After a colleague connects Vail with covert Department of Defense operative Hector DeSantos, who has a knack for uncovering difficult-to-locate information, the pair pries loose long-buried secrets and deceptions that reveal a much-larger criminal enterprise at work. As Vail squares off against foes more dangerous than any she has yet encountered, shocking personal and professional truths emerge—truths that may be more than she can handle.
In keeping with Alan Jacobson’s page-turning style, Velocity is a high-octane thriller, a memorable work rich in believable characters and an intricately plotted story that’s well-researched and ripped from today’s headlines. Velocity was named one of the Strand Magazine’s top ten books for 2010, Suspense Magazine’s top five thrillers of 2010, Library Journal’s top five thrillers of the year, and the Los Angeles Times’ top picks of the year.
Velocity is the second installment of a two-part story that begins with Crush, book two of the Karen Vail Series.
About the Author
Jacobson’s books have been published internationally, and several have been optioned for film and television. A number have been named to Best of the Year lists.
Jacobson has been interviewed extensively on television and radio, including on CNN, NPR, and multiple ABC, CBS, NBC, and Fox network affiliates.
Alan Jacobson is the national bestselling author of the critically acclaimed FBI profiler Karen Vail and OPSIG Team Black series. Jacobson’s years of extensive research and training while embedded with federal and local law enforcement agencies have influenced him both personally and professionally, and have helped shape the stories he tells and the diverse characters that populate his novels.
Read an Excerpt
A Karen Vail Novel
By Alan Jacobson
OPEN ROAD INTEGRATED MEDIACopyright © 2010 Alan Jacobson
All rights reserved.
Old Tannery District 99 S. Coombs Street Napa, California
He was not going to kill her immediately. No—if there was one thing he had learned, it was to savor the moment, to be deliberate and purposeful. Like a predator in the wild, he would waste no energy. He needed to be careful, efficient, and resourceful. And above all, he needed to be patient.
That's what he was now: a hunter who satisfied his hunger by feeding on others.
He sat alone in the dark parking lot, drumming his fingers on the dashboard, shifting positions in the seat. Talk radio hosts babbled on in the background, but he remained focused on his task. Watching. Waiting.
That's why he chose the Lonely Echo bar. Located in downtown Napa, the old Tannery District sat tucked away in an area devoid of scenic mountain views, posh wineries, or pampering bed-and-breakfasts. That meant no tourists. And that meant city planners had little incentive to expend valuable resources attempting to polish a hidden, unsightly flaw on the nation's crown jewel.
Drugs, alcohol, sex, and prostitution were in abundant supply— and in strong demand. While the valley's profit-driving centers blossomed over the past two decades, the district had become an overlooked pimple slowly filling with pus.
Ideal for his needs.
His eyes prowled the parking lot, watching people enter and leave the bar. With only a single light by the building's front door and one overhanging the quiet side street, he would be able to operate with relative impunity to roaming eyes—or mobile phone video cameras. With such scarce illumination, neither was much of a threat.
But it didn't matter: during the hours he'd sat in his minivan, no one had approached to ask him who he was. No one had even given him a glance, let alone a second look. A few women had left the bar, but they walked in pairs, making his approach extremely difficult, if not impossible.
The long wait had given him a chance to reflect on what had brought him to this moment: since childhood, strange, misplaced feelings had stirred him, but he hadn't known how to channel or utilize them. As he got older, although those urges persisted, the fear of making a mistake—shackling him with a very, very long prison sentence—held him back.
But given the right direction and tutelage, those needs took on substance, purpose, and direction. He was no longer fearful of failing. The only question was, could he do it? Could he kill?
The body that now lay in the shed in his yard was proof that he could do it, and do it well.
But killing a woman. He grinned at the thought. He was a virgin again, about to do it with a member of the opposite sex for the first time. Just like when he was a teen, his nerves were on edge, the fluttering in his stomach constant. Yet this was different. He was not going to chicken out like that time all those years ago. He was ready now. His first kill, waiting for him back home, provided all the proof he needed.
THE BARTENDER PLANTED two large hands on the nicked wood counter. "I'm not going to say it again. You've had enough, miss. It's time you went home."
"I told you my name before," she said, running the words together. "Don't you remember?" She scooped up the photo of her son and waved it at him. "My son. Remember me telling you? About him? You were all interested before. When you wanted a nice tip. Now, you're all like, get out of my fucking place." When the bartender failed to react, she wagged a finger at him. "You're not a very nice man, Kevinnnn." She drew out the last letter as if she were a scratched CD stuck on a note.
