No Place to Die by James L. Thane
My rating: 3 of 5 stars
Attorney Beverly Thompson is kidnapped after watching her husband and dog being killed by a man she failed to keep out of prison years before. As she goes through a living hell of rape and abuse, Carl McClain goes on a rampage, killing all those he feels responsible for his incarceration. Can Detective Sean Richardson stop McClain before he kills Thompson?
Before I get into the meat of this review, I want to bring up a subject we are all passionate about: Goodreads Authors. You hate them, right? Befriending you just to sell a book? I tell you, this James Thane is the most insidious of them all. Rather than beat you over the head with ham-fisted solicitations to buy his book, he takes a much more stealthy approach. James befriends you, writes good reviews, votes on reviews he likes, and never once mentions he's an author. Pretty damn sneaky, don't you think?
Anyway, Thane's had a long love with suspense and detective fiction and it shows in No Place to Die. I've read a lot of suspense in the past couple years and this plot was actually fairly original. How often does the wrongly convicted man go on a revenge spree? This was a page turner and a half. By the end, I was just skimming, waiting for McClain's hash to get settled.
The two main characters, Sean Richardson and Carl McClain were well done. McClain was just the right mix of craziness and sensitivity. He wasn't the deranged genius most serial killers in detective fiction are. He was deranged but believed his actions were justified, the mark of a good villain. His sensitivity proved to be his downfall. Extra points to Thane for the Lawrence Block references.
Richardson was pretty good lead. His relationships with the other cops and his comatose wife fueled his half of the story. While I'm not a fan of police procedurals, the Richardson half of the book did its job building suspense leading up to the inevitable climax at the end. No Place to Die is a thriller that's well worth a few hours of your time.
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