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Down to the Wire by David Rosenfelt
Review by Joseph B. Hoyos
Minotaur Books Hardcover  ISBN/ITEM#: 9780312373948
Date: 16 March 2010 List Price $24.99 Amazon US / Amazon UK

Links: Author's Website / Show Official Info /

Chris Turley is a humdrum journalist for the Bergen News of Inglewood, New Jersey. The young man lives in the shadow of his deceased father, Edward Turley, who was a celebrity journalist. One day, his dreams of fame come true when he is called by an anonymous tipster known as P.T. He leads Chris to an exploding medical building where he saves five lives and later to a hotel where he exposes a crooked politician. Chris becomes famous overnight. However, he soon discovers that his fame has a horrible price.

Innocent bystanders are blown apart in senseless acts of random violence. Chris is held hostage, forced to report these acts per P.T.'s demands or else more innocent people will die. Meanwhile, the FBI, the local detectives and Chris's coworkers are scrambling to identify the madman. Anyone who comes close to the truth dies in an explosion. All these explosions are merely the countdown to the greatest act of terrorism that has ever been committed on American soil.

I was forced to put my life on hold until I had finished reading David Rosenfelt's action-packed mystery thriller, Down to the Wire. I was only halfway through reading it before I was calling and e-mailing friends and relatives and telling them, "You have to read Down to the Wire." Extremely intriguing, this novel kept me hostage until I learned P.T.'s true identity. Mystery fans will love Down to the Wire for all of its Agatha Christie-like red herrings. Fans of action thrillers will enjoy it for its nonstop violence that frightens an entire nation.

Extremely provocative, Down to the Wire questions the ethics of journalistic reporting. A scathing expose that destroys a person's career can ultimately destroy their life and the lives of their loved ones. In Down to the Wire, someone wants to avenge his father who committed suicide after his defense contracting company was implicated in a scandal exposed by Edward Turley. He destroyed a lot of lives in his long career. Sometimes the sins of the father fall upon his children.

Most of the action occurs a few weeks prior to Christmas, my favorite time of the year. However, this festive holiday is turning into a terrifying nightmare as the white snow turns red with blood and gore. Most retail stores will be operating in the red because citizens in New Jersey, Connecticut and New York are too afraid to shop. No one feels safe. Innocent people are being blown apart while driving their cars, waiting for buses, answering their telephones and opening their mailboxes. It's a bloody massacre that the nation won't forget for a long time.

Chris Turley is the hero of Down to the Wire. He is the tormented figure at the center of P.T.'s diabolical plot. Chris goes from zero to hero overnight. However, the public is fickle. After the massacre begins, Chris is blamed for the deaths. Soon he becomes one of the most despised men in the country. One can't help but sympathize with Chris' plight. To make matters worse, his friends begin dying one by one. Like Chris, they are all attractive, successful men in their early thirties. However, one of them may be a killer.

David Rosenfelt's Down to the Wire, I predict, will be the mystery thriller everyone will be talking about this spring. Rosenfelt, who owns twenty-seven golden retrievers, has written the famous Andy Carpenter novels. Andy Carpenter is an independently wealthy New Jersey lawyer who solves mysteries, many of them linked to his golden retriever, Tara. If you enjoyed reading Down to the Wire, then I recommend Rosenfelt's Donít Tell a Soul, in which Tim Wallace, a successful business owner, finds himself the target of a madman who is terrorizing the state of New Jersey with explosive devices.

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