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The Monterey Peninsula is rocked when a killer begins to leave roadside crosses beside local highways -- not in memoriam, but as announcements of his intention to kill. And to kill in particularly horrific and efficient ways: using the personal details about the victims that they've carelessly posted in blogs and on social networking websites.

The case lands on the desk of Kathryn Dance, the California Bureau of Investigation's foremost kinesics -- body language-expert. She and Deputy Michael O'Neil follow the leads to Travis Brigham, a troubled teenager whose role in a fatal car accident has inspired vicious attacks against him on a popular blog, The Chilton Report.

As the investigation progresses, Travis vanishes. Using techniques he learned as a brilliant participant in MMORPGs, Massively Multiplayer Online Role-Playing Games, he easily eludes his pursuers and continues to track his victims, some of whom Kathryn is able to save, some not. Among the obstacles Kathryn must hurdle are politicians from Sacramento, paranoid parents and the blogger himself, James Chilton, whose belief in the importance of blogging and the new media threatens to derail the case and potentially Dance's career. It is this threat that causes Dance to take desperate and risky measures...

In signature Jeffery Deaver style, Roadside Crosses is filled with dozens of plot twists, cliff-hangers and heartrending personal subplots. It is also a searing look at the accountability of blogging and life in the online world. Roadside Crosses is the third in Deaver's bestselling High-Tech Thriller Trilogy, along with The Blue Nowhere and The Broken Window.

Topics: The Internet, Murder, Social Media, Blogs, Serial Killers, Video Games, California, Series, Suspenseful, 2000s, Women Detectives, Bullying, Car Crashes, and Gripping

Published: Simon & Schuster on
ISBN: 9781439166024
List price: $9.99
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2nd book in this series. A serial murderer announces his next crime by placing a decorated cross on the highway the day before he commits the crime.more
Kathryn Dance is a 'kinesics' expert who works with the California Bureau of Investigation. She is also somewhat of a twit as she is supposed to be able to 'read' people from their body language (but can she,can she heck). her lack is mitigated slightly by the fact that her mother has been arrested foe supposedly assisting someone in hospital to die. Her mind is therefore not entirely on the case in question. Someone is leaving 'roadside crosses' at the side of the highway and then going out and killing them. The killings do not appear to be very efficient though,as most of the victims do not in fact die.There is rather too much computer -babble and gaming detail for my liking. It worked well in 'The Blue Nowhere' but not here I'm afraid.A ploy is used which Deaver has used many times before,which it is easy to spot that the suspect is not the real killer at all.Dance is an Ok character when she is used in the much superior Lincoln Rhyme books,but does not come over in her own right.more
Roadside Crosses is the second in Jeffrey Deaver’s Kathryn Dance series. The story starts with a roadside cross memorial which is dated for the following day, the day that police find a kidnapped teenager left for dead in the trunk of her car. Kathryn’s interrogation of the teen points to a blogging site where cyber bullying seems to have led to retaliation. More roadside crosses appear, and more victims follow. As Kathryn and her team race to identify those posting on the blogs to warn them of the danger, they find their efforts hindered by the blog owner and issues of free speech and anonymity. As if the case is not enough to deal with, Kathryn’s boss, Charles Overby, is playing his usual undermining role, her friend and colleague, Michael O’Neil is acting strangely, a former murder case appears to be running into problems, Kathryn is threatened with a racial discrimination charge and her mother is arrested for euthenasing a policeman. Luckily, Kathryn is able to enlist the help of a UC Professor to unravel the world of computers and blogs and online gaming, and comes to realise that kinesics are not quite so useful in the cyber world, where the visual cues that usually accompany speech are lacking. Deaver uses this story to emphasise the plethora of lies, misinformation, rumour and gossip that is rife in blogs, as well as the lack of accountability for the information due to the anonymity of posters. Once again, plenty of twists in the tale, a few red herrings and some brand-name dropping. TJ’s clever versions of Overby’s name provide some laugh-out-loud moments. The author blurb at the back says he’s working on a new Kathryn Dance for 2011: nothing so far, but I will be interested to read more of these.more
Great book; starts a little slow IMHO but picks up and finishes quite nicely.more
Jeffrey Deaver's ROADSIDE CROSSES is the first of the Deaver books that has not kept my attention. I found that it wasn’t as captivating as I thought it would be. I know the area where the story took place having spent much of my life in the Salinas/Monterey/Carmel area. I enjoyed listening to the descriptions of the region but the characters seemed shallow and did not captivate me. I was particularly bothered by the way that Kathryn Dance’s relationship with her mother was treated. That piece seemed way out of context and unreal.The story started well with the ROADSIDE CROSSES, which we have all seen in our travels was a good hook but the tie in wasn’t up to Deaver’s usual level of detail. Bringing in the idea of blogging and it’s place in our society is well chose for our times but agin left me feeling a bit unreal about the possibility of the adult characters being as involved as they were portrayed to be. For me, it was just an adequate novel of mystery but not high on my reading list and I am a Deaver fan.more
