Tuesday, June 8, 2010

Face of a Thriller

I recently finished reading Face of a Killer, a well-written thriller by Robin Burcell, whose progress I have watched over the years via posts on various Internet lists. She worked in the San Franciso area for more than two decades as a police officer, detective and hostage negotiator. An FBI-trained forensic artist, Robin used that talent with her character Sydney Fitzpatrick in this book, written after producing four Kate Gillespie mysteries..

An FBI agent and forensic artist, Sydney is called on to reconstruct the face of a mutilated rape-murder victim and finds herself entangled in another murder case, that of her father killed more than two decades ago. She visits the death row inmate about to die for the murder and has doubts about his guilt.

A photo sent to her by a friend of her father's, who then commits suicide, adds more complications. When attempts are made on her life, Sydney begins to mistrust a fellow agent she had formerly lived with. The plot moves rapidly as people and events from years ago resurface, and it appears some hidden government group may be responsible for her problems.

In an Author's Note, Robin mentioned that her fictional rogue international financial institution was modeled after the Bank of Credit and Commerce International (BCCI), target of the biggest banking scandal in history back in 1991. It was called the "Bank of Crooks and Criminals" by the feds. After its closure, a "black network" division was allegedly still in operation using Mafia-like tactics, extortion, kidnapping, even murder, by some accounts.

Robin has some great characters and does an excellent job in keeping the excitement at a high level. I highly recommend Face of a Killer.

Chester Campbell

Mystery Mania

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