Fuse Time

Max Byrd, Author
Max Byrd, Author Crimeline $4.95 (0p) ISBN 978-0-553-28816-2
Paperback - 331 pages - 978-1-61858-030-6
Hardcover - 338 pages - 978-1-63026-345-4
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This is the ultimate thriller for bomb aficionados. In Chapter One, the first explosion takes place, interrupting a gentleman's hot date as his ``skull flew apart like eggshell under a hammer,'' and numerous explosions follow in various Los Angeles locales, with pithy discussions on how to make and defuse bombs. Byrd ( California Thriller ) spins a juicy tale of violence and sex but fails to generate much suspense. It is obvious that the L.A. police are wrong in their theory that each bomb was set by a different guy, and equally obvious that the right-thinking person is brilliant, burnt-out, vodka-swilling bomb expert David Renner, who suspects that a single freelance bomber is responsible even though there is no readily apparent link among the various bombings. The characters are intriguing, most notably Jillian Magid, a fetching actress who may or may not be in cahoots with the bomber but who definitely is Renner's type. Byrd's spicy writing (``In Venice Beach you could tattoo your dick on the sidewalk, swap Uzis for cotton candy, nobody would look twice'') makes for a lively, if at times overbearing book. (Mar.)
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