Monday, January 9, 2012

Book Review - Hot Lights, Cold Steel by D. P. Lyle

Hot Lights, Cold Steel by D. P. Lyle

Forensic criminalist Dub Walker is called upon when an old friend enlists his help in finding her 19-year-old daughter.  I saw this book in the library's new book section, and I found the premise intriguing as I was hoping it'd be like Jeffery Deaver's Lincoln Rhyme series with a forensic criminalist as a protagonist. The author is a cardiologist, a writer, and a story and technical consultant for several popular television shows, including 1-800-Missing, Cold Case, CSI: Miami, Diagnosis Murder, House, Judging Amy, Law & Order, Medium, Monk, and Peacemakers - pretty impressive credentials!

I was disappointed with the story. I felt like there was no character development for Dub Walker - then after I had finished the book, I found out that this was #2 in the Dub Walker series, so that might explain the lack of character development (I am guessing all his background was discussed in #1? Unless #1 was written in the same manner...) So there was a disconnect because I had no idea who he was or what he was like, apart from he just knew all this people or had all this knowledge and could solve the crime just like that.

While the protagonist did use a little bit of scientific or behavioral knowledge to solve the crime, it was no where near as engaging, interesting, and detailed as Jeffery Deaver's story. So overall, a fairly unremarkable thriller for me, though there were a handful of good reviews out there. Maybe my expectations were just too high, or that I should have started with Book 1 - the cover did not indicate that this was a series at all - I guess you could read it as a stand alone if you really don't care about knowing the characters. While I prefer plot-driven to character-driven novels, I still have to care the characters enough to keep on reading. Why else would I waste my time on reading something I don't care about - be it the protagonist or the victim or villains. I need some emotional attachment.

2 / 5 .

Note - The book was borrowed from the library.

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