This was my first Jeffrey Deaver book and I'm afraid I was disappointed. This was also my first audiobook and Pawk's narration grated sightly although I'm sure this is a cultural thing rather than a fault of Pawk's as I felt she read it well but I'd have preferred a narrator with an English accent (yes I know the characters are American, but in my English head everyone speaks with my accent). The twist at the end of the roadside crosses case surprised and then confused as the motive and the lengths the killer went to seemed absolutley bizarre. Another thing that grated throughout was the rhyming 'Dance glanced...' which was way overused, but not as overused as the word 'kinesics'...was she an expert by any chance?? The paragraphs where this word wasn't thrown in were very few and far between and I found this distracted from the whole storyline. The plot based on blogs and the electronic world was an interesting idea, but I was glad when the story ended. When it did finally end I also felt that the sub-plots carried on for far too long.more
I enjoy a good whodunit as much as the next guy and I am relatively easy to please when it comes to the type of detective novel/thriller so popular today. I do, though, expect a few things from the author: fully-fleshed main characters, explicit descriptions of crime scenes, and side plots to reveal more about the makeup of the main character's life, among them. Most important of all, though, I expect the author to play fair with me as a reader. Just give me a chance to figure out "whodunit" on my own - fool me if you can, but give me a fighting chance. That is where Jeffery Deaver let me down in "Roadside Crosses." I found out, only after reading well over 500 pages, that I never really had a chance. Those roadside crosses placed along the highways of America at the scenes of fatal accidents seem a little creepy to many people even though they probably feel sympathy for those who placed the crosses there. In "Roadside Crosses," Jeffery Deaver imagines just how creepy it would be if someone planted roadside crosses along the highway to announce the date of his next murder. That is exactly what someone in California is doing and agent Kathryn Dance of the California Bureau of Investigation and her crew are finding it impossible to stop him. Dance suspects the killer might be a sixteen-year-old victim of cyber-bullying who is seeking the ultimate revenge on those who have most viciously attacked him on "The Chilton Report," a hugely popular blog based in his home town. The young man is being vilified on the blog because of his involvement in an accident that claimed the lives of two popular high school girls he barely knew. Dance's efforts to track the killer, and to identify his potential victims, take her deep into the worlds of blogging and internet gaming and she is shocked by the viciousness she finds there - and how the cyber world is more important to some people than the real world. With every new victim, Dance becomes more desperate to stop the killer but she cannot escape the other distractions in her life. Her boss, who is all about bureau politics and covering his own butt, ups the pressure on her every day to end the case - or to show enough obvious progress to keep the papers and his own CBI bosses calm. Her mother has been arrested and charged with a mercy killing (see the previous Kathryn Dance novel for a tie-in from there) and Dance feels that she is letting her mother down by spending so much time on the Roadside Crosses case. To top things off, she is a single mom trying to raise two young children on her own. "Roadside Crosses" is filled with enough twists and turns to keep the reader turning pages - there is, in fact, much to like about this novel. The concept of a killer pre-announcing his kills through roadside crosses is intriguing; the cyber-investigation into the gaming and blogging societies is interesting; and Kathryn Dance is an absorbing enough character to merit her continuing series. But, and it is a big "but," I still feel so cheated by how the book's ending unfolded that I feel I wasted my time with it. Rated at: 2.5more
Roadside Crosses is the fifth book I have read since joining LibraryThing. The other four are Lost in the Gila, Return to Mars, Grant: A Novel, and Stone’s Fall. I gave Gila a one, Stone a two, Grant and Mars a three. This book may end up being changed to five stars. It is that good. I’ll start it at a four, and if time is kind to it, I’ll move it to a five.more
Jeffrey Deaver is another big favorite of mine. He's prolific, but he always delivers a quality page-turning thriller. He's got several series going, most famously the Lincoln Rhyme novels, but this is the second book in a new series of novels featuring California Bureau of Investigations agent Kathryn Dance. Where Lincoln Rhyme is interesting because he is a highly intelligent & driven forensic scientist who happens to be a quadriplegic, Kathryn Dance is interesting because she's an expert in kinesics (body language to the rest of us).Deaver is a retired attorney & he builds a plot much like I imagine you build a case - step by step, bit by bit - in his novels he deals the cards to you one by one until you get the whole picture. He is also the master of the unexpected twist. He does this better than anyone I've ever read - throwing a monkey wrench into what you thought was going on & forcing you to look at everything from another perspective. I've often thought he should consider a third a career as an illusionist because he's just that good at misdirection.This was an enjoyable novel combining additional character development with a great story that features the world of blogs & MMORPG's - two things I like an awful lot. He manages to write about the virtual world (or synth world, as he calls it) without sounding like a complete n00b - that tells me he actually researches what he's writing & listens to the experts he consults (another really great quality in a human being). A fun, smart read.more
