City of Windows Robert Pobi

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Where do I start with a book as good as this?

The storyline is brilliant.

The main character is unique in modern writing.

The settings are, well its New York City so it’s anything-goes and its believable.

Let’s start with the story. A sniper is making impossible shots in New York. Firing from distance, from height, through almost impossible gaps in the tower blocks. The first person they hit is a federal agent, so is the second. Is that a coincidence? No of course not. Are these agents being selected at random or is there a connection.

Then there’s the main character, Lucas Page. Lucas is a University Professor, or he is now, he used to be something very different, but that cost him an arm and a leg, literally, and an eye. Fitted with prosthetics and a false eye he is happily(ish) teaching at a University until the sniper makes his first hit. Then his ex-colleagues need his speciality, because Professor Page is a maths genius. He sees things in numerical blocks and can calculate distances and angles in an instant. In fact he can reverse engineer the factors needed to identify the most likely location of the snipers nest before the forensic scientists can get their equipment out of their cars.

Lucas is happy in his new world of teaching, its safe and he goes home at night. His wife is happy as well, because he comes home at night and acts as a father to their ever increasing brood of fostered children.

So when Luke is told he has to go back neither he nor his wife are happy, but it’s not long before he’s bitten by the bug and is immersed in the investigation.

The  FBI are convinced they know the identity of the killer and all they have to do is find them. Lucas is less convinced.

Battling against some of the brass within the FBI who are sceptical in his abilities, and are target focused on the man they think is killing their agents, Lucas finds an ally in Special Agent Whitaker, the tall woman who has been assigned to be his chaperone during the investigation.

This is a clever story. Snipers in the big cities of the world is already one of the threats that have law enforcers worried. To us one in a story like this shows how random the attacks can be, the effect it has on the community, and just how difficult it would be to catch a well prepared marksman.

Robert Pobi has just gone to the top of my list of back catalogues to read, and any future books will be read as soon as I can get my hands on them.

Pages:  400

Publishers: Mulholland Books

Publishing date: 6thAugust 2019

A Map of the Dark

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Special Agent Elsa Myers of the FBI’s Child Abduction Rapid Deployment Unit is one complex character.

 

Covered in scars she tries her hardest not to cut herself anymore; but scratching her old scars is impossible to resist. That is why she wears long sleeves and heavy trousers in the heat of the summer. That is why she steers clear of intimate relationships. That is why she is slightly withdrawn at times when she should be concentrating on other things.

The other thing in this case is the disappearance of a 17-year-old girl from New York. Girls that age go missing all the time in NYC; so why does Detective Alexi (Lex) Cole call in Elsa as soon as she is reported missing.

Because she is a hard working student, with a job in a coffee shop, and no history of getting into trouble. She just does not fit into the usual stereotype of the girls that go missing of their own accord.

But: when do good girls turn bad, and what is bad.

As Elsa and Lex dig deeper into the girl’s disappearance they start to make a few discoveries. Maybe the girl is not as squeaky clean as her family think she is.

With her family not knowing the whole truth about their daughter, and with her friends lying to protect her, the investigation is slow. Elsa needs to unravel the truth about the missing girl. As she does she starts to recollect her own childhood and the reason why she self harmed. The memories start to get her reaching for the Swiss Army knife she always carries in her bag.

As well as carrying out the investigation Elsa is backwards and forwards to hospital to visit her dying father. As her childhood memories resurface the interaction with her father, and sister start to change.

Will Elsa survive this investigation in good health? At times its touch and go as mentally she finds it hard to balance her work with her personal life.

I really enjoyed this book. I like a good story with good characters, but this one had something else.

The girl that goes missing.

A good girl? Yes.

However the usual teenage problems start to come into her life. Pressures of school work, boyfriends, and slightly dodgy opportunities.

This little sub-plot about how one or two decisions, not even necessarily bad decisions, have that domino effect that can lead to a person having a very bad day.

Pages: 320

Publishers UK: Mulholland

Publishing date UK: 11th January 2018.