Rage Against the Dying
Review: A man confessing to a series of brutal murders over a multi-year period would seem to be a relief to the FBI agents involved in the investigation, and in particular to Brigid Quinn, now retired but still personally connected to the case as one of the victims was a young agent she was mentoring. But another agent suspects that the man is not, in fact, guilty of the crimes in Rage Against the Dying, a stand-alone thriller by Becky Masterman.
Laura Coleman is the case agent assigned to manage Floyd Lynch's confession. Lynch has all the details about the murders down pat, including those never released to the press. He even leads them to the location of the dead agent's body. And yet Coleman sees discrepancies that her colleagues don't see … or more likely, don't want to see. She confides in Brigid, who like the others brush the facts aside as merely coincidental, at best circumstantial. Indeed, Brigid has her own problems: she has just accidentally killed a man, who tried to abduct her, and covered up her involvement in his death. When she later learns that it wasn't a chance meeting, that the man was likely hired to kill her, Brigid begins to think that Laura may be right, that the real serial killer is still out there …
There is a lot to like about Rage Against the Dying, which is narrated in first person from the perspective of Brigid Quinn. She's a nicely complex individual, flawed to be sure but in ways that make her more appealing than not. She manages to make a connection with almost everyone around her, including the reader, while still maintaining a self-imposed defensive distance from them. The plot is very well crafted, and though it includes common elements from other serial killer thrillers, it adds several unexpected — and more importantly unanticipated — twists that make it feel original and fresh. This is Masterman's first novel, and while almost certainly not the first in a series — it's not written in a way that indicates it would be — it does suggest that this is indeed an author to watch for and follow in the future.
Acknowledgment: Minotaur Books provided an eARC of Rage Against the Dying for this review.
Review Copyright © 2013 — Hidden Staircase Mystery Books — All Rights Reserved
Location(s) referenced in Rage Against the Dying: Tucson, Arizona
— ♦ —
Rage Against the Dying by Becky Masterman
Publisher: Minotaur Books
Publication Date: March 2013
List Price: $24.99
— ♦ —
Page Author: Lance Wright
Site Publisher: Mysterious Reviews
Mysterious Reviews is a Division of
The Hidden Staircase Mystery Books
and a Business Unit of the
Omnimystery Family of Mystery Websites