I just finished this book. It is a murder mystery starring Kathryn Dance, a California Bureau of Investigation investigator who is trained in detecting deception. She is also very hot hot and has a couple of adorable children.The story is set in Carmel, California a beautiful spot with a lot going on, most of it suspicious. Roads being built in environmentally sensitive areas, a desalinazation plant, nuclear power plants, a mercy killing at the local hospital, and murders foretold by mysterious roadside crosses. All this is being reported by blogger, Jim Chilton on the Chilton report. It takes Ms. Dance a little time to figure out who is lieing a like a rug and who is telling the truth, but she figures it out in the end. If you are a crook don't let her get a baseline on you, she'll nail you.This book has lots of twists and turns and I enjoyed it immensely. I give it 3 stars out of 4.more
Reason for Reading: It's almost embarrassing to say but I have never read Jeffery Deaver before. But I have wanted to ever since I saw the movie The Bone Collector a very long time ago, it just seems that with so many thriller writers I'm already reading I just never seemed to get around to reading Deaver so when the chance came to read this one, I jumped. Comments: Kathryn Dance is the CBI's specialist in kinesics, body language, which makes her a great agent especially when it comes to interviewing suspects and witnesses alike. A cross surrounded by roses is found on the roadside with tomorrow's date written upon it, the trooper who finds it thinks nothing much about it until the next day they find a car parked on the beach which has been there during the coming and going of the tide with a girl locked in the trunk and with her is found a rose petal. More crosses pop up with dates to announce when the next victim will be attacked and each day brings a new victim. A connection comes up between the victims and a teenage boy who is being cyberbullied, especially cruelly on one blog called The Chilton Report. Just when the police find their suspect he disappears and we enter the strange co-existence between the synthetic (online) world and the "real" world through blogging and MMORPGs.Brilliant. Amazing that an author can carry so many story lines seamlessly and without effort keep the suspense on full tilt all the way through the book. I loved the way the several plot lines run together for more than half the book, then as one get solved there is an about face and the plot rushes in a different direction as the solving of one case only makes it or the others more complex leaving more to be solved. Deaver is very clever, which I'm sure his long time fans already know. But as a first time reader myself, it was exciting to realize this. I was especially tickled with Deaver's deviousness when early in the book I had my eye on a very minor character because of a single word he'd said and through out the book my suspicions about him were deepened with subtle clues until at the end ... well, I won't tell you but I felt like Deaver had created that character for readers like me who often guess the killer in Chapter 2. I love serial killer books and this one doesn't disappoint. The choices of deaths are imaginative and frightening. It makes for fast reading and long into the night page turning. This book is quite dependant on the first in the series, often speaking of events that previously happened and continuing on with unfinished storylines. Surprisingly, this didn't hamper my reading at all. I easily picked up on what was going on and didn't feel left out though I would highly recommend reading The Sleeping Doll first just as it would be better to be "in the know" to start with before reading this. I intend to go back and read it before book 3 comes out in 2011. But it is because of this heavy reliance on prior events in another book that my rating is a 4 and not otherwise a 5.The book is also quite interesting in its themes of current internet usage. I've never read a book about blogging before and as a blogger found that the issues dealt with of whether there are any moral and ethical obligations of bloggers who are not answerable to anyone such as mainstream journalist are quite thought-provoking. The book does contain a lot of so-called technical information on blogging, what it is , how it works, which I found very elementary and found myself asking "Are there really people who don't know this stuff?" but later on I found myself realizing that the shoe was on the other foot when the same sort of information was being imparted about MMORPGs, which I didn't even know what it was besides some sort of online game.Having not read any other books by the author to compare it to, I can't say whether fans will fin it up-to-par or not as someone new to Deaver you will find out what a very, very clever suspense author this man is. Now I know I must go back and catch up on his backlist!more