Kevin shook his head, tossed down his wet rag, then turned away.
A natural redhead whose hair sprouted from her scalp like weeds, the woman pushed back from the bar and wobbled as she sought enough balance to turn and walk out. She scrunched her face into a scowl directed at Kevin, then slid off the stool.
The woman swayed and groped for the steadying assistance of chair backs as she steered herself sloppily toward, and through, the front door. The painful brightness of a spotlight mounted along the eave blasted her eyes. She waved a hand to shoo away the glare.
THE MAN WATCHED the bar's battered wood door swing open, revealing a disheveled redhead. The light over the front entrance struck her in the face and she swatted it with a hand to fend it off, as if it was a swarm of flies. In that brief instant, she looked pretty hot. At least at this distance.
Her gait stuttered, stopped, then restarted and stuttered again. Drunk, not oriented to her surroundings.
He could not have ordered up a more perfect dish if he had spent hours searching for the recipe.
A CHILL SWIRLED AROUND the woman's bare legs. She swung her head around the parking lot, trying to recall where she had left her car. To the right? Yeah, the right. She stumbled off in the direction of a red sedan, concentrating on putting one foot squarely in front of the other.
Ahead, a man was approaching, headed toward the bar. "He's mean," she said to him. "Kevin is. He'll take your money, then kick you out."That's what he did to me. Kicked me out.
As she passed him, something clamped against her mouth—grabbed her from behind—squeezed and—
Can't breathe. Gasp—Scream!—can't.
Heavy. So—tired. Go to sleep. Sleep.
THE REDHEAD'S MUFFLED SCREAM did nothing but fill her lungs with a dose of anesthesia. Seconds later, she slumped against the man's body. He moved beside her, then twisted his neck to look over his shoulder, canvassing the parking lot to make sure no one had been watching.
The bar door flew open and a bearded man in jeans and flannel shirt ambled out. He stopped, put a cigarette and lighter to his mouth, then cupped it. As he puffed hard, the smoke exploding away from his face in a dense cloud, his eyes found the man. "Everything okay?" he asked, squinting into the darkness.
The man covertly crumpled the rag into the palm of his hand, out of sight. "All good. Little too much juice, is all."
"I saw," the witness said in a graveled voice. "Bartender sent her on her way. Need some help?"
"Nah, I got it. Just glad I found her. Been looking for two hours. But—good boyfriend, that's what I do, you know? One in the goddamn morning. Unfucking believable. Not sure it's worth it, if you know what I mean." He shook his head, turned away, and walked a few more steps, ready to drop and run should the witness persist in his questioning—or pull out a cell phone.
Since no one knew which car was his, if he needed to bolt he had time to circle back later and pick it up. Or he would leave it. It was untraceable to him, that much he'd planned in advance. If it was safer to abandon it, that's what he would do. He was prepared for that. He was fairly sure he'd thought of everything there was to think of.
The flannel-shirted witness glanced back twice as he walked toward his pickup, then unlocked it and ducked inside. The dome light flickered on, then extinguished as the door slammed shut. His brake lights brightened, and a puff of gray exhaust burst from the tailpipe.
He shifted the woman's unconscious weight and wrapped her arm around his neck. He walked slowly, waiting for the man's truck to move out of the lot. Then, with a flick of his free hand, he slid open the minivan door. After another quick look over his shoulder—all was quiet—he tossed her inside like a sack of garbage.
AS HE DROVE AWAY, careful to maintain the speed limit, he swung his head around to look at his quarry. The woman was splayed on the floor directly behind him. He couldn't see her face, but her torso and legs were visible.
And then she moaned.
"What the fuck? I gave you enough to keep you down for at least twenty minutes."
Perhaps he had been too conservative in figuring the dosage. He took care not to use too high a concentration, as excessive parts per million could result in death—and he didn't want to kill her.
At least not that way. His first time with a woman, it had to be special.
He bit down and squirmed his ass deeper into the seat, then gently nudged the speedometer needle beyond 45. Any Highway Patrol officer would give him some leeway over the limit. It was taking a little risk, but hell, wasn't this all one giant gamble on timing, luck, planning, and execution?
Really—how can you kill a person and not incur some degree of risk?
