Signet, Dec 2003 7.50, 384 pp.
The world's premier computer game programmer Tyler and Quinn, a woman who heads a foundation that gives computers to the needy in all parts of the world, met at Costco and soon they married. Quinn is the happiest woman on earth because she is in love again. She begins to have doubts about her husband when she learns that he has a brother he never mentioned. The sibling is in prison for hacking into the Pentagon's computer.
Next Quinn discovers that Tyler's number one bestselling game has subliminal messages that program the hardcore users to kill religious leaders. She confides her fear to a closes friend, an FBI agent but he is murdered before they can find hard evidence against Tyler. Quinn talks to the agent's partner, but he too disappears. Now she concludes that the new version of Practice Run due in stores on Easter will cause a blood bath against religious figures yet she still struggles with accepting Tyler is a killer.
Thom Racina is one of the most exciting suspense authors of our time, always writing a book that is believable and unforgettable. DEADLY GAMES is one of his most fascinating books to date because readers don't want Quinn's husband to be the villain. He is portrayed for much of the book as a kind-hearted loving spouse and the audience finds themselves, like Quinn, under his spell and hoping that he is not a killer (kind of like Hitchcock's' Suspicion). There is so much action in this crime thriller that it is a wonder that the characters are so three dimensional and realistic, a testimony to Mr. Racina's talent.
This report prepared by Harriet Klausner