Friday, May 31, 2013

Becky Masterman, RAGE AGAINST THE DYING: Intense Investigative Thriller, Emotionally Gripping

I picked up a copy of Becky Masterman's debut thriller, RAGE AGAINST THE DYING, thanks to a review by another author. From the first chapter, this one never let go of me.

Brigid Quinn, age 59 and noticeably white-haired, is reluctantly retired from her FBI position where she hunted sexual predators. Haunted by what she's seen over the years, she's trying to fit into a new role: wife to the gentle and unquestioning Carlo, a former priest who hasn't asked her to go beyond her usual reply to people who ask what she used to do: investigate "copyright infringements," she'll tell them, ready for their baffled blink and a change of topic.

But Quinn's long-time psychologist friend David Weiss, nicknamed Sigmund, isn't afraid to analyze Quinn and her choice to settle in Tucson, Arizona, where her effort to catch a Route 66 predator went very wrong. It's the case she never quite solved and can't let go. And it's rotting something inside her in a way that doesn't bode well for marriage or even for retirement.

So when Floyd Lynch confesses to the string of crimes, and Quinn becomes persuaded that the confession is flawed, she's suddenly investigating -- without badge or authority, and with some truly awful judgment calls.
Who knows how they all thought I'd react? His mission accomplished, [police investigator] Max relaxed his spine and let himself get sucked a little into the overstuffed couch. "Don't worry.  We're waiting for verification before we do that, but it was time to let you know. Your involvement in the case, I mean."
But Max has also alerted David Weiss, and nothing is as it seems -- not even Quinn's homelife.

A gripping thriller, well paced and worth the read. I wasn't totally convinced by the very last details of Quinn's path here (a slightly incongruous note compared to the rest of the book, I thought), but I am totally ready for sequels. Becky Masterman has the right stuff.

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