Tuesday, September 21, 2010

Death Match by Lincoln Child

Death Match
An old literary friend of mine recommended Lincoln Child as a good thriller writer a while back, and I just happened to pick up his Death Match at the library yesterday. This one's definitely a page-turner. The premise is fairly simple; a company has finally perfected a matchmaking service, using a supercomputer, that will find people's soulmates. Using some pretty thorough physical and psychological testing, it is able to match people very successfully. Evidently, even happily married couples only achieve a 35% match on the compatibility index, and this revolutionary process can achieve matches in the 90% plus range.

And, every so often, the computer produces what the company, Eden, Inc., refers to as a "supercouple," a couple whose indices match 100%. In the two years or so the company has been providing its services, there have been six such couples produced. And now, for the fly in the ointment... One of these supercouples, to all outward appearances deliriously happy, has just committed double suicide.
So, Eden hires an outside consultant, psychologist and former FBI profiler, Christopher Lash, to investigate the deaths and find out how this could happen to a perfect couple. Shortly after he begins his investigation, generating little but dead ends and false starts, a second "supercouple" also commits suicide.

The plot takes a number of good twists, and really keeps you guessing. When you finally get to the point you figure out the inescapable conclusion, it's like a good forehead slap. I can't really get into it, as I really wouldn't want to spoil the surprise for you. On the characterization side, it's a little weak. Most of the characters remain one-dimensional throughout, except for our intrepid investigator, whom we gradually come to understand pretty thoroughly.

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