BURN FACTOR

Kyle Mills, Author, 1. Reader, Read by, Tbd 1. Reader, Read by BURN FACTORKyle Mills

An FBI computer programmer with no law enforcement training leads her own wildcat search for a serial murderer, stumbling across a secret government plot in the process, in this outlandish thriller by an author capable of much better. While still settling in to her new job at the FBI, computer jockey and aspiring agent Quinn Barry discovers what appears to be a serial killer case that nobody's investigating. When she brings it to the attention of her boss, Barry is not only ignored but demoted. As a result, the quick-tempered, impulsive 26-year-old decides to investigate on her own. Her first move: venturing alone at night to the remote home of sinister Eric Twain, a suspect in one of the killings. Barry, still suspicious of Twain, nonetheless teams up with him to track down the killer, who tortures young women who fit a certain physical profile—not surprisingly, Barry matches it—before raping and killing them. Along the way, Barry becomes adept at all sorts of investigative techniques. She cuts glass to get into homes, theorizes about the psychology of mass murder and fights off several attackers before discovering that the case may be rooted in a highly classified government nuclear defense program. Mills has written several smart, classically conceived thrillers (Rising Phoenix; Free Fall) starring the always fascinating Mark Beamon, a disgraced FBI agent trying to fight his way back into the bureau's good graces. With his latest, Mills has created a main character who strains credibility from the start and a brittle plot that eventually drifts into a tedious chronicle of sexual sadism. (Apr.)

Forecast:One misstep won't derail Mills's promising career, particularly since HarperCollins is backing this book with a five-city author tour, national advertising and lavish promotion plans, plus simultaneous abridged and unabridged audio versions, as well as a large-print edition. But expect a loss of momentum once early readers report back on this disappointing effort.

Reviewed on: 03/05/2001
Release date: 04/01/2001
Genre: Fiction
Ebook - 432 pages - 978-0-06-203016-0
Analog Audio Cassette - 978-0-694-52472-3
Hardcover - 978-0-06-018811-5
Mass Market Paperbound - 432 pages
Mass Market Paperbound - 432 pages - 978-0-06-000789-8
Mass Market Paperbound - 978-0-06-000790-4
Analog Audio Cassette - 978-0-694-52479-2
Hardcover - 978-0-06-018810-8
Paperback - 576 pages - 978-0-06-018558-9
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