Rage Against the Dying

ragedyingRage Against the Dying
by Becky Masterman
2013 / 320 pages
Read by Judy Kaye 11h 17m
rating A / crime (thriller)

This turned out to be a great book,  but I almost put it down as a “could not finish,”  because the prologue is almost all  inside the mind of Gerald, a serious creepo – one who preys on older women – and then it moves on to serial murders.  NOT my cuppa!

But before the Prologue is finished the point of view changes to that of  a 59-year old woman  who was just minding her own business,  poking around the rocks down in a wash  near her home in Arizona one day,  looking for interesting specimens.  It is she who is Gerald’s “victim” that  fateful day and let herself be drawn into the van and then she pulled the knife and razor blade out of her cane.

And in Chapter 1,  10-days prior,  we find that new, now 1st person voice,  belongs to Brigid Quinn,  an ex-FBI agent whose career essentially ended when she killed a suspect.  She f0und herself assigned to the bureau in Arizona.  And now she’s retired and married to Carlo DiForenza, a retired  professor of Buddhism ex- Catholic priest – he’s also divorced.   But can she tell her beloved Carlo about her past?   Hardly,  the bad-ass,  tough-talking Brigid is totally in love – scared she’ll lose him like she’s lost in the past.  It’s the character of Brigid that makes the book – totally.  And she’s a complex lady – wearing a mask, as a story told by the Professor emphasizes.

And the past haunts you – before she retired Brigid worked many long hard years on the Route 66 murders and never got it closed.  And she tragically lost a co-worker in the investigation.  So when Floyd Lynch,  a truck driver with a dead body and photos in his cab,  is arrested for them,  Max,  her friend at the FBI calls on her for her expertise.  This guy even knows about the ears – that wasn’t in the papers.  And he tells them where Jennifer’s body is.

But Laura Coleman, a bright young agent doesn’t quite believe Floyd and convinces Brigid to continue the investigation – she thinks Lynch knows the real Route 66 murderer.  And about this time the Prologue story catches up –  nicely done.

Masterson never overdoes the graphic details,  she comes just close enough.  This is probably due to the fact she worked for years for a company publishing medical textbooks for forensic examiners and law enforcement.   The plot is definitely fast pace and the writing is nice with a really fine job done on the dialogue.  Judy Kaye does an excellent job with her narration – it felt like she really captured the character of Brigid Quinn.

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