MYSTERY

Under Pressure

Minotaur: St. Martin’s. (Lucas Page, Bk. 2). Aug. 2020. 464p. ISBN 9781250293961. $26.99. THRILLER
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Fans of Jeffery Deaver’s “Lincoln Rhyme” series will find much to enjoy in this second thriller from Pobi (after City of Windows) featuring astrophysicist, numbers whiz, and sometime FBI consultant Lucas Page. Like Rhyme, Page is handicapped: he lost an eye, arm, and leg to a bomb 10 years ago on an FBI assignment. And like Rhyme, he’s a reasoning machine. Give him numbers, and he finds patterns and identifies the anomalies, too, the information that points beyond what’s already assumed about the case. Another quirk: on site, Page can go into fugue state and see the event in reverse, the dead coming alive again, the killing agent retreating into its shell. This time, it’s a thermobaric bomb blast at the Guggenheim in New York, resulting in 702 people dead with no survivors. More explosions follow, big and small, with no apparent logic. The dead pile up, and not for the first time Page faces death himself. What results is a diverting read, but the plot stretches credibility. There are too many points where it could have gone wrong for the malefactor but doesn’t. Still, Page is an appealing hero and the story is filled with action and suspense.
VERDICT For lovers of puzzle-solving detective fiction in the style of Kathy Reichs.

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