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Burn Factor
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Burn Factor [Kindle Edition]

Kyle Mills
2.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (52 customer reviews)

Kindle Price: CDN$ 9.99 includes free international wireless delivery via Amazon Whispernet
Sold by: HarperCollins Publishers CA
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Product Description

From Amazon

Why would the FBI want to cover up a link between five unsolved murders, especially a link as telling as matching DNA recovered from every one of the crime scenes? That's the premise of Kyle Mills's Burn Factor. Instead of his usual hero, FBI agent Mark Beamon, the author introduces Quinn Barry, a relatively low-level analyst for the agency who stumbles across what at first looks like a glitch in the computer's forensics program. But of course it's not--the serial killer protected by the powers that be is a truly mad scientist who's indispensable to the completion of a top-secret weapons project. Quinn, whose lifelong ambition is to move up in the ranks and become a full-fledged FBI agent, is transferred out of her programming job as soon as she brings the link to the attention of superiors. But the plucky woman ignores their warnings and enlists the aid of another scientific genius, who also happens to be the chief suspect in at least one of the gruesome murders she's intent on solving.

Burn Factor is big on implausible and illogical plot twists, and small on characterizations. We never learn enough about Quinn to understand why she puts her career (not to mention her life) in jeopardy, even as evidence of a massive cover-up continues to mount and her boyfriend, a CIA agent, turns out to be a willing accomplice to the conspirator-in-chief. Fans of Mills's previous novels (Rising Phoenix, Storming Heaven, Free Fall) who keep waiting for Beamon to show up and save the day will be disappointed, especially since the author doesn't quite succeed in making Quinn Barry as appealing a protagonist. --Jane Adams

From Publishers Weekly

An FBI computer programmer with no law enforcement training leads her own wildcat search for a serial murderer, stumbling across a secret government plot in the process, in this outlandish thriller by an author capable of much better. While still settling in to her new job at the FBI, computer jockey and aspiring agent Quinn Barry discovers what appears to be a serial killer case that nobody's investigating. When she brings it to the attention of her boss, Barry is not only ignored but demoted. As a result, the quick-tempered, impulsive 26-year-old decides to investigate on her own. Her first move: venturing alone at night to the remote home of sinister Eric Twain, a suspect in one of the killings. Barry, still suspicious of Twain, nonetheless teams up with him to track down the killer, who tortures young women who fit a certain physical profile not surprisingly, Barry matches it before raping and killing them. Along the way, Barry becomes adept at all sorts of investigative techniques. She cuts glass to get into homes, theorizes about the psychology of mass murder and fights off several attackers before discovering that the case may be rooted in a highly classified government nuclear defense program. Mills has written several smart, classically conceived thrillers (Rising Phoenix; Free Fall) starring the always fascinating Mark Beamon, a disgraced FBI agent trying to fight his way back into the bureau's good graces. With his latest, Mills has created a main character who strains credibility from the start and a brittle plot that eventually drifts into a tedious chronicle of sexual sadism. (Apr.)Forecast: One misstep won't derail Mills's promising career, particularly since HarperCollins is backing this book with a five-city author tour, national advertising and lavish promotion plans, plus simultaneous abridged and unabridged audio versions, as well as a large-print edition. But expect a loss of momentum once early readers report back on this disappointing effort.

Copyright 2001 Cahners Business Information, Inc.

Product Details

  • Format: Kindle Edition
  • File Size: 1452 KB
  • Print Length: 580 pages
  • Page Numbers Source ISBN: 0060185589
  • Publisher: HarperCollins e-books; 1st edition (Nov. 16 2010)
  • Sold by: HarperCollins Publishers CA
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B0049B1VR2
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Average Customer Review: 2.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (52 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #113,825 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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Customer Reviews