Jeffrey Deaver knows how to write a thriller, and I have followed him for a number of years. His Kathryn Dance series is a little different though because he goes into the fascinating field of kinesiology. That's what Dance does - she reads people's involuntary speech and behaviour patterns, and uses this to separate the truth from lies. This book also steps wholeheartedly into the cyber world. The world of blogging, instant messaging and gaming is discussed in detail in this book. Deaver provides a unique insight into the teen world of cyberspace, and gives us a good idea of what synth life is like. The lines between reality and synth are shifting all the time, and it is so easy for young people these days to get totally taken up in synth, and then they can't separate that from reality. This book is full of twists and turns as Dance and her team try to track down the Roadside Cross Killer who appears to be a teenage boy who seems to totally exist in synth. Dance and her immediate team get drawn into a macabre world where reality blurs and gets lost somewhere in cyber space. This is an excellent book.more
Kathryn Dance is back in her second novel from thriller master Jeffery Deaver. This novel begins shortly after the conclusion of the first novel, The Sleeping Doll. There are complications with the court case involving Daniel Pell, the villain from said first novel. Kathryn is pulled away to begin work on a new case. A young girl was found bound in the trunk of her car on the beach, left there to die as the high tide rolled in.The new case revolves around a blog, The Chilton Report. The publisher of the blog posted a story about a killer that leaves roadside crosses for his victims before they are attacked. People commenting at the blog decide that a teenage boy, Travis Brigham, is responsible for the attacks. He is viciously attacked by the commenters, labeled a freak.Travis denies any connection with the attack but then disappears. More attacks occur and Kathryn is forced to track down Travis. Travis is very savvy in the online world and Kathryn recruits Jonathan Boling, a college professor, to assist her with the technical aspects of the case. Just to make matters worse, Kathryn's mother is arrested for the mercy killing of a patient at the hospital where she works.Jeffery Deaver delivers another great thriller. This is a book that you will read quickly. The story sucks you in, you are helpless to control it. The whole novel takes place in just five days. That makes the story even more suspenseful, a technique Deaver uses in a lot of his books. Also in true Deaver form, the ending is full of twists and turns. The story is wrapped up in a nice bow and then, suddenly, maybe it's not. I know his books have twists at the end and yet he still is able to surprise me.I enjoyed this novel very much and I look forward to further novels featuring Kathryn Dance.more
In Roadside Crosses by Jeffrey Deaver, we once more read about Kathryn Dance, a body-language or kinesic analysis expert for the California Bureau of Investigation. Someone is leaving disturbing crosses by the roadsides, made of dark, broken branches, with blood red roses at the base. On the crosses is etched a date; a date in the future. The crosses appear to be notices that someone will be attacked and left for dead on those dates. It’s up to Kathryn and the other officers in the CBI and Monterey Sheriffs Dept. to stop this madman. Add to this the personal family crisis caused by Kathryn’s mom being arrested for murder, corrupt politicians, an obsessive blogger, a tech savvy professor and teenaged cyber bullies, and you have the makings of a pretty good novel.Deaver does an excellent job in this second in the Kathryn Dance series. Even though the book references the incidents of the previous novel, the reader can follow along quite well. Dance’s character is further fleshed out, allowing us to see a bit more of what “makes her tick”. The book is an interesting foray into the world of blogging and especially into the world of cyber bullying. It was frighteningly true to life to see how rumors, innuendo and outright lies can travel the globe in the speed of a mouse click and the terrible ramifications for those targeted. I really only had two complaints about the book, and neither one are terribly significant. First, I’m starting to feel a bit smacked over the head with the info that Kathryn Dance is a kinesic analysis expert and what this means to how she interacts with the world. Okay…I get it. I wouldn’t need to be told more that a couple of times if a character was a world class marksman, or a translator, or someone who can read lips. It almost feels as if the specialty that Dance practices isn’t considered legitimate, so we must be reminded frequently lest we hold her in lower esteem. On the other hand, it is an odd specialty, so maybe we need to be reminded of its value.The other complaint is just down right silly. The author got teen behavior just spot on, with one tiny exception:“Then he walked inside, and to his horror he’d seen only the kewl people, none of the slackers or games. The Miley Cyrus crowd.”The quote is part of a passage describing a party this particular teen went to, expecting his friends to be there. The passage goes on to describe a party out of control, teens drinking and using, etc. Pretty much a typical, unsupervised teen party. So what’s my beef? I’m warning you…it’s silly….The Miley Cyrus crowd…part. I don’t know what it’s like in other parts of the country, but where my youngest goes to school, at our local high school, the “kewl” kids, the drinkers, the partier’s, would NEVER…. EVER-in a MILLION years listen to or watch Miley Cyrus. Only “goody-two-shoes” nerds would profess anything but disgust for her music, movies and tv shows. How do I know this with such authority? Easy….my lil’ Sophomore is a “goody-two-shoes nerd”. Now she happens to be a JV cheerleader too, (weird, huh?) with a GPA of over 4.0 (weirder, huh?). But when she went to a birthday party at another cheerleaders house and kids showed up drunk, she was on the phone to me in about 30 seconds flat looking for a ride home. And yup…she’s a Miley Cyrus fan. I know…silly thing to bug me, but everything else was so well done, it was like a teenager wrote those parts, so…what can I say? Would I recommend this book? Absolutely! Aside from my own petty little problems, it’s a good book and Jeffrey Deaver has done it again!! (One of these days, he’ll write a klinker, just playin’ the odds, but not this time!)more