He rather liked it. His heart was thumping, the blood pulsing through his temples—and a look into the rearview revealed pupils that were wider than he'd ever seen them. What a fucking rush. All those wasted years. He had much time to recapture.
He checked all his mirrors. No law enforcement, as best he could see in the dark. Fast glance down at the woman. Her legs moved—she was waking.
Heart raced faster. Hands sweaty.
But really—what could she do to him? Scream? No one would hear her in this deathtrap. Scratch him? Big whoop.
He hit a pothole, then checked on her again—and in the passing flicker of a streetlight, saw a flat metal object poking out of her purse. What the—
He yanked the minivan over to the curb and twisted his body in the seat to get a better look. It was.
He fisted a hand and brought it to his mouth. What to do? Is this good or bad? Well, both. He felt a swell of excitement in his chest and forced a deep breath to calm himself. Could this be better than sex? Sex ... why have to choose? This really could be like his first time with a woman. But not just a woman. Some kind of cop.
He pulled away from the curb and had to keep his foot from slamming the accelerator to the floor. Slow—don't blow it now.
A moment later, his headlights hit the street sign ahead. He flicked his signal and slowed. Almost there. He grinned into the darkness. No one could see him, but in this case, it didn't matter. It would be another one of his little secrets.
HE LEFT THE WOMAN in an abandoned house at the edge of town. He thought about bringing her back to his place, where the other body was laid out in the shed. But he nixed that idea. One corpse was enough to deal with. It would soon start to smell, and he didn't want a neighbor calling the cops on him. If they found one of their own in his house, they might kill him right there. Forget about a long prison term. He'd be executed. It was an accident, they'd claim. Resisting arrest. They did that kind of stuff, didn't they? He wasn't sure, but he couldn't take the chance.
He needed to get to a coffee shop to sit and think all this through. Now that he was deeply committed, the reality of how far he'd gone began to sink in. And although he thought he had prepared properly, he was concerned he had rushed into it, letting the swell of anticipation cloud his planning. Certainly he hadn't figured on killing a law enforcement officer. But how could he have known?
As he drove the minivan back to where he had parked his car, he wondered if he could use this vehicle again. There was no blood, and he could simply vacuum it out or take it to a car wash for an interior detailing. If they did a good job, there'd be no personally identifiable substance of the redhead left inside. And then he wouldn't have to search again for an untraceable minivan. Still—what if someone had seen it in the Lonely Echo's parking lot and that guy in the pickup was questioned by police? He could give them a decent description of him. No. Better to dump the vehicle and start from scratch.
But as he pulled alongside his car and shoved the shift into park, he realized he had made a mistake. No one would find the woman's body for days, if not longer. He slammed a palm against the steering wheel. What fun is that?
Can't go back—that would definitely be too high a risk.
Turn the page, move on.
He thought again of the evening, of what went right, and what he could've done better. He didn't get caught, so, overall, he'd done a pretty damn good job. But something else he had learned this past week was that perfection was rarely there in the beginning. But it would come, eventually.
He would keep seeking until he found it. The next one he would do differently.CHAPTER 2
Smeared blood enveloped the hands and face of FBI profiler Karen Vail. It wasn't her blood—it came from a colleague who had just died. But blood did not differ among serial killer, philanthropist, husband, vagrant, soldier, or prostitute. Young or old. American or foreign. Blood was blood. And when it got on your skin, it all felt the same.
No, that's not true. Some blood did feel different; the blood coating Vail's fingers did not have the usual slippery, wet consistency that she had felt many times—too many times—in the past. No, tonight it felt like pain. Guilt and heartache.
But as the van carrying Karen Vail rocked and lurched, she realized the pain and guilt and heartache were not coming from the blood on her skin, but from the injury that festered in her soul. Her best friend and lover, Detective Roberto "Robby" Hernandez, had vanished. No note, no secretly hidden message. No indication last time they had spoken that anything was wrong.
In fact, just the opposite. They'd had passionate sex only hours earlier.
And now he was missing.
John Wayne Mayfield, the serial killer who might have had something to do with Robby's disappearance, was likely deceased, and a police sergeant who could have provided answers was growing cold in the morgue. But this man, Detective Ray Lugo, who had ties to the killer—ties Vail had yet to explore—did not mean anything to her.
His had just been blood, like anyone else's.
Now pain and guilt. And heartache.
