SYMPATHY FOR THE DEVIL by Christopher Chambers

SYMPATHY FOR THE DEVIL

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KIRKUS REVIEW

Feisty female FBI agent duels an A-list serial killer: a ho-hum debut reminiscent of you-know-what-thriller-invoking-lambs.

The twist here is that heroine and villain are both black, which isn't that much of a wrinkle since neither has a real tight hold on credibility. Special Agent Angela Bivins, for instance, can out-think, out-shoot, and out-muscle any big stiff, cute and feminine though she is. Also she has this highly developed sense of the fitness of things. We meet her first brilliantly triumphant in a sex- and race-discrimination suit against the FBI, a success that forces her superiors to give her work commensurate with a star performer. True enough, this disenchants many of those superiors, particularly Deputy Director and former lover Victor Styles, but a gal’s got to do what a gal’s got to do, and born-to-excel Angela can't be spending her time investigating bloodless old stuff like copyright violations. Angie reports to the Washington field office, landing smack in the midst of a serial killer case gory enough to satisfy. Female teenagers are turning up dead, mutilated, and marked in the kind of weird way serial killers now find obligatory. Meantime, Angie has fallen in love with P. Thomas Williams III, Esq. Rich, successful, a partner in a major law firm at 35—“if John-John Kennedy had a black twin that'd be Trey Williams”—he sweeps Angie off her feet. But Trey, in fact, does have a beloved twin: heroin-hooked Mede, as bright and as handsome as his brother, but with sides so dark and obsessive that Angie begins to think he may well be the killer she's been hunting. If he is, will Trey survive? Will her romance?

Overheated plotting and underdeveloped characterization, plus the rampant acronym-ia and pernicious italic-itis symptomatic of a thriller in extremis.

Pub Date: Sept. 1st, 2001
ISBN: 0-609-60849-5
Page count: 288pp
Publisher: Crown
Review Posted Online:
Kirkus Reviews Issue: July 15th, 2001




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