Monday, November 03, 2003

Finished a very good, suspenseful new mystery last night: Alice Blanchard's The Breathtaker (Warner Books, $24.95). Story features a serial killer who preys on victims during tornado strikes. A little improbable, but it creates scenes with lots of tension and atmosphere.

The protagonist, Charlie Grover, is the Police Chief of Promise, Oklahoma and he's a nicely drawn, authentic character. The relationship between him and his 16-year old daughter Sophie is touching and well done. A real pageturner with great characters -- that's a helluva combination. There are several great twists and surprises, most of which are believable.

Typically, books with this much suspense have weak prose, but Blanchard is a real pro, producing some terrific writing. She's definitely one to keep an eye on.