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Tuesday, March 1, 2011

Fatal Error - a review

Computer dating takes a new twist, in Jance’s “Fatal Error”. Richard Lowensdale is a despicable man who preys on vulnerable women in an online dating scam. Using fake names he has several fiancés around the country until he becomes bored with their particular neurosis and cuts loose, usually dropping them right after he has had them pick out their engagement rings. When he is murdered and several of his girl friends suddenly show up at the same time to check on him, there are suspects aplenty.

The protagonist, wealthy widow, former Los Angeles TV news anchor and aspiring cop, Ali Reynolds finds herself smack in the middle of the investigation when a former colleague, now down-on-her-luck recovering alcoholic, Brenda Riley goes missing. Brenda had been the target of Lowensdale’s particular cyber-sociopathic behavior and was in the process of writing an exposé to blow the lid off his cover. Using her boyfriend’s security company to gather behind-the-scenes information, Reynolds teams up with over-worked homicide detective Gil Morris to ferret out the truth behind her friend’s disappearance and the death of Lowensdale.

“Fatal Error” takes us beyond just cyber-stalking to the warped mind of a victim of the Bosnian wars who applies her own sociopathic skills to gain untold wealth by dealing with cartel criminals in the drug-smuggling wars of the Mexican borders. As Reynolds and Morris discover the depths of depravity, it all boils over as they find themselves stumbling into the middle of an FBI sting in San Diego. Can they rescue Riley before she gives the ultimate sacrifice in reporting a news story, in which she has become the unwitting pawn?

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