More thrills from the genre’s master prestidigitator (The Broken Window, 2008, etc.).
Steven and Emma Feldman retreat from their jobs in Milwaukee to Wisconsin’s Marquette State Park. But they haven’t retreated far enough to keep two armed and masked men from breaking into their place. Responding to a 911 call Steven made moments before he was shot dead, sheriff’s deputy Brynn McKenzie is swiftly pulled into a night of terror. In short order she’s deprived of her sidearm and cell phone and saddled with flighty actress Michelle Kepler, the Feldmans’ house guest, who promoted herself from inconvenient witness to priority target when she winged one of the intruders with his own gun. It’s a pleasure watching Deaver, who has no rivals in the realm of sneaky plot twists, spin out a series of cat-and-mouse games through which the hired guns and the two unexpectedly resourceful women try to outwit each other. With a logician’s skill, he exhausts every possibility for shifting advantages within each situation before adding a single new element—a car alarm, a canoe, a pair of campers with their adorable little girl—into the mix to provide new opportunities. The result is a tour de force in which the suspense never flags for the first 250 pages. But Deaver’s fatal inability to leave well enough alone is as much on display as his trademark cleverness, and Brynn and Michelle’s ordeal is followed by a series of further (and further) revelations as dazzling as they are preposterous, finishing touches that show why the best suspense novels depend on making you forget that you’re reading a book, not rubbing your nose in the author’s cleverness.
More proof that your first Deaver, before you’ve learned the formula, is likely to be your favorite.