After the host of a popular radio talk show is murdered, the suspects almost outnumber his millions of listeners. Three best friends are uniquely ...Show synopsisAfter the host of a popular radio talk show is murdered, the suspects almost outnumber his millions of listeners. Three best friends are uniquely qualified to crack the case: FBI Special Agent Nicole Hedges, crime reporter Cassidy Shaw, and Federal Prosecutor Allison Pierce.Hide synopsis
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Cryin? Brian Dern.
What do they all have in common? They?re all big-shot talk radio show hosts. One is real, two are fictional, and one is very, very dead.
And thus is the premis of Hand of Fate, the newest Triple Threat mystery by Lis Wiehl (writing with April Henry). Jim Fate: opinionated, brash, and not all of afraid of the general public (whom he regularly offends). He?s the ?golden boy? for radio station KNWS, and his polarizing show, ?The Hand of Fate?, is often the talk of the town. Fate even has a daily award for those who send him hate mail and death threats?the Nut of the Day award. He?s quick-witted, he?s big-mouthed, he?s rich, he?s got a platform?and he?s got enemies.
One fateful day (pun intended, please appreciate), Jim opens his mail to find an unpleasant surprise. Poison gas sprays from a cleverly-rigged canister and within minutes, Jim Fate is dead.
Enter the Triple Threat Club: FBI Special Agent Nicole Hedges, crime reporter Cassidy Shaw, and Allison Pierce. These three women are best friends united by a love of justice, truth and chocolate. Lots of chocolate.
As the three begin piecing together the events and people surrounding Jim Fate?s final days, the situation seems to go from puzzling to insane. The question they must answer is not, ?Who could have killed Jim Fate,? but rather, ?Who didn?t want him dead??
Suspects pile up, clues and red-herrings collide with increasing ferocity, and personal issues in the lives of all three women threaten to intrude on the case. Who done it? Well, you?ll just have to read Hand of Fate yourself to find out.
Hand of Fate is the second book in the Triple Threat series by Wiehl?a popular legal analyst and commentator for Fox News. Written with New York Times-bestselling authoress April Henry, Hand of Fate is a pretty good supper read: entertaining, no too taxing, and easy to put down and pick back up again on a moment?s notice.
As a novel in and of itself, I vastly enjoyed Hand of Fate. The characters are intriguing, fascinating, and relatively original, and the plot is interesting. My favorite part had to be the character development of Jim Fate himself?arguably the book?s main character, though he?s only alive for one chapter and a flashback or two?you don?t often see such a well developed character as the victim of a murder that happens in the first chapter. Watching him grow and change as the three investigators plumb the depths of his private life is absolutely fascinating.
That said, as a mystery, I wasn?t particularly impressed with Hand of Fate. There were far too many suspects, not nearly enough solid clues, and the end-villain lacked much in the convincingness category.
Suspense and mystery stories are usually supposed to end with a big twist?an ?ah-ha!? moment where the villain is revealed and you stagger back in shock, saying, ?It all makes sense now! How did I not see that coming?!??
In Hand of Fate, the ending is a shocker indeed?but there?s no feeling of, ?Duh! I should have spotted that?? Instead, I was left thinking, ?Huh? That?s the villain? Hm. Well, okay?? You don?t see it coming, because there?s no foundation for it. And, in the ?endgame?, the villain?s reasoning and purposes behind the murder are a bit?weak, to put it nicely. Unconvincing.
I enjoyed the book greatly up until chapter 41. Then, when the villain was revealed, my first reaction was to literally exclaim out loud, ?What? It was?? (And here I?ll cut myself off, to avoid spoiling the end for you?)
After that, it was as if I had to forget the rest of the book and whatever ending it had been building to, and read this ending that felt like it had been copy-pasted from another book entirely.
So? Hand of Fate left a disappointed taste in my mouth. It was building and building, and the characters were getting more and more colorful?
And then the climax fell flat, and the characters (heroes and villains alike) were reduced to the black-and-white cardboard cut outs of old Saturday Morning cartoons.
This is a book that I would still venture to recommend?with a word of caution?to someone looking for a summer read. To writers, I would recommend it solely for the examination of Jim Fate as a character in development. (And also of a way not to end a story.) But I don?t think it?s a book I?ll be rereading anytime in the near future. I give it a three out of five stars.
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