Sunday, May 21, 2006

Whipsaw -- Steve Brewer

At noir night, Steve Brewer said that he thought the cover of Whipsaw might be a little "too Austin Powers." Not that there's anything wrong with that, or the fact that the cover has very, very little to do with anything that happens in the book.

Speaking of the book, it's a bit of a departure for Brewer, a pretty straightforward thriller, and a darned good one. Matt Donahue is summoned by David La Costa, his former boss at DelaTek because the code for a new computer game is being held hostage, and the "kidnappers" are demanding that Matt deliver the ransom.

Matt has plenty of reason not to do that, including the fact that LaCosta is married to Matt's ex-wife, but he goes along because his early retirement is based in good part on his stock in DelaTek and because he doesn't want to hurt the employees of the company, some of whom are his friends. Naturally, things go wrong, and Matt finds himself enmeshed in a complicated plot that involves all the right stuff: shooting, car chases, beatings, and romance. Brewer serves it all up with great pacing, some fine local color (San Francisco), credible characters, and good writing. This one deserves big sales. Check it out.

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