Sunday, July 25, 2010

Edi's Spotlight: Stop Me by Richard Jay Parker

Beside all the great sff reads I like to read something different from time to time. Therefore today is crime time - modern crime time. As you may know you can meet interesting people on twitter. I met Bookwalter and it did not take long that I discovered his real name and his profession.....

Howdy doody,

on vacation

bought, read and reviewed

Stop Me (2009) [ISBN-13: 978-0749007133] by Richard Jay Parker

"Howdy doody
Forward this email to ten friends.
Each of those friends must forward it to ten friends.
Maybe one of those friends of friends of friends will be one of my friends.
If this email ends up in my inbox within a week,
I won't slit the bitch's throat.
Can you afford not to send this onto ten friends?
Vacation Killer

Leo Sharpe's life is shattered when his wife Laura suddenly disappears. His desperate need to find her turns to obsession when he becomes convinced she's the latest victim of The Vacation Killer who has claimed eleven lives already - is Laura going to be the twelfth? The MO is the same every time - a woman disappears and within hours inboxes around the world receive a threatening email. A few days later, grim evidence of the victim's death is delivered to the police. But in Laura's case, nothing is sent. Has the killer spared her life? Why? And for how long? For Leo, the clock is ticking - he needs to do everything in his power to stop the killer before it's too late."
( For all of you who don't know: MO is the abbreviation for the Latin phrase modus operandi = method of operating)

I still remember the time when we have been without email - only ordinary mail. It was also the time of chain letters. Nowadays chain letters are sent be email. They are still circulating. And most of us delete them like all the other spam and junk emails.

Now imagine you receive an email like the above one. What would you do?
To be honest I delete every email when I don't know the consignor without reading.

And Leo Sharpe, the main protagonist of Stop Me, did the same when he received such a mail for the first time.
But everything changes when his wife Laura disappear all of sudden. It does not take long and he receives again an email from the vacation killer. Now Leo is convinced that his beloved Laura is the next victim of the vacation killer. Stop Me is the story of Leo's search. At first he trust others, especially the police, to do the search for him.
But the absence of success has a heavily negative influence on Leo up to losing his job. Anyway love is a strong emotion and it is the mainspring for Leo to start his own investigations. First in UK and later on in United States where he meets Bookwalter, who is for me the most fascinating character of Stop Me. I can't tell you more about him without spoiling. But the description of this character is detailed and intense. It is the same with Leo. Richard Jay Parker does a more than excellent job with the description of the inner conflicts of Leo and their aftermath visibility. Be warned: Some of the characters actions look like without sense. Wait and continue reading before you judge ....
Very soon the story gets more tense and haunting.
I really admired Leo's endurance in his search and the never ending inner fight between hope and despair. There are several twists and turns. Richard is able to keep suspense and mystery nearly until the - for me totally unexpected - end. And yes the book offers a real end - nothing faked.

Richard's style is unagitated without grandstand play but compelling, emotional and full of tension under the surface with some outbreaks of violence.

Did I mention that Stop Me is Richard Jay Parker's debut novel?
It is a very promising debut and a great read.

For me, there was nothing obvious which could Stop Me to read Stop Me.

You look for mystery and suspense with a modern topic, with a "hero" torn between hope and despair and a story with an unexpected end, then I recommend to read Stop Me.

Final Advice:
Howdy doody,
leave a comment and forward the link to ten friends ...

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