Monday, May 18, 2009

The Maze by Catherine Coulter (audio book read by Susan Ericksen)

Seven years ago, Lacey Sherlock's sister was murdered by a serial killer that the newspapers dubbed the String Killer for his tactic of making his victims follow a string to the center of a maze before killing them. Now Lacey is an FBI agent determined to use her access to find the perpetrator. But when she offers herself up as bait, the String Killer has a surprise for her....

The Maze was my first venture into the so-called "romantic suspense" genre. I had not originally intended to take this trip down a previously untraveled road, but I found the audiobook on a table of free stuff at work and decided it would be an experiment that was relatively free of risk.

My low expectations led to a pleasant surprise. I had feared that The Maze would be basically a romance novel with suspense overtones, but Coulter actually does a fine job capturing all the nuances I've come to expect from the serial-killer subgenre (if not the explicit violence a horror fan like myself would anticipate).

Of course, given the target audience, Lacey's relationship with her boss Dillon Savich instantly turns into antagonistic flirting (which everyone recognizes but them) and quickly progresses beyond that (albeit with unrealistic speed). But that is a minor quibble, and the existence of sequels featuring the pair told me that would happen, anyway. The Maze is actually quite suspenseful and fast-paced and kept me guessing to the end. And that's all I was looking for.

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