BOOK OF THE MONTH
Lynn S. Hightower
Lynn S. Hightower is a new voice in crime fiction in the UK. Without doubt British readers of the genre are in for a treat. This is a book where you keep the pages turning from start to finish.
The story is horrendous but only too believable through the pen of Hightower. A young male student has been found dying, handcuffed to the steering wheel of a burning car. Before he dies he is able to give the police some details about his killer and the hunt is on for a vicious and merciless woman who has poured gasoline on her victim, set him alight and not only watched him burn but has taken photographs of his agony to send to his family. She has similar plans for others too and the race is on to catch her before she can carry them out. You are taken into the world of the stalker, the serial killer and the victims, of a woman the media have named "Flash", from "flashpoint", the temperature at which vapour from a flammable substance will ignite.
Homicide Detective Sonora Blair of the Cincinnati Police Department is a wonderful new addition to the ranks of the female protagonist. A single mother with two kids and a dog to take care of besides a tough job and a stomach ulcer to contend with, she makes an impressive debut with her partner Sam Delarosa. Together they operate at all hours of the day and night in the atmosphere of the grey and cold city with grey, wet streets, the snatched styrofoam cup of coffee and junk food snack in the neon-lit bar or diner. The writing is polished and clean and in a way austere. Dialogue is often sharp and witty and makes you smile with its irony. There are also parts which are extremely moving. Hightower has researched the city crime scene thoroughly and cannot be faulted on background detail. Everything about the story seems authentic, moving at a fast pace and never letting up on suspense. And - good news - another Sonora Blair novel is on the way. (P.E.D.)
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