The Killing Season - Mason Cross

Having read and enjoyed The Samaritan and A time to kill (Winterlong) by Mason Cross I was eager to read "The Killing Season" the first book in the series that introduced Carter Blake (not his real name) to the reader. Unfortunately what initially starts out in a fast and addictive manner quickly turns into a predictive cat and mouse narrative in which Blake aided by the beautiful FBI agent Elaine Banner (will he or will he not manage to convince her to share his bed!) travel, at a furious pace,throughout a number of US states in an attempt to bring to justice No 1 out of control sniper killer Caleb Wardell.

 

There are parallels in this story with Lee Child's One Shot and comparisons can easily be drawn with such notorieties as John Allen Muhammad The Beltway Sniper, and Charles Whitman who killed 16 people on August 1st 1966 using his sniper skills from the top of the clock tower at the University of Texas. The story is solid and fast moving leaving little time for the reader to become too disinterested and there is a nice little unexpected twist in the final chapters as the sniper's intentions become clear. The FBI personnel are the usual buzz cut grunts and the character of Banner is a stereotypical career driven lady attempting unsuccessfully (is there any other way?) to achieve a home and work life balance.

 

Mason Cross as an author is very easy to read and in Carter Blake has created a likeable hero with a complex past who now occupies his time searching for the missing...."And who are your clients?...Anyone who wants somebody found" A solid read but not his best.