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Burn Factor by [Mills, Kyle]
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Burn Factor Kindle Edition

2.8 out of 5 stars 53 customer reviews

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Length: 580 pages Word Wise: Enabled

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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: 1176 KB
  • Print Length: 580 pages
  • Publisher: HarperCollins e-books; 1st edition (Nov. 16 2010)
  • Sold by: HarperCollins Publishers CA
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B0049B1VR2
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Word Wise: Enabled
  • Enhanced Typesetting: Not Enabled
  • Average Customer Review: 2.8 out of 5 stars 53 customer reviews
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #272,984 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Mass Market Paperback
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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Format: Hardcover
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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Format: Mass Market Paperback
Quinn Barry will do anything to fulfill her lifelong dream of becoming an FBI Special Agent. Unfortunately, she is stuck in a dead-end job as a computer analyst in the basement of the J. Edgar Hoover Building. So close yet so far. She finds she cannot meet her boss' impossible deadline due to a glitch she has discovered in the computer system she is revamping, and is consequently demoted, her reputation ruined. Her dreams of being a Special Agent has been diminished significantly, due to no fault of her own. She prepares to start a new position that is sure to place her out of contention for any future FBI Special Agent training class, but not without conducting her own informal research into the matter. Her goal is to prove to the powers that be that she was not responsible for the missed deadline or the unexplainable errors. What she finds is that the FBI computer had been intentionally pre-programmed to exclude a particular DNA signature, and that this unveils a carefully guarded Bureau secret. When Quinn begins to unravel the mystery behind the biggest cover up the Bureau has every seen, she has to retreat into hiding, and places her life in danger every step of the way.
Kyle Mills has crafted a stunning thriller teaming sassy dialogue and vivid characters. His multi-layered subplots converge together to create an unforgettable story that leads to a riveting, unforgettable conclusion. BURN FACTOR should leave many loyal Kyle Mills fans salivating for more.
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Format: Mass Market Paperback
Kyle Mills has been writing FBI procedural novels for about five years now. He got a boost up because his dad knows Tom Clancy, and Tom wrote a blurb for the first novel as a result, and has kept up the practice with each subsequent book. They're pretty good suspense novels, not entirely to my taste, but pretty good, nonetheless.
This latest book is a departure from the previous three. In those, the main character is a maverick FBI agent who keeps on getting crosswise of bureaucratic superiors. In this instance we have Quinn Barry, a computer programmer who works for the FBI in the hope of one day becoming an agent. She's working on a search engine for the Bureau, a program which will search all crimescene DNA that's been collected and compare it, allowing different police departments to track multi-jurisdictional criminals. She notices a glitch, which she first thinks is a bug, but which turns out to be a deliberate subroutine that makes the program ignore one string of DNA. When she looks into it, it turns out that the string is connected to a series of unsolved deaths, dissappearances, and murders involving beautiful young women. When she tells her supervisor about the (she then thinks) bug, she gets transferred to another department in another city, and soon is being watched and then attacked.
The book kind of goes from there. The bad guy is suitably evil, though the brilliant serial killer who likes good wine and is incredibly sophisticated is getting a bit much, don't you think? Generally, these guys have trouble writing a complete sentence. Anyway, the characters are more or less fun (some more believable than others) and the plot hums along, mostly predictably.
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