This book goes into too much explanation about the story to be well readable. The writer gets stuck in detail that numbs the mind. Would not recommend it unless you were bored. more
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Reviews

2nd book in this series. A serial murderer announces his next crime by placing a decorated cross on the highway the day before he commits the crime.more
Kathryn Dance is a 'kinesics' expert who works with the California Bureau of Investigation. She is also somewhat of a twit as she is supposed to be able to 'read' people from their body language (but can she,can she heck). her lack is mitigated slightly by the fact that her mother has been arrested foe supposedly assisting someone in hospital to die. Her mind is therefore not entirely on the case in question. Someone is leaving 'roadside crosses' at the side of the highway and then going out and killing them. The killings do not appear to be very efficient though,as most of the victims do not in fact die.There is rather too much computer -babble and gaming detail for my liking. It worked well in 'The Blue Nowhere' but not here I'm afraid.A ploy is used which Deaver has used many times before,which it is easy to spot that the suspect is not the real killer at all.Dance is an Ok character when she is used in the much superior Lincoln Rhyme books,but does not come over in her own right.more
Roadside Crosses is the second in Jeffrey Deaver’s Kathryn Dance series. The story starts with a roadside cross memorial which is dated for the following day, the day that police find a kidnapped teenager left for dead in the trunk of her car. Kathryn’s interrogation of the teen points to a blogging site where cyber bullying seems to have led to retaliation. More roadside crosses appear, and more victims follow. As Kathryn and her team race to identify those posting on the blogs to warn them of the danger, they find their efforts hindered by the blog owner and issues of free speech and anonymity. As if the case is not enough to deal with, Kathryn’s boss, Charles Overby, is playing his usual undermining role, her friend and colleague, Michael O’Neil is acting strangely, a former murder case appears to be running into problems, Kathryn is threatened with a racial discrimination charge and her mother is arrested for euthenasing a policeman. Luckily, Kathryn is able to enlist the help of a UC Professor to unravel the world of computers and blogs and online gaming, and comes to realise that kinesics are not quite so useful in the cyber world, where the visual cues that usually accompany speech are lacking. Deaver uses this story to emphasise the plethora of lies, misinformation, rumour and gossip that is rife in blogs, as well as the lack of accountability for the information due to the anonymity of posters. Once again, plenty of twists in the tale, a few red herrings and some brand-name dropping. TJ’s clever versions of Overby’s name provide some laugh-out-loud moments. The author blurb at the back says he’s working on a new Kathryn Dance for 2011: nothing so far, but I will be interested to read more of these.more
Great book; starts a little slow IMHO but picks up and finishes quite nicely.more
Jeffrey Deaver's ROADSIDE CROSSES is the first of the Deaver books that has not kept my attention. I found that it wasn’t as captivating as I thought it would be. I know the area where the story took place having spent much of my life in the Salinas/Monterey/Carmel area. I enjoyed listening to the descriptions of the region but the characters seemed shallow and did not captivate me. I was particularly bothered by the way that Kathryn Dance’s relationship with her mother was treated. That piece seemed way out of context and unreal.The story started well with the ROADSIDE CROSSES, which we have all seen in our travels was a good hook but the tie in wasn’t up to Deaver’s usual level of detail. Bringing in the idea of blogging and it’s place in our society is well chose for our times but agin left me feeling a bit unreal about the possibility of the adult characters being as involved as they were portrayed to be. For me, it was just an adequate novel of mystery but not high on my reading list and I am a Deaver fan.more
This was my first Jeffrey Deaver book and I'm afraid I was disappointed. This was also my first audiobook and Pawk's narration grated sightly although I'm sure this is a cultural thing rather than a fault of Pawk's as I felt she read it well but I'd have preferred a narrator with an English accent (yes I know the characters are American, but in my English head everyone speaks with my accent). The twist at the end of the roadside crosses case surprised and then confused as the motive and the lengths the killer went to seemed absolutley bizarre. Another thing that grated throughout was the rhyming 'Dance glanced...' which was way overused, but not as overused as the word 'kinesics'...was she an expert by any chance?? The paragraphs where this word wasn't thrown in were very few and far between and I found this distracted from the whole storyline. The plot based on blogs and the electronic world was an interesting idea, but I was glad when the story ended. When it did finally end I also felt that the sub-plots carried on for far too long.more
