Center Street (2010)
Mass Market Paperback – 416 pgs.
This winner of the The Christy Book Award for best mystery thriller begins in a college office with a dean of academic affairs and a young divinity student discussing the nature of good and evil. The dean is impressed with Kevin’s innocence, candor, and love of the truth. Neither one has any idea what will happen within minutes of their parting ways.
Kevin receives a phone call from a complete stranger called Slater who demands that Kevin confesses his sin in the next three minutes or he will blow up his car. Kevin barely escapes, yet this is to be just his first brush with death. Slater continues to call and ask perplexing riddles while the random violence escalates. Jennifer of the FBI is convinced this is the infamous Riddle Killer who killed her brother only months ago.
In desperation Kevin turns to his childhood friend Samantha for answers. Samantha now works for the California Bureau of Investigation and quickly drops everything to come and help Kevin. She and Jennifer often clash during the stressful investigation but the two eventually piece together the irregular clues to solve the mystery. It will lead them back to a horrific childhood that Kevin would rather forget.
I gave this book 3 stars because I felt this book had more potential then it realized. The nature of good and evil is pretty good stuff and I was hoping for some religious or philosophical insights. Very few came. Throughout the story connections were made between evil and gossip which is a challenging concept but had nada to do with the story. However, the reveal was terrific and redeemed much of the missing pieces.
In spite of the problems I am looking forward to reading another one of Dekker’s books. Thr3e was a fast paced exciting story with enough twists and turns to satisfy. And in the end, that’s all most of us want.