Book Reviews: The Dark Tide, The Guilty
Oline H. Cogdill - Florida Sun-Sentinel
Apr 03, 2008
"The Dark Tide" by Andrew Gross; Morrow ($25.95)
Despite his five New York Times best-sellers, Andrew Gross still is pretty much an unknown quantity, even to avid mystery readers.
That's because Gross is one of the co-authors who writes with James Patterson. Their team's hits for Patterson include "Judge & Jury," "Lifeguard," "2nd Chance" and "3rd Degree."
"The Dark Tide" marks Gross' second solo novel. Gross retains some of the style that marks Patterson's work - clipped sentences, short chapters and nonstop action. And if "The Dark Tide" is any indication, it's also obvious that Gross, who lives part-time in Palm Beach, must have supplied most of the writing talent in his partnership with Patterson.
A strong cinematic feel pervades "The Dark Tide" as Gross quickly moves the plot into first gear and then accelerates the story like a race car. It wouldn't be surprising to see "The Dark Tide" on the Lifetime channel next season. Gross keeps the thrills on course so well that it's easy to overlook the times that the story succumbs to the predictable, including a villain that turns all chatty at the end.
In "The Dark Tide," New York hedge fund trader Charles Friedman is among those killed when a bomb explodes in a train station. His widow, Karen, and his children are devastated, but their nightmare has just begun. The family is threatened by men looking for large amounts of money that don't seem to exist.
Police detective Ty Hauck's investigation of a hit-and-run victim, killed just an hour before the bombing, intersects with the explosion.
Karen's maturation from a grieving widow to a strong woman determined to find out what happened to her husband - and why - becomes a flash point of "The Dark Tide." And, naturally, Karen and Ty will find they have more in common than a police investigation.
Out from under Patterson's shadow, Gross shows he can deliver the thrills by himself.
"The Guilty" by Jason Pinter; Mira ($7.99)
Don't dismiss Jason Pinter's second novel just because it's being released as a paperback original. Pinter's "The Guilty" is proof positive that many paperback originals are just as enthralling - if not more so - than those released in hardcover.
Pinter left his job as a book editor at a major publishing house to devote time to his own writing. "The Guilty" proves that Pinter knows what he's doing as his exciting plot grabs the reader from the first page. Pinter also bypasses many of the cliches and predictable storylines.
Pinter's series hero, Henry Parker, is a young, ambitious reporter with good news judgment and a sense of ethics. Fortunately, the newspaper he works for is more interested in actual news than the gossip that feeds its competition. The shooting of a celebutante at a nightclub opening is the beginning of a rampage by a sharp-shooter who uses an antique rifle. Henry uncovers a link between the killer and a legend of the Old West.
"The Guilty" is a fresh tale with original characters, as Pinter demonstrated in last year's impressive debut, "The Mark."
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