Recap: When Detective Alan Beach gets called to investigate the case of a serial killer, his own killer instincts kick in. Almost immediately, he — along with his new partner, James Foxx — realizes whoever is murdering these people is a Brian Adler copycat killer. But notorious serial killer Brian Adler — who Beach had previously investigated — died nine months ago, and his case files were kept private. So who is committing these murders? That’s what Beach and Foxx attempt to figure out while Alan Beach’s former partner Jake Riley work on the other side of the world with his own team, on a mission to find and kill the man who murdered Jake’s brother.
A sequel to author Craig Hurren’s The Killing Code, The Killing Chase picks up with the same characters — Alan Beach and Jake Riley — a few months later. Their positions have changed, but their attitudes and determination to get answers remains the same. So does their reliance on companions and teamwork — helping each other to achieve their own individual goals. But will Jake find his brother’s killer? Will Beach solve his own serial murder case? And will they and their friends and colleagues make it out alive?
Analysis: Like The Killing Code before it, The Killing Chase offers just what readers want from a crime/detective novel — some mystery, some bad guys, and some friendship between the crime-fighting detectives. And what the first novel in the series lacked in plot twists and turns, The Killing Chase more than makes up for — seemingly dead characters who are alive! Seemingly trustworthy characters who are anything but!
It must be pointed out, however, that some of the writing in The Killing Chase is hokey, if not lazy. The dialogue between the detectives can be a little gimmicky. I found myself rolling my eyes at their jokes instead of laughing along. And the “love story” that popped up two-thirds of the way through the novel felt forced. On some level, crime and detective novels aren’t necessarily meant to be well-written. They’re plot-driven. So if you’re willing to look past a few rough patches and focus on the story itself, it is enjoyable.
Just keep in mind, too, that The Killing Chase is a true sequel. Its story is heavily reliant on the plot from the first book in the series and could make it difficult for someone to fully understand if they haven’t read The Killing Code.
MVP: Jake Riley continues to be the coolest and most enjoyable character to read about in the series.