I enjoy a good whodunit as much as the next guy and I am relatively easy to please when it comes to the type of detective novel/thriller so popular today. I do, though, expect a few things from the author: fully-fleshed main characters, explicit descriptions of crime scenes, and side plots to reveal more about the makeup of the main character's life, among them. Most important of all, though, I expect the author to play fair with me as a reader. Just give me a chance to figure out "whodunit" on my own - fool me if you can, but give me a fighting chance. That is where Jeffery Deaver let me down in "Roadside Crosses." I found out, only after reading well over 500 pages, that I never really had a chance. Those roadside crosses placed along the highways of America at the scenes of fatal accidents seem a little creepy to many people even though they probably feel sympathy for those who placed the crosses there. In "Roadside Crosses," Jeffery Deaver imagines just how creepy it would be if someone planted roadside crosses along the highway to announce the date of his next murder. That is exactly what someone in California is doing and agent Kathryn Dance of the California Bureau of Investigation and her crew are finding it impossible to stop him. Dance suspects the killer might be a sixteen-year-old victim of cyber-bullying who is seeking the ultimate revenge on those who have most viciously attacked him on "The Chilton Report," a hugely popular blog based in his home town. The young man is being vilified on the blog because of his involvement in an accident that claimed the lives of two popular high school girls he barely knew. Dance's efforts to track the killer, and to identify his potential victims, take her deep into the worlds of blogging and internet gaming and she is shocked by the viciousness she finds there - and how the cyber world is more important to some people than the real world. With every new victim, Dance becomes more desperate to stop the killer but she cannot escape the other distractions in her life. Her boss, who is all about bureau politics and covering his own butt, ups the pressure on her every day to end the case - or to show enough obvious progress to keep the papers and his own CBI bosses calm. Her mother has been arrested and charged with a mercy killing (see the previous Kathryn Dance novel for a tie-in from there) and Dance feels that she is letting her mother down by spending so much time on the Roadside Crosses case. To top things off, she is a single mom trying to raise two young children on her own. "Roadside Crosses" is filled with enough twists and turns to keep the reader turning pages - there is, in fact, much to like about this novel. The concept of a killer pre-announcing his kills through roadside crosses is intriguing; the cyber-investigation into the gaming and blogging societies is interesting; and Kathryn Dance is an absorbing enough character to merit her continuing series. But, and it is a big "but," I still feel so cheated by how the book's ending unfolded that I feel I wasted my time with it. Rated at: 2.5more
Roadside Crosses is the fifth book I have read since joining LibraryThing. The other four are Lost in the Gila, Return to Mars, Grant: A Novel, and Stone’s Fall. I gave Gila a one, Stone a two, Grant and Mars a three. This book may end up being changed to five stars. It is that good. I’ll start it at a four, and if time is kind to it, I’ll move it to a five.more
Jeffrey Deaver is another big favorite of mine. He's prolific, but he always delivers a quality page-turning thriller. He's got several series going, most famously the Lincoln Rhyme novels, but this is the second book in a new series of novels featuring California Bureau of Investigations agent Kathryn Dance. Where Lincoln Rhyme is interesting because he is a highly intelligent & driven forensic scientist who happens to be a quadriplegic, Kathryn Dance is interesting because she's an expert in kinesics (body language to the rest of us).Deaver is a retired attorney & he builds a plot much like I imagine you build a case - step by step, bit by bit - in his novels he deals the cards to you one by one until you get the whole picture. He is also the master of the unexpected twist. He does this better than anyone I've ever read - throwing a monkey wrench into what you thought was going on & forcing you to look at everything from another perspective. I've often thought he should consider a third a career as an illusionist because he's just that good at misdirection.This was an enjoyable novel combining additional character development with a great story that features the world of blogs & MMORPG's - two things I like an awful lot. He manages to write about the virtual world (or synth world, as he calls it) without sounding like a complete n00b - that tells me he actually researches what he's writing & listens to the experts he consults (another really great quality in a human being). A fun, smart read.more
