7 of 8 people found the following review helpful
Hooked on this Dynamite Debut Novel! Hooked on Author Brian Bianco!,
This review is from: Dressed for a Kill (Paperback)If there's any book I like better than one with a surprise ending, it's a thriller with a double surprise at the end--two startling moments that make me gasp out loud. And that's exactly what author Brian Bianco delivers with Dressed for a Kill.
Bianco hooked me from the exciting prologue when a woman is going into hiding following the vicious rape and murder of her precious daughter where she was almost killed herself.
When the author moves eight years ahead to another rape/murder trial where two guilty-as-sin young men get acquitted of the vicious crimes--only to be found dead shortly thereafter from death by crossbow--I'm irretrievably involved in this unique, complicated plot...just as surely as is Chicago Tribune reporter Miles Fischer.
The entire town of Tweeksbury feels that the men are guilty and knows they got off simply because the wealthy, manipulative father of one of the "accused" hires the best defense attorneys. Once again, money wins a case, setting murderers free to wreak more suffering on the innocent...
The curious reporter becomes suspicious when he discovers two more cases similar to the one in Tweeksbury, and when looking back on an unrelated interview he had recently held, he thinks he knows who the killer is. Fischer is ambitious and wants to scoop the other papers on this story. Knowing this story would "make" his career, he talks his editor into allowing him to follow his hunches, which eventually take him to Seattle, Washington.
To complicate the plot, the FBI gets involved and the enraged father also hires a private investigator to find his son's killer. Fischer is besieged from all sides to tell what he knows. When he refuses to co-operate and plays a cat-and-mouse game with them, more hell breaks loose.
Reminiscent of James Patterson, one of my favorite authors, Bianco certainly knows how to weave a captivating story. He tugs at his readers' heart-strings while making them scream for justice. At the same time, he has a realistic back-story about Fischer's spousal problems that cause him to turn to a sympathetic co-worker. Luckily for all, she becomes a vital help-mate in solving these crimes.
Are Fischer's instincts accurate about the person he suspects? What does the local law enforcement fail to find at the "crossbow" crime scene? What does the investigator find there? How does this end up helping? How does Fischer's wife react to his going out of town on yet another story?
But most important, what happens in the end to make me gasp in surprise?
Bianco answers those questions and many more in this complex tale of revenge with a twist! Like I said, he's a master plotter... He also has pitch-perfect pacing, lots of exciting action, and his writing reads smoothly. His characters are realistic. So realistic, in fact, that I feel like I know them and really care what happens to the "good guys" and am panting to see the "bad guys" get what's coming to them.
Kudos to Brian Bianco on his debut novel... I hope he continues to write because he could become one of the great literary forces of our time.
Reviewed by Betty Dravis, November 29, 2011
Author of "Star Struck: Interviews with Dirty Harry and Other Hollywood Icons"