"In cooking, as in all the arts, simplicity is a sign of perfection." - Curnonsky

Sunday, February 26, 2012

Red Cat by Peter Spiegelman

Growing up brothers John and David March detested one another; as adults their scorn for the other remains unabated. Thus John is more than shocked when his snobbish business executive David turns to him for help. The married David used an Internet site to arrange a tryst. The woman videotaped their performance, which if revealed would cost the older sibling his job and probably his wife; he wants his younger sibling, a private investigator to find out what is going on and how to prevent the personal disaster from occurring. The only additional clue is a red cat tattoo on the hooker.

John learns the female is Wren, who is not blackmailing David per say, but considers herself an artist selling her tapes of married men cheating with her to the highest bidding collector. The scenario takes a deadly spin when someone murders Wren. John assumes that a sex client committed the homicide, but wonders if righteous David could have performed the deed even as he ponders whether blood is thick enough to propel him to protect David especially if he turns out to be the killer.

Red Cat is a dark, brooding work, full of secrets, shame and desperation in even the most unexpected corners. John is terrific as he loathes his pompous "superior" older brother, but also resolves to do his best by him as he is family. Peter Spiegelman provides a great whodunit starring one of the best sleuths to hit the information age.

Saturday, February 11, 2012

Utopia by LIncoln Child

Utopia's not just a theme park--it's a world. Or, rather, four seperate worlds, located in the remote Nevada desert. High tech--Utopia runs on robotics, all controlled by the Metanet, developed by Dr. Andrew Warne. Incidently, Warne's ex-lover, Sarah Boatwright, is running the park.

Utopia's a safe, fun place. Everything is "real"--it's as if you've stepped out of the normal world, and into a side demension. It's so nice, the security force doesn't even carry weapons.

Today, however, is different. Because today, someone new has entered the park. He calls himself John Doe: a suave, intelligent, sophisticated, ruthless man looking to earn himself a retirement fund from his day job--terrorism. With Doe is a small team of professional terrorists and hackers. Their goal: to take control of Utopia.

Doe is perfectly willing to negotiate transactions with Boatwright in secret, without the guests of Utopia knowing. But if she dares to cross him...well, if that should happen, then Doe will turn this Heaven into Hell on Earth.

"Utopia" is a thrillride of thrillrides, a pulse-pounding race as Warne, Boatwright, a robotics technician, and a professional bodyguard who happens to get caught up in the action, pursue the menacing Doe through the park. You will be on the edge of your seat the entire time, I kid you not.

Lincoln Child's "Utopia" is a suspense novel to be reckoned with. The park comes alive around you, and the characters develop their own heartbeats. It's a novel of suspense, emotion, humor, thrills, and science, as a "perfect" world is turned upside down by one man's horrific greed.

I'm surprised this novel never did do to theme parks what "Jaws" did to the ocean. Definitely a must-read for thrill seekers!