"TURN THE VAN AROUND!"
Vail shouted at the driver, but he couldn't hear her. She was locked in the back of a state Department of Corrections transport truck, a thick metal cage surrounding her. Symbolic in some sense of what she felt.
Beside her, Napa County Detective Lieutenant Redmond Brix and Investigator Roxxann Dixon, stunned by the loss of their colleague, had watched Ray Lugo's body being off-loaded at the morgue. They were now headed back to the Hall of Justice to clean up and retrieve their vehicles. But Vail had other ideas.
"Get us back to the Sheriff's Department," she said to Brix.
Shoulders slumped and defeat painted on his face like makeup, Brix rolled his eyes toward Vail. "Why?"
"We don't have time to wash. We've gotta do something. We have to figure out what happened to Robby. The first forty-eight hours are crucial—"
"Karen," Dixon said, a hand on her arm, "we need to take a breath. We need to sort ourselves out, figure out what everything means, where we go from here."
Vail grabbed her head with both hands and leaned her elbows on her knees. "I can't lose him, Roxx, I can't—I have to find out what happened. What if Mayfield—"
"You can't think like that. If Mayfield killed Robby, don't you think he would've said something? Wouldn't a narcissistic killer do that? Rub it in your face?"
"I don't—I don't know. I can't think." Vail took a deep breath. Coughed—she'd inhaled smoke from a fire a few days ago and it hadn't fully cleared her lungs yet—and then leaned back. "He kind of did just that, Roxx. When we interviewed him. He was gloating that we hadn't really figured things out. We'd caught him, but that wasn't everything. That's what he was saying. That he was smarter than us. Superior to us—" She stopped, then turned to Dixon. "Superior. Superior Mobile Bottling."
"We've been down that road," Brix said. "César Guevara was a dead end."
Guevara, an executive of a mobile corking, labeling, and bottling one-stop shop for wineries that lacked their own in-house production facilities, had been their serial murder suspect until the task force failed to turn up anything compelling linking Guevara to the victims. When John Mayfield emerged as the Crush Killer, Superior Mobile Bottling—and César Guevara—fell off their radar. Vail shook her head. That was only a few hours ago. So much has happened in such a short period of time.
"I don't think anything's off the table now," Vail said. "We missed something. I've had that feeling all along. Something wasn't right, I just couldn't figure it out." She dropped her head back against the metal cage. Tears streamed from her eyes, streaking down the dried blood on her cheeks.
Dixon put an arm around her and pulled her close. Vail felt immediate guilt: Dixon had just suffered her own loss—Eddie Agbayani, her estranged boyfriend, someone she loved—had been John Mayfield's final victim. But at the moment, Vail could not summon the energy, the outward empathy, to grieve for her friend. She had only enough strength to keep herself together, to keep her wits about her before she fell apart and lost it.
Excerpted from Velocity by Alan Jacobson. Copyright © 2010 Alan Jacobson. Excerpted by permission of OPEN ROAD INTEGRATED MEDIA.
All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.
Excerpts are provided by Dial-A-Book Inc. solely for the personal use of visitors to this web site.
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
I've read all 3 books in this series, and liked this one the best. Make sure you read them in order, and you won't be disappointed!
I was waiting for this to come out. This book kept me wanting more. Just when I believed I had the answer, there was another plot twist. I look forward to more books by this author.
It all started when I purchased a Nook. I found the 7th Victim and was able to download it for free. From then on I was hooked. I will have to say I also read Crush which I found out later was the first part of Velocity. Out of all of those books I'd have to say Velocity was the best. I was not able to put my nook down. If I got up in the middle of the night I just found myself turning it on and needing to read more. Those are the kind of books I enjoy and I don't find them that often. I am hooked on the Karen Vail storyline. Mr. Jacobson if you read your ratings and reviews pleeeeeaaaaasssse continue the Vail story line. Hey Robby Hernandez just got the opportunity to become a DEA. Hope it doesn't end there!
Velocity is non-stop, heart-pumping suspense. I found Alan's writing to be similar to James Patterson (this is a huge compliment because James Patterson is one of my favorite authors). The story has a flow about it that makes you unable to sit it down. Karen Vail is going right up there with Alex Cross on my list! Velocity is a really great book!
