I know this is not a new novel, however I laid my hands on it recently and hence my review. The novel was originally published in 2014. This is the first time I was reading a James Patterson novel and it was a different approach to a thriller. The thrillers that I have read are usually very racy, travel around the globe or are set in some exotic location. This novel offers none of the above. It does not give you pulsating moments where you actually feel you are in a far off location, taking in the views and sounds, racing against time for finding a well-connected powerful villain.
This novel is an anti-climax to such novels. The villain is invisible. His strength lies in the fact that he hides in plain sight. Most of the crime solving happens on a computer, based on data mining. So is it boring? Absolutely not! It has all the ingredients of a good thriller – a well thought of plot, an insanely brilliant villain, great character build up, and a perfectly routine set-up. The beauty of the novel lies in its simple narration and absolutely plain locals. The hero is the story, the thought put in it and that’s what shines. It shows you that not all crime solving is racy and glamorous like James Bond, or Bourne Identity. A large chunk of it happens on desks- thinking through, mining through data.
It’s a story about Emmy Dockery, a data analyst at FBI who is trying to prove to the world that there is a serial killer at work. The problem is that the killer is so brilliant that his crime scenes are usually reported as accidental fires. Nobody even thinks that it could be arson! She has single handedly uncovered more than 50 such murders and now she need to convince the FBI to take the killer seriously and stop him. She will not stop at anything before she uncovers the killer. But will she be able to convince the world about a serial killer who is invisible or will she be ignored as someone who’s gone crazy after her sister died in an accidental fire?