cover image Mind/Reader


Brian Freemantle. Thomas Dunne Books, $25.95 (480pp) ISBN 978-0-312-18654-8

A full complement of subplots drives the action in Freemantle's suspenseful latest, a tale starring Claudine Carter, an Anglo/French forensic psychologist and criminal profiler. Carter works for Europol, a European Union agency that is modeled on the FBI and that actually exists, Freemantle says, although not in the size or strength projected here. A large part of the story concerns infighting among the various countries involved in the fledgling agency. Dr. Carter, whose British husband hanged himself five months earlier, faces a frightening investigation of her personal life just as her biggest professional challenge--a series of gruesome murders and dismemberments, described in full detail--is thrust upon her. Other complications involve her ambitious French boss, Henri Sanglier, who fears that her late father (a failed Interpol agent) found out something damning about Sanglier's Resistance hero father; the serious illness of her mother, a French restaurateur; a possible romance with an Italian pathologist who has secrets of his own; and an ongoing threat to a famous American profiler from a killer he once helped convict. All of the ingredients are colorful in this story, which could be the launch of a promising series, and as usual Freemantle, who also writes the Charlie Muffin series (Bomb Grade, 1997, etc.), serves them up with style and energy. (Aug.)