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On the Line Paperback – 30 August 2011
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- Publisher : Minotaur Books; Reprint edition (30 August 2011)
- Language : English
- Paperback : 309 pages
- ISBN-10 : 0312609248
- ISBN-13 : 978-0312609245
- Dimensions : 13.97 x 2.03 x 20.96 cm
- Customer Reviews:
"Exciting ... Some neat twists keep the reader guessing to the surprise kick ending." --Publishers Weekly
"Fast-paced and clever, with zippy dialogue and suspenseful chase scenes, this lively thriller will leave you breathless and giddy." --RT Book Reviews (Top Pick!)
"All the twists you'd expect from Rozan." --Kirkus Reviews
"A high-velocity entry in a reliable series." --Booklist
"If you long for heart-stopping action and ... original characters ... look no further." --Library Journal
About the Author
S.J. ROZAN is the author of many critically acclaimed novels and has won most of crime fiction's greatest honors, including the Edgar, Shamus, Anthony, Macavity, and Nero Awards. She lives in New York.
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Lydia Chin has been kidnapped by someone from Bill's past, an unstable man obsessed with games. He wants to punish Bill for an old defeat and to crush him in the process. He leaves a series of clues, together with a string of dead or imperiled Chinese prostitutes across New York, and gives Bill 12 hours to solve his riddles or Lydia will die.
Rozan's novels never lack for excitement, but this is the fastest paced. It's more thriller than mystery, but an intelligent thriller with moments of deep insight. It's genuinely tense, but may also be Rozan's funniest book to date. Rozan loves thwarting stereotypes and the assortment of unlikely allies Bill picks up on his quest are amazing. There's Linus, a genius computer hacker and his ultra-competent goth girlfriend, Trella, Lu the Chinatown pimp and his two gorillas (one of whom can be friended on Facebook), Mary, the dead serious and perpetually pissed off cop who is Lydia's best friend, the enigmatic crazed kidnapper, and Woof, the hero-dog.
My descriptions may make them sound trite, but they're anything but. Each of them comes to life with the kind of unexpected depth of a living, breathing human being. The story is improbable, but Rozan moves it along in such a a way that I hardly noticed. My only real gripe is that Bill seemed a little too dense when it came to the mysteries of Facebook, Twitter, and the iPhone.
This book is an interesting companion piece for Rozan's last story featuring Bill as narrator, WINTER AND NIGHT. Both are built (in different ways) around competitive sports and both explore the emotional side of the intellectual Bill Smith. I'd call W&N Rozan's darkest novel so far as it took us to some very disturbing places in Bill's psyche. This story pushes him just as far but with a very different result. I won't give away too much but, as a long time fan of the series, I really liked the way this ended and admire the long-term character growth Rozan is putting her characters through.
This continues to be my favorite mystery series and satisfies on every level!
S. J. Rozan has effectively and masterfully destroyed this "rule" here. The reader is grabbed by the throat on the first page, then bumped along the streets of New York until the climax.
If you've never read a Bill Smith/Lydia Chin adventure, this book would be a great place to start.
WARNING: Better set aside some time to read this; you can't put it down!
I am a big fan of SJ Rozan's Bill Smith/Lydia Chin series and her latest book, On the Line does not disappoint. Normally I try and read SJ's series slowly, trying to gather information and clues along with Bill and Lydia but in this latest mystery where Lydia has been kidnapped and Bill has only 12 hours to find her, I couldn't put the book down long enough to try and unravel the trash can clues on my own. I sped through the pages as fast as Bill sped through the boroughs of New York City (Natives and casual visitors of NYC will love the landmarks and side street tours) and at each turn the clues came faster and became harder to dissect. Even as Bill is pursued at the prime suspect in the killing of a young prostitute, he gathers around him the most unlikely crew to help him find Lydia. Lydia's young cousin, Linus and his friend Trella bring in the freshness of youth and vigor to Bill's desperation as he discovers more dead bodies and the hours speed by. With numerous car chases and gangs and police on his tail, Bill is at his wits end when Linus gets a brilliant idea. It is hysterical when Linus and Trella pull out their phones speaking in Facebook and Twitter languages that are foreign to Bill, and the giant Chinese gangster squeezed in beside them asks if he can "Friend" them. Rozan deftly brings in these new forms of communication that help Bill in his hour of need. We remember old characters such as Linus and his Aunt Mary and feel them brought back to life with new perspectives and views of Bill and his relationship to Lydia.
Luckily I haven't read all of the Bill/Lydia series so I can't wait to read another of SJ Rozan's books.
The one thing I wish had been better in this book was the clues: they seemed very similar for all four "parts" of the game. Oddly, there seemed to be little emphasis on how to figure out the clues. Still, a great read. Once you start, you won't want to put the book down.