Thursday, March 20, 2008

Book Review: "Burn Factor" by Kyle Mills

After reading all the Kyle Mills books that revolve around the character of FBI agent, Mark Beamon (who by the way is a great "everyman" crime fighter, better even than Clancy's Jack Ryan) I've been reading his other books. They have proven to be some fun books, I'll have to admit this is only the second "non-Beamon" book. This book, "Burn Factor," however does cross into Beamon territory and even has a very brief appearance of Mark Beamon. This book is a little different from the Beamon books in that this starts out being a novel about a serial killer, but soon becomes a serial killer novel with a government cover-up in place.

Quinn Barry is an ambitious employee of the FBI. She works on databases and coding for the FBI's systems. She very much wants to be an agent and as soon as her superiors see fit to send her to training that's what she will be. But for right now she's working on some coding to help matchup new hardware with the FBI's CODUS database for DNA. Her new search engine seems to have a glitch. 5 extra results are found for unmatched DNA. These results were not in the original programming. She soon finds that embedded in the old coding someone hid some DNA markers that were to be ignored. Thinking this is just some test code that got stuck in the old system she sets out to prove her program is better.

Once she announces the DNA code error, she gets transferred to Quantico to reprogram some databases. But she doesn't give up. She requests the police reports from the 5 extra results, knowing they don't exist and that once and for all she can show how she saved the FBI time and money she can get that agent training. However, it seems the 5 cases are real and are very heinous crimes of what appears to be a serial killer. At this same time her CIA boyfriend is snooping through her stuff and all of a sudden acting nice to her.

The action builds and never stops once Quinn decides to investigate the murders herself and is lead to a physics genius Eric Twain. She soon discovers this is a cover-up by an unknown government entity and her life is in danger as she tracks down the killer and the cover-up.

This is a great book for an adrenaline junkie. The character of Quinn Barry never knows when to stop and takes the inevitable good guy/bad guy chase to all new highs.

The fun part of the book is when Quinn is trying to determine who she can tell to reveal the cover-up and the only name she can come up with is Mark Beamon, but as the name comes to her she once again must be on the run so we have to settle just for the mention of his least (SPOILER ALERT!!!) until the end.

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