jordan find the caller before he manages to kill more people?

This novel is a rollercoaster ride.  The tension starts early and continues to racket up chapter after chapter.  J.D. Barker is a rising star in the thriller genre and this book will enhance that reputation even more.  There is character development of the main characters and a full slate of secondary characters each of whom plays a part.  The narrators were effective in portraying the rising tension and the split second decisions that have to be made.  This novel is recommended for thriller readers.

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