The Blog Home for Crime Fiction Writer, Peg Brantley
Monday, May 18, 2009
Book Review: DEAD ON by Robert W. Walker
Marcus Rydell left the Atlanta Police Department under a cloud of suspicion. During what should have been a routine process of serving papers, the situation became anything but, leaving three law enforcement professionals dead, and a passed out Detective Rydell under the bodies.
Iden Cantu, a man known forhis military and hunting prowess, who had now added murder to his resume, was on the run. Steroid use had blurred his emotionally bankrupt soul, leaving in its place a maniacal desire to torture others.
Four years later, Katrina Holley has a thirst for revenge, and she’s not above using a burned out ex-cop turned PI to quench it.
Walker does a lot right in Dead On.
His descriptive ability is amazing. Walker creates character out of setting, painting the emotional hues in downtown Atlanta or the isolated countryside with just the right touch. He either enhances the scene with a matching setting, or sets it in sharp relief.
Through Walker’s skilled hand, fully formed human characters drop in the reader’s lap. He does especially well with Marcus Rydell, who readers will feel they know from the first page, and who, I think, Walker was most comfortable writing.
The plot and escalatingtension are dead on in Dead On, concluding in a very satisfying manner.
The only major issue I have with this book is with certain aspects of the dialogue. I found some of it stilted or unnecessary, and some of it occurring in inappropriate circumstances. To be fair, the bestselling author, Tess Gerritsen, calls his dialogue “whip-smart.” I found it a little “too smart” a couple of times. Go figger.
The bottom line is that Dead On will provide you a great summer read, with characters and a plot to hold your interest.