The Murder that Never Was: Andrea Kane
Imagine a perfect diamond with an E quality clarity, perfect color, cut, and carat and weight shape. Imagine holding it in the palm of your hand. Polished diamonds are valuable and the value is based on several factors. Rarity, which means that particular one is hard to come by and has qualities that are more rare and worth more. It is hard to evaluate or compare the qualities of one diamond over another without using a grading system. Diamonds can be classified by clarity, color cut, carat and weight shape each having its own distinct shape and form. Some are round, princess or radiant. Imagine how priceless some of these might be. No imperfections, no flaws and a diamond of the highest clarity. The cut of this stone would determine tits brilliance, its sparkle and the weight or number of carats the size. Does it lack color, does it shine, diamonds that are white, have little or no color and receive the highest quality grades than those that have color. Perfection you might say at its highest level. Now, imagine being able to create a perfect athlete one whose build, body mass, physical acumen, intelligence and ability to become the next Olympic Gold Medalist because you too have created a grading system and a special extra something added to their diet and training to reach what you ultimately would call Perfection. Shannon Barker was a victim of an unqualified attempt to speed up and accelerate her physical abilities. Her personal trainer gave her PED’s claiming they were vitamin supplements and the 16-year-old teen became an unknowing pawn in someone’s sinister plan to create and enhance the human mind and the human body regardless of the cost to the person. Shannon’s mind and body were sharper and her ability to do better in school increased but then something happened and she tore her rotator cuff and then developed a heart problem and slowly but surely her life and career came to a dead stop and her ability to become an Olympic Star faded like a diamond whose color lacked luster and shine.
Lisa Barnes and Julie Forman met under unusual circumstances. Forming a bond of friendship to a limited degree, Julie invited Lisa to live in her apartment and gave her a job when no one else would. A short-lived friendship as one was brutally cut down right in front of the other. As Julie Forman became aware of what one of her trainers in her gym was doing and the reason behind it, she became enraged, confronted him and the person above sought out his clean up team to rid the world of someone in the way of his ultimate plan and dream. Some think they are above the law and that rules were made for others to follow and anyone that crosses this person is expendable and if things go wrong then others will pay as did one young woman and Shannon Barker whose life will never be the same.
As we learn more about Dr. Maxim Lubinov, his ultimate goal and how he plans to achieve it you begin to compare him to other dictators, megalomaniacs, sadists, and narcissists who find themselves to be perfect, flawless and never quite see the small imperfections that lie within them and that one fatal flaw that might bring them down.
Forensic Instincts is comprised of a group of talented, technologically advanced investigators that operate under the radar and in their own private way. At times they enlist the help of the new head of the Violent Crimes Program and member of the FBI, Hutch is not only handsome, smart and astute but also engaged to Casey Woods the group leader of Forensic Instincts. Added in we have Ryan who is a technology genius and who introduces readers to his new advanced toys ones that every law enforcement unit would love to have at his/her finger tips. Mark, Casey, Claire the founder and who is the resident Psychic and Emma the administrative assistant. This is an eclectic group rounded out with Patrick who is in charge of security. Mark and Ryan are the techno team and when things begin to heat up and they learn about Shannon and the death of one of the young women, the way they are brought into the case is quite unique. An obituary in the paper gets Emma’s attention and she brings her thoughts to Ryan and from their the ball begins to bounce and does stop until the final catch is made.
Every step of the way everyone is on edge as the team realizes that Shannon is being watched, Emma is being trained to work as one of the operatives and the entire focus is on finding out who ordered the death of a young woman and helping the one that took her identity and created a new life along with her best childhood friend in order to stay alive.
As evidence comes to light and the team focuses on finding the man behind the plot Claire connects with one of the victims in a way that causes her pain, fear and anguish. Imagine reliving the death of someone going through it with them as if it was happening to you. The clues mount up and Ryan and Mark find a way to break into a cellular company and plan one of Ryan’s new techno toys and the end result they learn the location of the person behind the PED’s, where the training camp is and the end result is powerful. Jim Robbins was Shannon’s trainer at Apex and his goal was to create the number perfect athlete that would gain him recognition above the others. But, that was not enough and giving her double the amount needed caused her permanent physical harm. As Shannon plays out the role she is given in order to snare those in charge her performance is first rate, hoping to convince everyone she is just fine and eluding the Russian mob, hoping to survive herself she is put in danger, guarded by one of the team and what happens when someone turns their head too fast and does not see a car coming down the street will shock readers as author Andrea Kane delivers a curve ball more powerful and faster than the pitcher on the winning NBA world series team.
Elitism: perfection, subjects who can “ sustain a grandiose goal. Personal recognition factors into this. This is not a drug ring that sells heroine or coke they are just as deadly and dangerous as one man will stop at nothing to attain his goals. The Office of Forensic Instincts is staffed with people that are extraordinary as Ryan is harmed with photos of John Nichols taken at Starbuck and spends time searching for the two men that tried to kidnap Shannon. Digging deep into the social media sites and hoping that someone would slip up you’d e surprised what people do when they want brag and put things out there they never expect to be seen. As Emma becomes part of the team and has to try and explain the surviving young women about the experiment and the designer PED’s making Shannon realize that she was one of many chosen to become enhanced. As Emma rehearses with Casey how to play out the scene little does she suspect that some is watching closely. An ending that will keep you wondering just where this is going to wind up and if they can stop what this doctor has put into place as he thinks he is above the law and noted for his brilliance in stem cell research and microbiology. Does that mean you have the right to play God? Many law enforcements agencies coordinated the end result and which one came to the rescue you just won’t believe as the life of one of their own is at stake and they had to race the clock double time to hopefully prevent another death. The Murder that Never Was: You decide!
When the truth comes out and the identity of the murder victim is revealed what will happen to the one that stole her identity and created a new world and life for herself and her best friend? What about the money that the other girl inherited? When life hands you a dirty deck and you use every instinct to survive what happens to one young girl teaches many lessons as not only Shannon learns the mean of trust and friendship but the definition of survival. Characters that are individual and a group of rogue investigators that I hope we see and read more of.
Fran Lewis: Just reviews/MJ Magazine