From the Dustjacket
Sprecial Agent Sarah Reilly has just been decorated for bringing down one of America's worst serial killers. Refusing extended leave, she goes straight back to work in the Boston field office. But the murder of a child, Milo Kane, sees her transferred to LA to head up the FBI's investigating task force.
Within weeks, public sumpathy for Milo's parents splinters into suspicion, and the LA District Attorney rides the wave against them. Sarah suspects that the parents are withholding something and when she discovers their former bodyguard is missing, she inches closer to finding answers.
Dealing with the media pressure, the politics and the emotional aftershock of her last case, Sarah knows that bringing the killer to justice won't be simple. But even she isn't prepared for the evil she will find.
Publisher : Hachette Australia
First published : 2008
ISBN-13 : 9780733621987
No. Pages : 343 pages
After the resounding success of Maelstrom, the debut novel by Michael MacConnell, he has followed it up with another superb thriller titled Splinter. Returning to the fray is FBI agent Sarah Reilly, as hard and as tough as they come. She has already proven that she is a determined investigator and wastes no time in demonstrating how close to the edge she is travelling after her recent harrowing case.
Sarah Reilly probably should be on some sort of extended leave after a particularly harrowing case. After all, you shouldn't hold a cocked gun to the head of a man you've just arrested no matter how terrible his crimes.
When asked by Joss, her FBI partner about what she did Sarah’s reply was as disturbing as it was forthright: “So when you ask what it was I was thinking when I put the gun to his head, the answer is, no more than when you swat a spider crawling up a wall. I wanted him gone. Not locked up. Not shoved into some nuthouse. Like a faulty light switch, I just wanted to turn him off. It’s that simple.”
But there’s nothing simple about Special Agent Sarah Reilly and rather than take leave she is transferred from her Boston position to LA to head up an investigation into the abduction and murder of Milo Kane.
Milo Kane isn’t just any child, he is the son of Hollywood’s glamour couple Ethan and Rebecca Kane and this case is just about as high profile as it’s possible to get. No-one in their right mind wants anything to do with it but Sarah jumps at the chance to head it up.
Sarah and her team hits LA to be met with the usual resistance and resentment from the police officers who had been working the case before she arrived. But after meeting with Nick Aubrey, the LA FBI agent assigned to the case they quickly find out exactly how sloppy the police investigation had been and she sets out patching up their mistakes.
The question of who killed Milo Kane starts this story off but when witnesses and Kane employees begin disappearing and winding up dead there is a brutal undercurrent of uncertainty that takes hold. There murderer’s targets are taken out either just after Sarah tracks them down of just after she has spoken to them leading her to conclude that there is someone from inside her team who is passing on information.
Splinter is a package of plot twists that are far more intricate than is first anticipated all masked by what appears to be the primary investigation. The complexity is actually well hidden and the full import of what is going on doesn’t hit you until MacConnell is good and ready to give it to you.
This is a memorable thriller that has effectively cemented FBI agent Sarah Reilly into place as a character about whom we simply have to find out more. The rulebook is effectively thrown away when she operates which cuts us loose from factors that inhibit the pace of a novel such as proper procedures and political game playing. Splinter is a pacy thriller that unfolds chronologically. The tension builds on the back of the deeds of the principal characters.
One very interesting plot device employed by Michael MacConnell is very effective at drawing the reader into the story. He has started the book with the ending, but rather than give you answers it opens the door to numerous questions. Someone died…who was it? Someone is saved but we have no clue as to who that was either. The story has been opened at a very critical point with questions raging about how things arrived at such a moment of uproar.
With your attention well and truly captured, MacConnell whisks you back 8 weeks to explain the events of a particularly engrossing thriller.