I just finished this book. It is a murder mystery starring Kathryn Dance, a California Bureau of Investigation investigator who is trained in detecting deception. She is also very hot hot and has a couple of adorable children.The story is set in Carmel, California a beautiful spot with a lot going on, most of it suspicious. Roads being built in environmentally sensitive areas, a desalinazation plant, nuclear power plants, a mercy killing at the local hospital, and murders foretold by mysterious roadside crosses. All this is being reported by blogger, Jim Chilton on the Chilton report. It takes Ms. Dance a little time to figure out who is lieing a like a rug and who is telling the truth, but she figures it out in the end. If you are a crook don't let her get a baseline on you, she'll nail you.This book has lots of twists and turns and I enjoyed it immensely. I give it 3 stars out of 4.more
Reason for Reading: It's almost embarrassing to say but I have never read Jeffery Deaver before. But I have wanted to ever since I saw the movie The Bone Collector a very long time ago, it just seems that with so many thriller writers I'm already reading I just never seemed to get around to reading Deaver so when the chance came to read this one, I jumped. Comments: Kathryn Dance is the CBI's specialist in kinesics, body language, which makes her a great agent especially when it comes to interviewing suspects and witnesses alike. A cross surrounded by roses is found on the roadside with tomorrow's date written upon it, the trooper who finds it thinks nothing much about it until the next day they find a car parked on the beach which has been there during the coming and going of the tide with a girl locked in the trunk and with her is found a rose petal. More crosses pop up with dates to announce when the next victim will be attacked and each day brings a new victim. A connection comes up between the victims and a teenage boy who is being cyberbullied, especially cruelly on one blog called The Chilton Report. Just when the police find their suspect he disappears and we enter the strange co-existence between the synthetic (online) world and the "real" world through blogging and MMORPGs.Brilliant. Amazing that an author can carry so many story lines seamlessly and without effort keep the suspense on full tilt all the way through the book. I loved the way the several plot lines run together for more than half the book, then as one get solved there is an about face and the plot rushes in a different direction as the solving of one case only makes it or the others more complex leaving more to be solved. Deaver is very clever, which I'm sure his long time fans already know. But as a first time reader myself, it was exciting to realize this. I was especially tickled with Deaver's deviousness when early in the book I had my eye on a very minor character because of a single word he'd said and through out the book my suspicions about him were deepened with subtle clues until at the end ... well, I won't tell you but I felt like Deaver had created that character for readers like me who often guess the killer in Chapter 2. I love serial killer books and this one doesn't disappoint. The choices of deaths are imaginative and frightening. It makes for fast reading and long into the night page turning. This book is quite dependant on the first in the series, often speaking of events that previously happened and continuing on with unfinished storylines. Surprisingly, this didn't hamper my reading at all. I easily picked up on what was going on and didn't feel left out though I would highly recommend reading The Sleeping Doll first just as it would be better to be "in the know" to start with before reading this. I intend to go back and read it before book 3 comes out in 2011. But it is because of this heavy reliance on prior events in another book that my rating is a 4 and not otherwise a 5.The book is also quite interesting in its themes of current internet usage. I've never read a book about blogging before and as a blogger found that the issues dealt with of whether there are any moral and ethical obligations of bloggers who are not answerable to anyone such as mainstream journalist are quite thought-provoking. The book does contain a lot of so-called technical information on blogging, what it is , how it works, which I found very elementary and found myself asking "Are there really people who don't know this stuff?" but later on I found myself realizing that the shoe was on the other foot when the same sort of information was being imparted about MMORPGs, which I didn't even know what it was besides some sort of online game.Having not read any other books by the author to compare it to, I can't say whether fans will fin it up-to-par or not as someone new to Deaver you will find out what a very, very clever suspense author this man is. Now I know I must go back and catch up on his backlist!more
Jeffrey Deaver knows how to write a thriller, and I have followed him for a number of years. His Kathryn Dance series is a little different though because he goes into the fascinating field of kinesiology. That's what Dance does - she reads people's involuntary speech and behaviour patterns, and uses this to separate the truth from lies. This book also steps wholeheartedly into the cyber world. The world of blogging, instant messaging and gaming is discussed in detail in this book. Deaver provides a unique insight into the teen world of cyberspace, and gives us a good idea of what synth life is like. The lines between reality and synth are shifting all the time, and it is so easy for young people these days to get totally taken up in synth, and then they can't separate that from reality. This book is full of twists and turns as Dance and her team try to track down the Roadside Cross Killer who appears to be a teenage boy who seems to totally exist in synth. Dance and her immediate team get drawn into a macabre world where reality blurs and gets lost somewhere in cyber space. This is an excellent book.more
