FBI agent Katherine Morgan is on her way to testify in front of Congress when the train she is traveling on suddenly derails. Caught in the chaos and wreckage, she is able to escape with the help of a soldier named Rachel Pratt. Katherine’s day doesn’t improve when it becomes clear that a terrorist is after her. Phillip Barnes has a grudge against Agent Morgan, and he’s left a complex trail of clues to a puzzle which she must solve to save herself and other innocent people.
Thirteen Across is a fast-paced story that kept me on my toes. I liked the triangle of tension created between Kate, Rachel, and Phillip. Each had a story and a goal that kept the story moving forward. Plus there were some exciting twists and turns in the second half of the book that I hadn’t anticipated, which made this a satisfying read. The author did a good job of explaining why Phillip Barnes was seeking revenge and how the role of the Perfect People Initiative and other secret government programs featured in his past as well as how all the other characters fit into the equation.
One of my favorite characters was Will Shortz, the newspaper puzzle expert. The fact that he seemed a little out of his depth when working with the FBI made him an endearing character. Also, as a reader, I’m glad that Shortz had the job of deciphering the clues that were packed into this tale, rather than the audience.
I also liked that the characters were not all introduced at the same time, I didn’t feel overwhelmed, and it seemed easy to get to know each one. I think the use of short chapters also helped to keep the story moving forward and created a sense of urgency. This also meant that I didn’t get bogged down with all the different agencies mentioned throughout. The only disappointing thing to me was that there was no backstory presented early on detailing the Princeton case Kate had been involved in. I felt a little like I had been dropped into a story that I didn’t know because I hadn’t read the previous book. I appreciate that the author did explain as the story progressed what the case had been about, but I would have liked to know more at the beginning. Having said this, I don’t think it took away from the fact that this was an entertaining, intelligent, and clever mystery. With aspects of suspense, mystery, and puzzles to solve, I think this is a book that will appeal to many, and I was intrigued to see the author is already working on the next installment featuring Agent Morgan.
This page was created by an City Book Review staff member.
|Page Count||512 pages|
|Publisher||MindScape Press, Inc.|
|Amazon||Buy this Book|
|Category||Mystery, Crime & Thriller|