Thursday, November 28, 2002

Review - Traps by Paul Lindsay

Banter between lead characters, a look at office politics and FBI procedures and the discovery of an unlikely hero all make Traps, the latest novel by FBI veteran Paul Lindsay, an enjoyable read.

FBI explosives expert Jack Kincade is a loser in many respects, but there is a sense of decency about him. Ben Alton, an agent on light duty, lives for the FBI, working to prove himself worthy each day.

Kincade and Alton rub each other the wrong way, yet each finds something admirable in the other.

Conrad Ziven's daughter Leah was kidnapped three years ago. The FBI let the case get cold. Ziven devises and executes a plan to get the FBI's attention: he is the only one with the code to the 800-pound bomb he planted under a jail that houses 15,000 prisoners.

His demands to the Feds are simple: find Leah and the bomb will be disarmed.

Kincade becomes the central agent in the Ziven case. Kincade supports his poker and drinking habit by "trapping" bank night depository slots. He is now the agent in charge of the recent flurry of bank robberies, and isn't concerned with getting caught.

Alton, an amputee due to cancer, is assigned the bank robbery cases that have gone nowhere, while Kincade moves to the Ziven case. Alton is sent to the seedy motel where Kincade lives with his border collie to get some background on the depository robberies.

Before either of them knows it, they are working together on the Ziven case.

Kincade and Alton solve the cold Ziven case quickly and the bomb is disarmed. It turns out Leah died three years ago, and her killer was murdered a few months later. Kincade is thrilled to go back to his bank trapping and poker games, but Alton has a nagging thought that the Ziven case couldn't have been one man working alone.

Together with Kincade, Alton discovers that Leah's psychopathic killer is still very much alive and has an enormous grudge against the FBI.

Kincade and Alton know who the psychopath is, but he has covered his tracks well and forcing him into a corner leads to a suspenseful, nail-biting countdown to save one of their daughters, who is now the latest kidnapping victim.

Paul Lindsay has written four previous books subtitled "A Novel of the FBI:" Witness to the Truth, Codename: Gentkill and Freedom to Kill feature Detroit FBI Agent Mike Devlin. The Fuhrer's Reserve and Traps are breaks from the series character.

Lindsay lives on the New Hampshire seacoast with his wife.

Title: Traps
Author: Paul Lindsay
Publisher: Simon & Schuster
ISBN: 978-0743215060
Pages: 272
Price: $24.00