Saturday, August 15, 2015

Book Review: "99 Percent Kill" by Doug Richardson

"99 Percent Kill" by Doug Richardson will be published on August 15, 2015. I agreed to review this book for Mr. Richardson because with the request to review he included some of his accomplishments as a writer. I was very intrigued to find out that he had written previous books that had been "developed as movies for Twentieth Century Fox and MGM" and that he had been a screenwriter on "Diehard 2" and "Hostages".

The book opens with us getting to know our main character Lucas Dey, also known as Lucky. Lucky is a former Los Angeles County Sheriff’s detective who is hoping to be reinstated soon. As he awaits his recall back to active duty Lucky takes on a lucrative case, finding the missing fifteen year old daughter of a Wisconsin software millionaire. Lucky assumes that with his skill, this girl won't be that hard to find. What he doesn't factor into this equation is that the girl's father wants to tag along with Lucky. Andrew Kaarlsen's thought process goes like this, "I'm this girl's father and I'm paying you fifty thousand dollars. I'm coming along whether you like it or not.". So starts this harrowing chase through the underbelly of LA.

What we learn throughout this book is there are predators always trolling for the perfect girl who can be easily manipulated, used and abused. I didn't find it unbelievable to come across a handful of men who wanted to exploit the beautiful young flesh around them. I did wish several times that the world wasn't like this though. 

The first half of the book we spend our time learning about Lucky and Andrew as characters, as Lucky uses his considerable skills to track Andrew's daughter across LA. When the reader crosses the fifty percent mark of the book, the excitement increases. Now it becomes a game of wits, who will win, Lucky and the desperate father or the predators who want to exploit Andrew's beautiful young daughter.

I found my enjoyment of this book changing quite dramatically across time. At first I was interested in continuing to read even though the excitement wasn't there. In the second half of the book my enjoyment rose to a four out of five star as Lucky got closer to finding the missing girl. We also got to know each character even more intimately. In the end though, I was slightly disappointed when the writer seemed to forget he was not writing a screen play, but a book. In the last several pages an incident happens that would play very well on screen as it would be akin to the last "blow up" scene in a good shoot-em up movie. But because this is a book, I was left thinking, "what was that?". 

I give this book a reserved four out of five star rating. I'd suggest ignoring the last several pages of "99 Percent Kill". The true ending that happens several pages before the last page is truly satisfying, if sad. It wraps up the details beautifully. The final scene was unnecessary and took this book from a five of five down a peg. I know this character, Lucky, will do well as a series regular and I look forward to the next installment.


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