Thursday, August 11, 2016

ARC Review: Thrill Kill by Brian Thiem

Thrill Kill
Author: Brian Thiem
Series: A Matt Sinclair Mystery (Book 2)
Publication: Crooked Lane Books (August 9, 2016)

Description: Cops in Oakland seldom meet people whose lives are going well. That's certainly the case when homicide sergeant Matt Sinclair recognizes the dead woman hanging from a tree as a teenage runaway named Dawn he arrested ten years before. And as Sinclair and his partner, Cathy Braddock, soon learn, many of Dawn’s clients, not to mention the local and federal officials, who protect them will go to any length to keep the police from digging too deep into her past.

Then the killer goes public, and Sinclair and Braddock must race to uncover the secrets Dawn was killed to protect before the killer unleashes a major attack on a scale the city has never seen before. But in the process, Sinclair runs into secrets from his own past--some of which could end his homicide career for good.

With Thrill Kill, the second novel in the Detective Matt Sinclair mystery series, Brian Thiem, a veteran of the Oakland Police Department and the Iraq war, has written a nuanced police procedural that could only be written by a trained detective with years of hard-earned experience.

My Thoughts: Matt Sinclair and his partner Cathy Braddock are called to a park to investigate a naked woman hanging in a tree. So happens that Matt knows the woman. Dawn Gustafson was a call girl that Matt first met when he was working vice and she was newly arrived from Minnesota. They met each other occasionally over the years.

Matt and Cathy's investigation takes them into the world of elite escort services and the sorts of men who make use of them. Since many of the men are rich, in politics, or other sensitive businesses, Matt's superiors want him to investigate discretely. Add in the FBI who has some interest in the case and you get all sorts of political and jurisdictional complications.

Matt is a dogged investigator who is also dealing with his own alcoholism and PTSD. He is secretly seeing a therapist to deal with the PTSD. Thus far they have discovered that he has lots of unresolved issues from his childhood and military service that all seem to stem from him not being able to save everyone. This case seems to be fitting into that pattern too.

The FBI gets sidetracked by some leads that seem to indicate some domestic terrorism but Matt is keeping a clear focus on the murders. I will say that I had a pretty good idea of who the killer was by about the middle of the book. That didn't change my enjoyment of the story or relieve much of the tension I was feeling.

This book was filled with action. From murders, to bombs, to school shootings, the action seemed nonstop. Fans of fast-paced police procedurals won't want to miss this one.

Favorite Quote:
Phil said it was their job to speak for the dead, but to Sinclair, investigating the death of a human being had an even higher purpose—to bring the killer to justice. If people were allowed to kill with impunity, the fragile sense of civilization that existed in urban communities like Oakland would collapse. It was his duty to prevent that form occurring.
I got this one in exchange for an honest review from Crooked Lane Books. You can buy your copy here.

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