Most helpful customer reviews
1.0 out of 5 stars Read his other books March 11 2004
By A Customer
I'm a big fan of Amazon's if you like... suggestions. That's how I found Kyle Mills and I've really enjoyed all of his books, except for this one. It was so repulsive I could barely make it through the book. Read all of Kyle Mills books, except this one.
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I read this right after reading Rising Pheonix and, while I felt it was better overall-- more plausible plot, better characters, better writing--, it was still far from a satisfying read.
The main problem was the writing. The action scenes were awkward, and there were a couple of howlers, especially at the beginning: rice cakes "fatally impacting" on the floor (pg. 8), a woamn eating a "snowball-sized" scoop of ice cream (pg. 63).
Some of the characters still were not fleshed out enough or totally believable-- Twain and Marin, for example. There is actually the cliche of the serial killer listening to classical music at one point, something you see a lot of in movies but not in real life.
More than a few of the plot developments and incidents seem straight out of an action movie: the bad guys are always a step or two behind the good guys, a woman survives a gunshot when a bullet glances off her head (pg. 201), two people survive massive explosions that kill everyone around them (pg. 355), a man jumps out of the way of a bullet (pg. 377), the killer imbeds a knife in a cinderblock wall (pg. 333). Other plot points are just ludicrous, as when one of the characters calls Stephen Hawking on the spur of the moment.
There are many more smaller problems which highlight his lack of research or inability to write about events in a believable manner, though it would be pointless to list them all. Two thumbs down for me.
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1.0 out of 5 stars Offensive and Repugnant Oct. 13 2003
By A Customer
I've never written a review before, but this book was so revolting that I can't let it go without a protest. I have listened to one other Mark Beamon book on tape, which I found to be mildly entertaining. And, as this book was billed as a Mark Beamon book on the jacket cover, I checked it out from the library. However, this was grossly misleading, because he has no role in the plot and does not even appear until the last few lines.
In a word, this book would only appeal to individuals who like to experience sadism vicariously. The graphic descriptions of the torture, mutilations, and murders of numerous women is stomach turning, horrifying, and completely unnecessary. I am amazed that the author could actually compose many of these passages, and certainly cannot fathom why. I hope to erase this book from memory as soon as possible.
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3.0 out of 5 stars Okay June 20 2003
This book is about a young FBI computer analyst aspiring to become an agent, but when she stumbles upon a series of crimes that were programmed into CODIS (combined DNA index system) to be missed all hell breaks loose. Though not as good as his three previous books, I still found it entertaining and readable. I can't wait for Mills' next Mark Beamon novel.
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4.0 out of 5 stars Very entertaining May 21 2003
By A Customer
Mills story may be an "implausible thriller with a sadistic villain" as one reviewer noted, but I found it very entertaining. It has a clever heroine, a handsome hero, a fast pace and a puzzle to solve. Grab the paperback copy for that long plane ride or trip to the beach!
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1.0 out of 5 stars This is a disgusting book Jan. 9 2003
The plot is both utterly unbelievable & revolting. The bad guy, a "brilliant" physicist, is permiited by retired military officers to roam around the country carving up 2 dozen women because the physicist is essential to a secret government program. The thought that anybody would do nothing while some ghoul inflicts multiple cuts on young girls with an X-acto knife is not only preposterous, it is a slander on the members of the military. Don't waste your time or your money. Unfortunately, I did & now regret it. The book sucks.
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1.0 out of 5 stars Implausible, to say the least Nov. 24 2002
By A Customer
I was looking forward to a Pelican Brief type of adventure. Instead, I got a lot of victimizations of women. Not my type of entertainment--it's been done. Also, some of his writing is confusing--occasionally, I wouldn't know where the characters were or the timeframe they were in.
I don't find the psychopath storyline very creative. It was repetitive in this book, and I found it implausible that the government would "feed" someone other humans to keep them working on some weapons project. Weak premise, gratuitous violence.
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4.0 out of 5 stars Excellent Book Nov. 3 2002
This was an excellent book! I am a first time reader of Kyle Mills, and I was not dissapointed at all. The whole plot was very thrilling and suspenceful. The evil and sadistic killer made this book very thrilling and the questions that needed to be answered kept the suspense throughout the whole book. Kyle Mills did a great job with the characters of Quinn Barry and the sadistic madman and the details of his sadistic crimes. The book stayed interesting from the beginning to the end.
Ms. Quinn Barry, a computer programer for the FBI, was put on a assignment to set up a program called CODIS. This program takes the DNA from crime scenes and organizes them with other DNA samples that are the same. She comes across five phantom DNA samples that are not accounted for. Not being able to figure out what is going on and her boss thinking that she messed up the programming of CODIS, she gets taken off of the CODIS assignment and assigned to a new job.
Being a FBI agent is something she has dreamed about for a long time. To prove she did not mess up the programming of CODIS and did not hurt her chances of becoming a FBI agent, she decides to dig deeper into the five phantom DNAs.
Checking into the phantom DNAs, she finds that they are not phantoms at all. They are real brutal killings that were committed by the same sadistic man. She found that these five innocent women where bound to furniture by coat hangers, and then cut deeply with a knife to where they would bleed to death slowly as the man pleasured himself. So why wasn't they being matched up in the CODIS program?
Finding this information puts Quinn Barry on a run for her life.
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