Velocity reviewed by Russ Ilg Velocity, the third novel in the Karen Vail series, ends the long wait for followers of the superb new talent, Alan Jacobson. Jacobson's last book, Crush-one of the best thrillers I have read to date-sported a cliffhanger ending involving the disposition of one of its main characters. Velocity has finally arrived and it not only provides answers, but much, much more. It takes off like a rocket from page one and never lets up. When last seen in Crush, FBI profiler Karen Vail had been on vacation in Napa Valley with her boyfriend, Detective Robby Hernandez, when she gets caught up in the hunt for a local serial killer. As Crush reaches its heart-stopping climax, Robby suddenly goes missing, which makes Vail and the task force question everything they had assumed to be true about the killer as well as key facets of their investigation. When Velocity opens, the questions that pulled you right to the edge of Crush come roaring forward. What's happened to Robby? What had the task force missed in the Crush serial killer case? As Karen pushes for answers, she discovers she may have been the one who inadvertently caused Robby to be killed. There are so many twists and turns in Velocity-at times you are slammed right into a wall-that this stunning story takes on a life of its own and just will not let go. As a result, I found that I could not put Velocity down. With so many things in play, and with one huge surprise following another, there was no way to stop reading because I had to know how it was going to all come together. As I kept reading, I found that I was even picking up the pace, trying to stay up with the non-stop action of the story. Jacobson has made the events in Velocity feel so real that it seems like you are right there, looking over Karen Vail's shoulder as things develop. I may have even shouted "LOOK OUT!" on more than one occasion. But Velocity isn't just about deep characters and terrific action. Velocity feels "ripped from the headlines." I don't want to give anything away, but suffice it to say that there are disturbing events going on in the world today that Jacobson has researched and brought to the pages in startling detail. He weaves it seamlessly into the plot in a way that it's part of the very fabric of the larger story that arcs across Crush and Velocity. I cannot remember an author who has been able to string together a series of novels (The 7th Victim, Crush, Velocity) that were so compelling that I had to remember to breathe at times because I was so caught up in the story. Velocity is, by far, the thriller of the year. If you have not yet read Crush, you now have two novels that will keep you awake till you finish the story. Alan Jacobson has cut a path that few authors will ever be able to achieve, and in so doing, has proven that he is the writer of the future in the thriller genre. Velocity is the greatest ride I have had in many years; I can't imagine what Jacobson can write next that would top it. Then again, I felt that way about Crush-and he gave us Velocity, so he's clearly up to the challenge. Jacobson has done his homework, having spent years working with the FBI to make sure that he has gotten it right. And it shows on every page. Velocity is a 5-star novel and the must-read of the year. It's also a prime example of why I have given up on TV and movies and would much rather be reading a gre
In Napa Valley, undercover Police Detective Robby Hernandez vanishes as he was closing in on John Wayne "Crush Killer" Mayfield. Robby's lover FBI profiler Karen Vail fears she may have unwittingly caused the disappearance. Robby was part of a DEA team investigating drug kingpin Carlos Cortez and his cartel. Part of the operation involved close scrutiny of Cesar Guevara, the CFO of a wine bottling company. Evidence pointed to Guevara drug trafficking with the Crush Killer as his hit man. Knowing at a minimum she owes Robby and praying her beloved is alive, kick butt Karen targets Cortez, Cesar and Crush. Alan Jacobson does a remarkable job to tell the direct prequel (see Crush) without slowing down this exhilarating Karen Vail police procedural (see 7th Victim). The story line is action-packed from the moment a guilt laden Vail believes what she wrought to her lover and never slows down yet the story line shows another side of the heroine; she has a heart. The intense profound look at drug trafficking enhances a powerful California thriller as Mr. Jacobson scores big time with this super detective tale. Harriet Klausner
I bought all three books in this series. The fist book had it's faults, but decided to read the second one so I could see what happened. The second book somewhat redeemed itself, but this book I almost couldn't finish reading. It was long and drawn out, plus the main character was, well annoying. Don't think I will be reading anymore books by this author.
I enjoyed reading this as it keep me in suspence till the end.
Excellent whodunit. I kept waiting for a hint of whodunit, but surprised at the ending.
Alan J does it again with a very hard hitting, action packed thriller. I just love Karen Vail. This was bet I hope he continues ter than the first book. this as a series, I;ll read them all.
According to the author's website, the fourth book in the series is due to be released next week.
Very good conclusion to the 'Crush' cliffhanger & a lot more exciting than James Patterson books.
