I generally like Deaver’s novels but this one does not reach the standard he is able to deliver.
It is Deaver’s first (and up to now only) first person perspective novel. I like the fact that he takes up this challenge but his first error comes right in the first chapter. Not only does he write from the perspective of a person being killed at the end of the chapter but he also changes the first person character (obviously) for the rest of the book. That did not work out for me. Additionally it feels strange to have cliff hangers and especially left out information in a first person told novel. Although this can work principally and is a basic stylistic device, a person telling the story (i.e. the first person character) would not do that all the time – it simply feels weird.
I generally had the impression that Agent Corte made too many deductions in too little time. It might work to reconstruct the antagonist’s behaviour due to clues but not to predict it. On the other hand the agent inexplicably misses a simple fact Why is Corte unable to deduct that Loving goes to his cousin, who is a doctor (and this info is known to Corte), to seek medical attention? It is obvious information!
What disturbed me the most though was a logical flaw in combination with Deaver’s effort of explaining game theory in a way suitable for preschool at some points: Deaver (or - in terms of the character- Corte) takes the number of game pieces as constant and known; Loving (described as a master in game theory) would only have to vary the number of his partners and all of Corte’s strategies would not have worked out.
So for fans of Mr. Deaver this book is worth reading to know his only first person novel and to complete their collection. All other readers should choose a different novel.