4 out of 4 stars
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One man, a criminal, is responsible for the majority of the city's crime. Prostitution, drugs, dirty deals, murder... all trace back to one man. Lieutenant Kevin Larson has made it his own personal mission to bring down the crime lord, yet all he has to go on is the name Tim Rush. No one has ever seen Tim Rush. No one knows anyone who has seen Tim Rush, yet Lieutenant Larson knows in his gut that this man is not a mere myth, but a real man who could be brought to justice. What Larson's partner, Michael, does not understand is that Larson's determination was born out of a desperate need to find his wife's killer.
Closer Than a Brother by Christy Stevenson Scott is primarily a glimpse into the mind of a psychopath. Tim Rush is but an alternate identity for a man who is known by most as a successful businessman. Rush uses the businessman facade to hide his true self; it is obvious that he views people as objects to serve his own needs. Not only does he not feel regret when he hurts another person, he relishes their pain, relives it again and again, and actively seeks additional opportunities to satisfy his thirst for violence.
Up until now Tim Rush has left no tangible clues to his real identity. Even though Lieutenant Larson has been searching for the murderer for more than a decade, the man remains a mystery. The real hunt is on when Larson calls his partner with cryptic instructions and Michael arrives at the scene in time to witness Larson's home being blown up with Larson still inside. Stunned, Michael flees with his partner's daughter and takes on the responsibility of finding Tim Rush. Can Michael prevent additional murders? Can he protect Larson's daughter Amy? Who is Tim Rush, and why is he so determined to bring down the Larson family?
The author has mapped out a thrilling plot. From the prologue to the end of the last chapter, real people jump off the page at you. Surprises, plot twists, action, as well as a smidge of romance are found in Closer Than a Brother. I found the writing style and general flow to be easy to process and enjoyable. The author gives more than one perspective throughout the book, so that the reader holds to some degree the privileged position of "all-knowing" watcher. While I enjoy reading with this advantage, in some cases it was a little frustrating, like watching a movie and screaming for someone to "RUN!!!" or shouting,"not THAT way, idiot!"
I found the conflict between the Dr. Jekyll/Mr. Hyde style character of Tim Rush to be intriguing. How does a psychopath process events? How do they stifle their evil inclinations long enough to charm all those they come in contact with? I felt this book gave some insight into this particular type of personality deviation. To be honest, Tim Rush gave me the chills. The knowledge of who Tim Rush was when he assumed his other identity was worse.
I felt that this book was overall professionally edited. I found only a few minor errors, not enough to decrease a star rating. While the author was quite careful to not include graphic depictions of violence, even the suggestions were horrifying enough to not recommend this to the teenage audience. If you are interested in a wild action/criminal thriller, this is the book for you. I rate it 4 out of 4 stars.
Closer than a Brother
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