I truly enjoyed this book. I felt satisfied that it tied up loose ends, which the first volume left hanging. It kept me engaged and trying to predict the solution to the mystery.
This was my first download Nookbook and unlike the previous books "The 7 th Victim" and " Crush" this novel went stale with a drawn out plot about drug Cartels. The previous novels were suspenseful. However,the third book in the Karen Vail series left me skipping pages just to get to the ending. "Velocity" clearly refers to how quickly you'll wish you could get to the end this story.
Velocity by Alan Jacobson (crime) A Karen Vail novel Velocity is the latest in a series that revolves around Karen Vail, an FBI profiler, and in this case she's in Napa Valley trying to catch a serial killer. Jacobson captures wine country perfectly, with the descriptions of winery operations, the rural countryside, and the personalities of the nouveau riche jumping into the wine industry. He clearly knows the region. Vail is not a 'chick' cop, and fortunately, there are no descriptions of her designer purse or what fashions she may be wearing. She's a clever detective and works well as a consultant with the jurisdictional police; she doesn't pull rank or play mind games. As the story begins, several key events have already taken place. Vail's boyfriend is missing, a suspect has been shot and is critically injured, and the police are trying to solve a string of murders and abductions. Vail is called away just as things start to look promising. But the search continues and leads across the country and creates a compelling mystery to be solved. I hated it. No. "Hate" is too strong a word. In fact, I didn't really dislike it either. I was annoyed by it. I might have actually liked it a lot if it weren't for some distractions in the narrative. These made the story very hard to become fully involved in, despite the clever plot twists. "Got a laptop," Vail said. "It's unplugged." As Dixon joined her, she lifted the lid. The screen remained black. "Looks like it's off." Brilliant deduction! This happens more than once. "She plucked the disc from the plastic spindle, then placed the DVD in the laptop tray and watched as Windows Media Player loaded." Seriously, I am too wordy, I know it. But I'm also not a published author! Why does the reader have to plod through all that detail? A page later we read that "Windows Media Player closed." Hardly exciting, and it detracted from the pace. Additionally, maybe because my mind was already distracted, there seemed to be a lot of product placement-the brand name of just about everything was noted. Instead of making it more true-to-life, it felt like filler. It occurred to me that fifty years from now-when a reader wouldn't care about a Blackberry-that the book would either feel dated or campy. The most annoying thing of all, however, was the inclusion of two rather boring characters: "the SIG" and "the Glock". Vail and her partner Dixon carry guns, no surprise. But every time they enter a building, chase a suspect, or sit in their car, we are told the status of their gun. In virtually any scene Dixon appears in, we are told "her SIG drawn" or "SIG in hand". Vail's Glock is similarly noted. Having read other detective stories and seen countless episodes of Law & Order, I don't think I need to be told that as they chase a suspected killer that they'll have their guns out. It's a given. And in this novel, it becomes a huge distraction. Maybe if I had read the previous books in the series I would know the characters better and not be inclined to notice these things. I do think if someone was familiar with the character of Karen Vail, they'd be pleased with this newest novel.
Velocity by Alan Jacobson (crime) A Karen Vail novelVelocity is the latest in a series that revolves around Karen Vail, an FBI profiler, and in this case she¿s in Napa Valley trying to catch a serial killer. Jacobson captures wine country perfectly, with the descriptions of winery operations, the rural countryside, and the personalities of the nouveau riche jumping into the wine industry. He clearly knows the region. Vail is not a `chick¿ cop, and fortunately, there are no descriptions of her designer purse or what fashions she may be wearing. She¿s a clever detective and works well as a consultant with the jurisdictional police; she doesn¿t pull rank or play mind games.As the story begins, several key events have already taken place. Vail¿s boyfriend is missing, a suspect has been shot and is critically injured, and the police are trying to solve a string of murders and abductions. Vail is called away just as things start to look promising. But the search continues and leads across the country and creates a compelling mystery to be solved.I hated it. No. "Hate" is too strong a word. In fact, I didn't really dislike it either. I was annoyed by it. I might have actually liked it a lot if it weren't for some distractions in the narrative. These made the story very hard to become fully involved in, despite the clever plot twists.¿Got a laptop,¿ Vail said. ¿It¿s unplugged.¿ As Dixon joined her, she lifted the lid. The screen remained black. ¿Looks like it¿s off.¿ Brilliant deduction! This happens more than once. ¿She plucked the disc from the plastic spindle, then placed the DVD in the laptop tray and watched as Windows Media Player loaded.