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Folsom, the author of the thrilling Day after Tomorrow (1994), which has no connection to the recent movie, and the decidedly less thrilling Day of Confession (1998), returns mostly to form in this fast-paced, exciting adventure. John Barron, a young LAPD detective, assists in the capture of a vicious killer, who dies during surgery following a gunfight. But some of his fellow cops are also killed in the process, and Barron is forced to leave the department, and the country, to avoid retribution from his former colleagues and friends. He assumes a new identity, moves to Europe, meets a nice lady--and then is confronted with the terrifying prospect that the villain who supposedly died in L.A. is not dead after all and is moving forward with his original plan. Written in short chapters, with a sturdy hero and a despicably clever villain, the novel grabs readers from the opening scenes and rarely lets them loose. Although it seems as though the author has written the book with an eye toward a future movie adaptation--short chapters, plenty of physical action, a constant reminder of the date and time, some scenes even written from an audience's point of view ("The viewer realized that somewhere out there was Raymond")--it isn't an outline posing as a novel. Sure, it's slick and a bit superficial, but it does what it sets out to do: deliver breathless excitement. David Pitt
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