Rick Mofina, Author . Pinnacle $6.99 (384p) ISBN 978-0-7860-1525-2

Employing his usual wide-angle approach, veteran newspaper reporter Mofina narrates his fourth crime thriller (after Blood of Others) from the perspective of an anxious hostage, a remorseless robber, a pair of relentless media hounds, a guilt-ridden husband and a clueless detective. Though this shifting focus allows Mofina to dip into the minds of his characters, he only skims the surface of their personalities. When two ex-cons rob a jewelry store, kill a cop and take a hostage, brash San Francisco Star reporter Tom Reed decides to take on one more assignment before quitting the profession. But when he learns that the hostage is his wife, he does some digging of his own, much to the frustration of aging Inspector Walter Sydowski. An opportunistic freelance reporter and her cameraman provide Reed and Sydowski with their first clue, which sends them across state lines on a high intensity chase. Mofina's clipped prose reads like short bursts of gunfire ("No way for the paramedics to get to him. No need to. Half of his head was gone."), but his dialogue is colorless and varies little from character to character. Though the story loses momentum as it approaches its climax, a number of cliffhanger chapter endings will ensure that readers stick around for the duration. (June)

Reviewed on: 05/05/2003
Release date: 06/01/2003
Genre: Fiction
Prebound-Sewn - 978-1-4177-2241-9
Paperback - 485 pages - 978-1-58724-530-5
MP3 CD - 978-1-5113-7667-9
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