Sunday, June 24, 2012

Pop Pop Poppity Pop: Eye of the Beholder, by David Ellis

Today's popcorn book entry is another mystery, thriller.  Eye of the Beholder by David Ellis begins with a murder spree, six young women killed by a seemingly deranged man, acting out the lyrics of an anti-woman hard rocker named Tyler Skye.  Here is the Booklist blurb:
Fifteen years ago, prosecutor Paul Riley made his mark by putting away Terry Burgos, who was inspired by song lyrics to kill six young women in the most gruesome of fashions. Now, a new series of killings bears a frightening similarity to the Burgos murders, and as the victim list keeps growing, Riley realizes the killer seems to be sending a personal message to him. In order to solve the new crimes, Riley, realizing that the connection to the Burgos case is very real, must confront his own past and the terrifying possibility that, 15 years ago, he might have made a terrible mistake.
As thrillers go this one was pretty good.  it kept me guessing from beginning to end, blending fairly predictable thriller plots (shady father, wild child teenager, wealthy people with dark secrets, schizophrenic serial killers) and  puts them together in ways that make them feel fresh and intriguing.  I must admit to being slightly annoyed with the "innocent man accused of a crime he didn't commit" thing, but it ends up a) not really being that and b) moving the plot along in unexpected ways.  There is a cast of interesting characters, including a troubled police detective (aren't they always?), and Riley's girlfriend, who happened to be the daughter of the governor.  In the end I didn't find the actual solution to the mystery that believable, but by then I didn't really care.  It has been a fun ride, and in the summer that's about all I'm looking for.

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