Thursday, October 25, 2012


XO by Jeffery Deaver
(Kathryn Dance series #4)

Several times while reading Deaver's latest book, I had the thought, "I wonder if Taylor Swift has read this book"--a seemingly random thought, I know, especially because I have no interest in the singer nor her music. But she was obviously the inspiration behind Kayleigh Towne, Deaver's protagonist in XO. She's a crossover country music singer in her early twenties who was once interrupted while giving an award acceptance speech by another musician who didn't feel like she was the most deserving of the award. Kayleigh's success has brought her thousands of fans, accross the country.

Edwin Sharp is one of those fans. But he's not a casual fan, he's obsessed. He believes that Kayleigh's songs were written specifically for him, and that he alone truly understands the feelings and emotions Kayleigh was experiencing when she wrote them. When he receives a canned response to one of his fan letters with the valediction of "XO, Kayleigh," his obsession becomes dangerous.

Edwin travels to Sacramento to see Kayleigh's upcoming concert and he believes, for the next stage of their relationship. And as soon as he arrives in town, people close to Kayleigh begin to show up murdered.  Katheryn Dance, a kinesics (body language) expert with the California Bureau of Investigation, and a personal friend of Kayleigh, gets enlisted in local law enforcement's efforts to prove that Edwin is behind the murders.

Deaver's story-writing strengths are on display throughout the story, as he kept me on my toes trying to determine whether Edwin truly was the obsessed and dangerous fan everyone believed him to be, or whether he was possibly a pawn and was being set up as a fall guy by someone else. I was particularly impressed in this book with how well the character of Edwin was written. Using his mannerisms and dialogue, Deaver did an excellent job of portraying what I believe an obsessed fan would act and sound like.

★ ★ ★ ☆ ☆

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