Sunday, November 14, 2010

Book Review - Edge by Jeffery Deaver

Title: Edge
Author: Jeffery Deaver
Year: 2010
Page: 416
Genre: Fiction - Murder / Mystery / Thriller / Suspense

New to me author? No
Read this author again? Yes
Tearjerker? No
Where did it take place? US
FTC Disclosure: Borrowed from the library

Summary (from
Behind the well-known U.S. security organizations— the FBI and CIA among them—lies a heavily guarded, anonymous government agency dedicated to intelligence surveillance and to a highly specialized brand of citizen protection. 
 Shock waves of alarm ripple through the clandestine agency when Washington, D.C., police detective Ryan Kessler inexplicably becomes the target of Henry Loving, a seasoned, ruthless “lifter” hired to obtain information using whatever means necessary. While Loving is deft at torture, his expertise lies in getting an “edge” on his victim—leverage—usually by kidnapping or threatening family until the “primary” caves under pressure.

The job of keeping the Kessler family alive falls to a man named Corte, a senior federal protection officer known as a “shepherd.” Uncompromising, relentlessly devoted to protecting those in his care and a passionate board game aficionado, he applies brilliant gaming strategy to his work. For Corte, the reappearance of Loving—the man who, six years earlier, had tortured and killed someone close to him—is also an opportunity to avenge his friend’s death. The assignment soon escalates into a fast-paced duel between Corte and Loving, a dangerous volley of wits and calculated risks.

As he shepherds the Kesslers to a concealed safe house, Corte must anticipate Loving’s every step as the lifter moves in on his prey, and with the help of razor-sharp investigator Claire DuBois and his longtime ally, FBI agent Paul Fredericks, pinpoint which of Kessler’s seemingly insignificant cases has triggered Loving’s return. As the team digs deeper, each of the Kesslers comes under close scrutiny, and in captivity their family bonds are stretched to the breaking point—as the lifter draws near, Corte must ultimately choose between protecting his charges and exposing them to a killer in the name of long-awaited revenge.

First Sentence:
The man who wanted to kill the young woman sitting beside me was three-quarters of a mile behind us, as we drove through a pastoral setting of tobacco and cotton fields this humid morning. 
Why did I pick this book?
I have always enjoyed Jeffery Deaver's books, though I prefer his Lincoln Rhyme series (2nd is Kathryn Dance series) more than his stand-alone. I was very disappointed with the last stand alone book, The Bodies Left Behind (can't believe it was 2008 when I read it! Seemed like it wasn't that long ago...) Looking at my list of books I read, I also read another of his stand alone earlier in 2008, called Mistress of Justice, and I have NO recollection of that book! That's the primary reason of starting this blog, so I can refer back to the books I'd read, and what I thought of them. 

My thoughts:
  • I am glad to say I like this better than the last two stand alone books he wrote! For those of you who like the cat-&-mouse type thrillers, you will probably enjoy this
  • Now, this book isn't perfect, and some may find the protagonist not very likable as he seems cold and detached - but I think it just showed that's the personality required to take such a job - to be a "shepherd," basically a bodyguard working for an unnamed U.S. government agency, charged with keeping witnesse safe from threats - as "lifter" go after these witnesses for information
  • There are lots of twists and turns, and some I could guess ahead of time (after you have read so many murder/mystery books, you knew it couldn't be that easy), and some I didn't. I did guess the final reason why the Kessler was targeted, but the real twist for me was the last chapter, titled "endgame", about some people related to the protagonist. Didn't see that one coming!
  • Another thing I didn't quite like is that, the protagonist is supposed to be very clever (he needed to outsmart the bad guys, and plot their next move!), but some choices he made weren't that quite smart in terms of tactics. But I supposed he wasn't perfect (and well, I couldn't do what he does in real life... so I shouldn't speak about how well or badly I would handle the same situation.)
  • I read an interview with Jeffery Deaver, and I thought it was quite interesting when he was asked if he preferred series or stand alones (full interview here:) "I have no preference really. Each has its own advantages and disadvantages. With stand-alones, for instance, I can always imperil my main characters and risk killing them off (yes, I love messing with my readers' minds!), which I can't do with series. But I have to invent a whole world every time, whereas with series novels I know the characters, locations, institutions, etc. The real key is deciding which category is best for the story idea. For instance, the Lincoln Rhyme books are best for technical subjects, the Kathryn Dance for more psychological thrillers. The stand-alones let me experiment, often combining the two and trying out new forms (like the first-person in Edge). I think more people like series, so that's what I stick to most of the time."


    "You know, sometimes you can tell more about somebody from what he doesn't tell you than what he does." (p105)

    Rating: 4 Stars

    Have you read this book? 
    If you have, I would love to hear what you think! I'll link your review here if you wish!

    100+ Reading

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