"Eye of Vengeance"
(Reviewed by Eleanor Bukowsky JUN 4, 2006)
“Get in. Kill Quickly. And get out without being seen. Sniper Theory 101. Out here in the civilian world, he’d also learned intelligence and careful planning and specific targeting. . . .”
Nick Mullins is a crime reporter for the South Florida Daily News who is still hurting from the loss of his wife and daughter when a drunk driver named Robert Walker totaled their van. Nick is trying to be strong for his remaining child, nine-year-old Carly, but he is sometimes lonely, depressed, and bitter. He aches to take revenge on Walker, who has recently been released from prison. Work is Nick’s passion, but he has promised himself that he will try to spend less time on the job and more hours tending to his child’s needs, something that he failed to do when his entire family was alive.
Nick is assigned to cover a shooting at the local jail, and he is startled to learn that the victim was Steven Ferris, a convicted pedophile and murderer. Three years earlier, Nick had covered the Ferris trial extensively. Now, it seems that a unknown assailant shot Ferris as he was entering the jail, and further investigation reveals that the shooter was an extremely skilled sniper. Even more alarming, this individual has targeted other felons whom Nick profiled over the years. Does Nick have a groupie who is very good with a high-powered rifle? Nick is caught between the demands of his bosses and the anger of the police who think that he may be interfering in their investigation of the sniper killings.
Eye of Vengeance is a fast-paced novel that tackles the subjects of journalistic ethics and excesses, and the temptation to seek revenge rather than forgive and move on. Nick is trying to put the past behind him. He is a sensitive man who knows that he failed his wife and kids when they needed him most, and he is determined to do better for his remaining daughter. He loves being a reporter; however, he is becoming sick of the hype and competitiveness that often drive editorial decisions.
King’s dialogue and prose style are fluid and realistic. The sniper, whose identity the reader learns early on, is an intriguing and methodical man, not the traditional off-the-wall psychopath that we see in so many stories these days. The author wastes no words as he builds his suspenseful narrative to a satisfying, yet not entirely neat, conclusion. Eye of Vengeance is an entertaining, thoughtful, and engrossing thriller that has substance as well as style.
- Amazon readers rating: from 13 reviews
Read a chapter excerpt from Eye of Vengeance at author's website
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Bibliography: (with links to Amazon.com)
Max Freeman, Florida P.I. series:
- The Blue Edge of Midnight (2002)
- A Visible Darkness (2003)
- Shadow Men (2004)
- A Killing Night (2005)
- Acts of Nature (2007)
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- Official website for Jonathon King
- Pittsburgh Tribune on the Max Freeman series
- BookReporter.com review of Shadow Men
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About the Author:
Jonathon King was raised in Michigan. He began his journalism career working the overnight shift at the Daily News in Philadelphia. He was an award-winning journalist for over twenty years, reporting extensively on crime and criminal courts.
He lives in Florida.