Nebraskan suspense author Kava takes a break from her successful series featuring FBI Special Agent Maggie O’Dell (At the Stroke of Madness; Split Second) with this psychological thriller about the fallout from an abortive bank robbery. The principal players are Jared Barnett, just released by his shady attorney’s machinations from a life sentence for murder; his docile sister, Melanie Starks; and her 17-year-old son, Charlie, to whom Jared is a father figure. Just as their lives seem to be approaching normalcy, Jared scopes out a bank heist and bullies his sister and nephew into helping him. Mel is designated driver in the high-risk chase that begins right after Jared and Charlie, empty-handed, flee the bank. In a remote state park cabin, Andrew Kane, a writer, happens to be alone when they appear and Mel, shocked, learns from his TV that four people were killed in the holdup. Then she remembers the childhood that she and Jared were cheated out of-a mother who washed down pills with vodka while their father mercilessly beat the children until Jared took matters into his own hands. Victims accumulate as fast as the escape route changes, while abbreviated chapters and truncated dialogue signal the approaching explosive climax. This is a one-night read with some unexplained loose ends that won’t bother readers hooked on hair-raising car chases and gruesome murder scenes.
“An explosive climax.” – Publishers Weekly
Since the first page of her debut novel, A Perfect Evil, Alex Kava has had her fans literally on the edge of their seats. Nail-biting tension, thrilling suspense and labyrinthine twists and turns of plot are her stock in trade – and all feature strongly in her latest thriller, One False Move. Jared Barnett is out of jail after serving five years for murder, released only through the machinations of a crooked lawyer. Barnett is seething with rage for those years he spent behind bars, and he is planning the crime to end all crimes. But he needs help, and who better to be roped in as an accomplice than his loyal sister, Melanie, with whom he shares a dreadful secret? In the intervening years, Melanie has carved some sort of living as a single parent, struggling to bring up her beloved son Charlie through a mixture of odd jobs and petty crime. Jared’s reappearance threatens to bring down her fragile little world, but she has no option – her loyalty to him goes way back, and some debts can never be repaid… But only hours after the attempted robbery, Jared, Melanie and Charlie are fleeing for their lives, leaving behind a trail of bodies and picking up a terrified hostage on the way. Crime writer, Andrew Kane, knows only too well what goes on inside a psychopath’s head – and he knows that Jared will only keep him alive as long as he has a use for him. As the hours go by and the police close in, Kane realises he is becoming a liability; can he use his experience of the criminal mind to get Charlie and Melanie on his side before Jared decides it’s just too risky keeping him alive?