Cover Image: Lightning Ridge Road

Lightning Ridge Road

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Member Reviews

Excellent read. Was good page turner. Was little disappointed in the ending. Better editing would haver helped immensely.
Thanks to NetGalley for advance copy.

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This was a good story which kept me turning the pages throughout the night. Great mystery, writing and plotting will recommend to all my friends who love this genre.

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A team of FBI profilers along with local police are trying to find a young boy who ran away after witnessing two people disposing of a body. Compounding their difficulty are heavy rainfall and an impending flash flood, along with a colleague who seems to be hampering the investigation into the murder.

I enjoyed this book through the search and rescue of the boy. Between the storm and the killers who were still searching for him, suspense was high and the scenario was plausible. Unfortunately, the book had several things that didn't make sense to me in the latter chapters.

First, agents recover three (and only three) cigarette butts from the ashtray of the stolen vehicle used to commit the crime. Conveniently, these were three different brands, so one each from the three suspects. Most cars do not come with ashtrays, so it had to have been added to the Jeep by special order or as an aftermarket part, implying that the owner was a smoker also. So where were his butts? Or perhaps he bought the vehicle used. In any event, details like this trip me up in an otherwise good read.

Second, the boy, aged 9, escapes from the safe house where he is staying, and finds his way to a convenience store to buy candy. From there, he calls the FBI agent who found him. Did the child have a cell phone? Did he retain the agent's business card? How did he have money to buy candy? Most boys that age don't have pocket change, especially when he was camping at the time. Did he steal from his parents? This whole escape incident felt like the author realized that no mention of the boy had been made in several chapters, so it was thrown in to let everyone know he was safe. The escape, and the subsequent return by grumbling agents, served no purpose and interrupted the flow of the plot.

Finally, the mastermind behind the murder plot was introduced at the 96% point of the book, with no hint of his existence prior to that, except that the FBI wondered from the beginning if the murder was politically motivated. With a few words, and a look that "oozed charm, but didn't mask the hate sparking behind his eyes," the label of 'sociopath' is applied to the conspirator by an agent meeting him for the first time. I believe it would have been better to involve this character earlier in the book and let readers observe his sociopathic behavior, rather than state it outright with so little evidence and so late in the narrative.

This book showed great potential early on. I can overlook maybe one illogical incident, but this book had too many. Admittedly, I can be overly analytical, though!

Thank you to NetGalley and the publisher for the ARC.

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