Simon & Schuster
Reviewed by Carolyn Cooke
Author Sean Slater, otherwise known as Vancouver Police Department Detective Constable Sean Sommerville, crashes onto the thriller scene with a very readable first effort called The Survivor.
Some people may be motivated to read the first Jacob Striker novel just for the thrill of recognizing the city as the locale for The Survivor, but fans of fast-paced action-packed stories will hardly notice those background details. The book moves at that kind of breakneck speed. Jacob Striker is a VPD detective who gets called to his teenaged daughter's school on his first morning back on the job after an imposed stress leave. His wife died two years ago, and neither he nor his daughter have completely come to terms with it. Oh, and his partner, a sexy Spanish woman named Felicia, also happens to be his ex-girlfriend. And Striker's day goes downhill from there as the cops are caught in Saint Patrick's secondary as a trio of gunmen decked out in Halloween gear begin shooting up the school.
The gunmen, it's soon revealed, aren't quite who they seem and their motives are not clear-particularly as the cops realize the one who escaped may not be finished with his deadly spree. The challenge for Striker is to unravel the many threads of theinvestigation to save the final target and stop the rampage. But he must also outwit his own interfering supervisor who's more interested in clipping Striker's wings than uncovering the truth. And the truth is a big one that is just plausible enough to make you scratch your head and wonder, if just for a moment, just how much realism the author is bringing to his fictional world. This is a great book for the beach. Just be prepared to not put the book down once you start in.