A BILLION WAYS TO DIE by Chris Knopf

A BILLION WAYS TO DIE

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KIRKUS REVIEW

What is it with people? Whoever it is that’s trying to kill Arthur Cathcart just won’t quit.

Now that he’s avenged himself on the triggerman who widowed and nearly executed him, Cathcart, a tech researcher of many names, just wants to be left alone to cuddle with his ladylove, blackjack dealer Natsumi Fitzgerald (Cries of the Lost, 2013, etc.). Their Caribbean idyll ends when their sailboat, Detour, is boarded by a crew of ruffians who snatch them in the dead of night, carry them off, lock them up in another craft, and demand that Cathcart tell them where “it” is. They don’t know Cathcart’s name; he has no idea what "it" is; nobody’s willing to be the first to talk. The stalemate is broken when Cathcart and Natsumi awaken from drugged sleep back at their marina, shaken but alive and determined to figure out who kidnapped them and why. The search leads Cathcart to the usual scenic locations (Puerto Rico, Miami, Switzerland, suburban Connecticut) and, thanks to the research of his reluctant collaborator, Strider the Data Thief, deep into the bowels of the Société Commerciale Fontaine, where his undercover job as one Martin Goldman gives him a chance to show his researching chops before the inevitable blowup. Cathcart soon realizes the malign forces he’s tracking are also tracking him, and the disappearances of successive bank accounts he shares with Natsumi persuade him that “our security seemed to erode faster than our awareness could increase.”

After the brilliance of his debut (Dead Anyway, 2012), Cathcart’s third adventure shows an increasing tropism toward proficient but forgettable rounds of cat-and-mouse byplay punctuated by the occasional action scene.

Pub Date: Nov. 21st, 2014
ISBN: 978-1-57962-363-0
Page count: 272pp
Publisher: Permanent Press
Review Posted Online:
Kirkus Reviews Issue: Oct. 15th, 2014




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