Kathryn Dance is back in her second novel from thriller master Jeffery Deaver. This novel begins shortly after the conclusion of the first novel, The Sleeping Doll. There are complications with the court case involving Daniel Pell, the villain from said first novel. Kathryn is pulled away to begin work on a new case. A young girl was found bound in the trunk of her car on the beach, left there to die as the high tide rolled in.The new case revolves around a blog, The Chilton Report. The publisher of the blog posted a story about a killer that leaves roadside crosses for his victims before they are attacked. People commenting at the blog decide that a teenage boy, Travis Brigham, is responsible for the attacks. He is viciously attacked by the commenters, labeled a freak.Travis denies any connection with the attack but then disappears. More attacks occur and Kathryn is forced to track down Travis. Travis is very savvy in the online world and Kathryn recruits Jonathan Boling, a college professor, to assist her with the technical aspects of the case. Just to make matters worse, Kathryn's mother is arrested for the mercy killing of a patient at the hospital where she works.Jeffery Deaver delivers another great thriller. This is a book that you will read quickly. The story sucks you in, you are helpless to control it. The whole novel takes place in just five days. That makes the story even more suspenseful, a technique Deaver uses in a lot of his books. Also in true Deaver form, the ending is full of twists and turns. The story is wrapped up in a nice bow and then, suddenly, maybe it's not. I know his books have twists at the end and yet he still is able to surprise me.I enjoyed this novel very much and I look forward to further novels featuring Kathryn Dance.more
In Roadside Crosses by Jeffrey Deaver, we once more read about Kathryn Dance, a body-language or kinesic analysis expert for the California Bureau of Investigation. Someone is leaving disturbing crosses by the roadsides, made of dark, broken branches, with blood red roses at the base. On the crosses is etched a date; a date in the future. The crosses appear to be notices that someone will be attacked and left for dead on those dates. It’s up to Kathryn and the other officers in the CBI and Monterey Sheriffs Dept. to stop this madman. Add to this the personal family crisis caused by Kathryn’s mom being arrested for murder, corrupt politicians, an obsessive blogger, a tech savvy professor and teenaged cyber bullies, and you have the makings of a pretty good novel.Deaver does an excellent job in this second in the Kathryn Dance series. Even though the book references the incidents of the previous novel, the reader can follow along quite well. Dance’s character is further fleshed out, allowing us to see a bit more of what “makes her tick”. The book is an interesting foray into the world of blogging and especially into the world of cyber bullying. It was frighteningly true to life to see how rumors, innuendo and outright lies can travel the globe in the speed of a mouse click and the terrible ramifications for those targeted. I really only had two complaints about the book, and neither one are terribly significant. First, I’m starting to feel a bit smacked over the head with the info that Kathryn Dance is a kinesic analysis expert and what this means to how she interacts with the world. Okay…I get it. I wouldn’t need to be told more that a couple of times if a character was a world class marksman, or a translator, or someone who can read lips. It almost feels as if the specialty that Dance practices isn’t considered legitimate, so we must be reminded frequently lest we hold her in lower esteem. On the other hand, it is an odd specialty, so maybe we need to be reminded of its value.The other complaint is just down right silly. The author got teen behavior just spot on, with one tiny exception:“Then he walked inside, and to his horror he’d seen only the kewl people, none of the slackers or games. The Miley Cyrus crowd.”The quote is part of a passage describing a party this particular teen went to, expecting his friends to be there. The passage goes on to describe a party out of control, teens drinking and using, etc. Pretty much a typical, unsupervised teen party. So what’s my beef? I’m warning you…it’s silly….The Miley Cyrus crowd…part. I don’t know what it’s like in other parts of the country, but where my youngest goes to school, at our local high school, the “kewl” kids, the drinkers, the partier’s, would NEVER…. EVER-in a MILLION years listen to or watch Miley Cyrus. Only “goody-two-shoes” nerds would profess anything but disgust for her music, movies and tv shows. How do I know this with such authority? Easy….my lil’ Sophomore is a “goody-two-shoes nerd”. Now she happens to be a JV cheerleader too, (weird, huh?) with a GPA of over 4.0 (weirder, huh?). But when she went to a birthday party at another cheerleaders house and kids showed up drunk, she was on the phone to me in about 30 seconds flat looking for a ride home. And yup…she’s a Miley Cyrus fan. I know…silly thing to bug me, but everything else was so well done, it was like a teenager wrote those parts, so…what can I say? Would I recommend this book? Absolutely! Aside from my own petty little problems, it’s a good book and Jeffrey Deaver has done it again!! (One of these days, he’ll write a klinker, just playin’ the odds, but not this time!)more
This book goes into too much explanation about the story to be well readable. The writer gets stuck in detail that numbs the mind. Would not recommend it unless you were bored. more
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