This one’s light reading and constitutes a break from the classics. Clive Cussler presents a collection of vignettes about crime. Serial killers and murder abound in here. The Weapon is about a man who undergoes extraordinary rendition to prove that the policy is hugely flawed and often tortures people based on incorrect evidence. The Circle is similarly politicized and shows us how an imaginative person can easily get past any blockade, in this case, the one after the 7/7 bombings on the Tube in London. Roomful of Witnesses is a great story with a twist at the end that will make you appreciate the simian brain.
Can You Help Me Out Here? is about that most defenceless of modern creatures, the urban accountant. Yet, things are not always as they seem as his kidnappers and would-be-executioners find out only too late. What about murder and crime writers? Are they pre-disposed to violence simply by virtue of writing about it all the time? Suspension of Disbelief sheds some light on how easily words can leap from the page and become reality. The Fifth World is more fantastic than most stories and here and we leave this mortal plane to enter the dimension envisioned by the Mayans, at the turn of 2012. Killing Time is an excellent story about a man who just can’t stop killing. The nature of his obsession precludes any lengthy stay in one spot and he finds himself in the wrong place at the wrong time. Where any of us might be helpless sheep led to the slaughter, our protagonist knows just how to exit the situation victorious. We wrap this collection up with Boldt’s Broken Angel, a story about a serial killer with mommy issues, who cross-dresses and uses extensive ligatures to satisfy his desires. A predictable end to a decent collection of stories.