cover image The Devil's Code

The Devil's Code

John Sandford. Putnam Berkley Audio, $24.95 (0pp) ISBN 978-0-399-14676-3

If a line like ""With that skirt and your ass, he never had a chance,"" is your cup of tea, then chances are this is your type of thriller. The observation comes from Kidd, a computer genius and professional criminal with a penchant for painting, and it is addressed to his seductive sidekick and sometime lover, LuEllen. Sandford (Easy Prey; Certain Prey; etc.) brings back the duo after a long hiatus in this tale of computers, conspiracy and carnage. One of Kidd's high-tech colleagues turns up dead after pilfering top-secret files at a Texas microchip company with government ties. Kidd is prompted by the man's sister to investigate and, after calling in LuEllen to help, soon draws the wrath of the company's demonic owner, St. John Corbeil. Muller, a veteran reader, works well with the hard-edged narrative, and his experience on a soap opera serves him well in handling the intense though predictable action scenes and cheesy overproduction. (For example, if a character's heart is beating fast, the tape is sure to follow with a staccato drumbeat.) Sandford's fans may be giddy over the return of his popular pair, but even Muller's strong performance will do little to justify their excitement. Simultaneous release with the Putnam hardcover (Forecasts, Sept. 4). (Oct.)