¿ Seriously, I am too wordy, I know it. But I¿m also not a published author! Why does the reader have to plod through all that detail? A page later we read that ¿Windows Media Player closed.¿ Hardly exciting, and it detracted from the pace. Additionally, maybe because my mind was already distracted, there seemed to be a lot of product placement-the brand name of just about everything was noted. Instead of making it more true-to-life, it felt like filler. It occurred to me that fifty years from now-when a reader wouldn't care about a Blackberry-that the book would either feel dated or campy.The most annoying thing of all, however, was the inclusion of two rather boring characters: ¿the SIG¿ and ¿the Glock¿. Vail and her partner Dixon carry guns, no surprise. But every time they enter a building, chase a suspect, or sit in their car, we are told the status of their gun. In virtually any scene Dixon appears in, we are told ¿her SIG drawn¿ or ¿SIG in hand¿. Vail's Glock is similarly noted. Having read other detective stories and seen countless episodes of Law & Order, I don¿t think I need to be told that as they chase a suspected killer that they¿ll have their guns out. It¿s a given. And in this novel, it becomes a huge distraction. Maybe if I had read the previous books in the series I would know the characters better and not be inclined to notice these things. I do think if someone was familiar with the character of Karen Vail, they¿d be pleased with this newest novel.
Finished this one off in the wee hours of the morning...and honestly, can't say that I'm sorry it's over. The writing was good, but the story didn't live up to what I sampled of the book from the start. You see, I read the excerpt...which is almost a full chapter if not a full chapter and what a wicked rush that was. Seriously...the lead bad guy had issues and they manifested in the usual way...death and mayhem. Needless to say I was quite surprised when the book turned the focus to a missing persons case...and drug cartels. Now the missing person aspect was edge of your seat stuff...from time to time. The drug cartel angle while thoroughly researched (which is clear from the information included), for me...was rather dry.End result...a good read for those that like thriller/fiction based in reality (which I do) with a large dose of educational information on the crime (not particularly for me).
The American Heritage® Science Dictionary defines "velocity" as "The speed and direction of motion of a moving body." FBI Profiler Karen Vail is that moving body and she is running to beat the clock with a fiery momentum to find her missing boyfriend who has disappeared into thin air with no clues but a possible connection with a serial killer. Unusual in the mystery/thriller series genre, Velocity picks up right where Crush ended. Literally starting with the next chapter. The plot starts off highly connected with book 2, followed by a resolution, then continues on with book 3's unique plot which always centres on the missing boyfriend, police detective Roberto Hernandez.I loved this book! Jacobson keeps getting better and better. Velocity takes off in different directions, plot-wise, than either of his previous books making it more than just a serial killer case (not that there's anything wrong with that.) These new directions are surprising and unexpected reveals create a story that is much more than one at first assumes they are reading. Certainly plot is the mainstay of Velocity but, as often happens in mysteries, it has *not* been done so at the expense of characterization. Book 2 took us away from Karen's Quantico colleagues and Velocity continues with the now familiar California characters for whom we've grown fond (or not). But Karen gets sent back to Quantico where we are reintroduced to the characters from Book 1 and Jacobson has done a good job bringing these folks back to the reader's mind, especially giving significant development to Vail's boss, Gifford.The book ends with the completion of the plot; the unique experience of a two-parter within a series is over but the personal lives of the main characters continue on, ending with a new trajectory for one of said characters and an interesting reveal which we can expect to be explored in the next book. I'm very much looking forward to the next book, which one can only hope is "in the works".
This is a great book but you must read his book "Crush" first or you will be lost. This book starts where Crush ends. Mr. Jacobson has earned a place among the leading police/detective authors. If you have not read any of his books I encourage you to do so beginning with the first book in the Karen Vail series (The 7th Victim). You will not be disappointed.
The third book in the Karen Vail Series, and this book was AMAZING!!! Karen finds herself in more trouble, but always seems to get herself out of it with some major help..... Karen and Robby leave for California for a much needed vacation. When Karen gets involved with a local case, that leaves Robby to venture around. Robby ends up missing and Karen is not sure if he is dead or alive but she will not stop until she finds him. This book is loaded with action. So fast paced it is so hard to put down..... On to the next Karen Vail adventure...