Terrorbyte (Anglais) Broché – 24 avril 2010
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In this second outing Ellie is up against a disturbing serial killer who seems intent on making things personal. Lines from her own poems and post its addressed to her are found at each scene and she and Delta team find themselves drawn into a confusing and fast moving case. The bodies are piling up and the clues refuse to connect. The only thing that she is sure of is that somehow it connects to her and the Butterfly Foundation.
During all of this Ellie's always slightly loose grip on reality is slipping further, of course with her obsession for 80's TV shows and music I was once again treated to a walkthrough of my own childhood via theme tune. I love it. If you are too young to know who Hawkeye and Radar are then you need a note pad and a card for the video store. Oh and of course it's only a matter of time before Gibbs gets referenced.
The romance between Ellie and Mac has settled into comfortable and charming and less time is given to introducing you to her team in this one. There is an argument for reading the first book first, but it's not absolutely neccessary if you are willing to take the authors word for it.
Cat's writing is getting stronger, this book is more complex and more tense and emotive than Killerbyte. The lightness and fun are still in there though so it never becomes too dark. I love these books, they are the perfect literary answer to NCIS, Bones, Criminal Minds and so on. Other people have to read this I need someone to talk to about it and I really can't risk spoilers!
It is summer in Virginia, and hurricane season is right on top of them. As the weather turns nasty and water pours from the skies, the murders continue. Ellie, promoted to Supervising Special Agent for this case, realizes with horror that the victims are linked by one factor: they are all involved with the Butterfly Foundation. Somehow the killer is using her beloved project to locate and target his victims, making a mockery of the sense of safety and support that the foundation was created to foster. Complicating issues is the fact that Ellie is suffering side effects from an old head injury. She is assaulted by dizziness and migraines, and strange fragments of songs and television series that dance through her mind, leading her to conclusions on the case that are almost bizarrely accurate.
As Ellie, Mac, and their team work to identify and stop the killer, it becomes evident that he is watching them and is leading them on a complex trail designed to distract and obfuscate. But what is he trying to distract them from? Their investigation will uncover a truth that is not only bigger than Ellie could have ever imagined, but it is also her worst nightmare.
Fans of mystery and suspense, I've got a treat for you: Cat Connor's novel "terrorbyte." This is the second in her series featuring FBI Special Agent Ellie Conway and the members of her investigation team, and it continues where the previous novel, "killerbyte," left off. Since this book assumes that the reader is already familiar with the main characters and their somewhat quirky personalities, I would advise that readers take these stories in order.
I enjoyed reading "killerbyte" this past summer; it is an excellent story. However, I have to admit that "terrorbyte" outstrips its predecessor by far. This is one of the best suspense novels that I have read in a while. It is very well-written, the plot is intricate and perfectly managed, and the characters are fascinating and wonderfully developed. Since so much of what goes on in Ellie's head revolves around music, it seems quite fitting that each chapter is named after a Bon Jovi song. I thought this was a clever touch and felt as if I ought to be listening to these tunes as a soundtrack to the story.
"terrorbyte" drew me in immediately and kept me intrigued and fully involved throughout the entire novel. It made me think, alternately amused and saddened me, and impressed me with its intelligent and well-crafted narrative. This is no simple mystery but instead is a multifaceted story that revolves around not just the murder investigation but also Ellie's fears regarding her mental health and how this may affect both her and Mac. The investigation itself consists of layer upon layer of difficulty and circumstance that must be sifted through in order to unearth the truth.
Ms. Connor puts Ellie Conway through hell physically, mentally, and emotionally, which just makes her that much more magnetic a character. I couldn't help but be drawn to Ellie. She has a wry, slightly sarcastic tone, and although she puts up a good "tough" public front, she is a tangle of turmoil and fear inside. She's afraid that she will eventually succumb to the same mental illness as her mother, and this distracts her to no end. Dealing with the effects of a previous head injury only exacerbates the matter. Her thought processes are interrupted by a slightly off-the-wall jumble of songs and scenes from movies and television shows which are both amusing and disturbing. Overall, we can't tell if she is prescient or simply a little bit crazy.
I feel very fortunate to have "discovered" Ms. Conner and her work, because she is an extremely talented author. Now that I have finished "terrorbyte," I feel quite invested in the characters and am very anxious to find out where Ms. Connor is going with them. I will be holding my breath in anticipation as I wait for her next novel, "exacabyte," to be released. If you enjoy mystery and suspense, you owe it to yourself to read these books. They will entertain you, fascinate you, and leave you begging for more.
Terrorbyte has a far more sinister tone to it than the previous book in this series. I can't put my finger on it, or how Cat did it, but it feels ominous the entire way through. The pace is brutal, the murder victims pile up faster than dirty socks in a laundry basket, and it really begins squeezing your air-pipe with tension. I couldn't stop reading, an impossible pace starts to become a mammoth drum roll of hard hitting manic action. There are strange suspects, set ups, cars following and trying to block and capture SSA Ellie Conway, phone calls, chat rooms, betrayal and people getting attacked, bodies sewn up and covered in strange smells. I had to find out how the killer knows Ellie. How does he know what she's thinking? And she has the amazing ability to suck information straight out of her sixth sense, putting the puzzle pieces together of who the killer is, and ultimately what he's after.
There are some shocking, heart stopping moments, the playing on our human impulses to protect, and become emotionally attached, has Connor pulling out all the stops and plunging the reader into a world so full of shock and heartache, yet I can't tell you how she did it, because it would ruin the read for you.
When Ellie is once again at the mercy of a killer, I got so grumpy. Who made dinner time at such a stupid hour anyway? (If agent Ellie Conway had her way I would have eaten dinner well after midnight) - THAT is how caught up I was. I was feverish in my need to keep reading. The world ceased to exist - I had to have answers, I had to see who lives, who dies, and will the FBI catch and destroy the sick psycho responsible for leaving children orphaned!
Cat Connor is born to write crime thrillers. I have become an FBI Ellie Conway addict. I know there are more books in this series coming out, and I can't wait! You know something HUGE is about to happen, and damn it, I have to wait for the next book and the next crime to see what happens to Ellie next. Connor has blown every preconceived notion I ever had about women not being able to do crime fiction justice - right out of the stratosphere. If I didn't personally know a woman wrote this series, I wouldn't believe it.
Another full star review for Cat Connor from me. It doesn't get any better (well maybe until her next book). You are guaranteed heart stopping action that feels like an action movie the whole way through. Have you seen Transformers II? It's chaotic with the amount of action - pumping action scene after mayhem action scene at you, and this read was somehow just like watching an action movie of that caliber. You don't have time to breathe, make a cup of coffee, or go for a pee - you are stuck in the action and you can't unglue yourself - somehow you feel that your own life depends on getting through to the next scene unscathed - except she sinks claws into you deeper and deeper, and it won't let go. I was even reluctant to let go after I read the last sentence. There had to be more. I need more dammit!
If you have any doubts about series writing - this one allays them. Get a copy of Terrorbyte - because you won't be disappointed.
She has created a rather intriguing heroine that is a rather interesting personality in her own right - Ellie. She seems to have a bit of a knack for getting herself into trouble - but seems to extract herself from sticky situations with varying ease. Cat has created an interesting cast of support characters too - it's a bit of a shame the storyline generally only follows Ellie's antics - some of the other characters appear quite interesting too.
Cat lives in Upper Hutt in New Zealand, and is also well worth following online on either Twitter or Facebook. She's fun to follow and interact with too.
Buy one of her books and give it a go - you won't regret it!