Thursday, March 7, 2019

Book Review: Killer Thriller by Lee Goldberg (Ian Ludlow #2)

Stars: 4 out of 5
Pros: Great main characters, twists, laughs
Cons: A bit of a slow burn start, some of the humor
The Bottom Line:
Ian’s research trip
Bring him and Margo real thrills
More page turning fun

Ian and Margo are in for Another Thrill Ride

Last year, Lee Goldberg introduced us to the unlikeliest of thriller heroes – an author.  That book was so much fun I could hardly wait for the sequel.  Killer Thriller was a delight as well.

Ian Ludlow is our hero for this series.  He’s a very successful thriller writer who was shocked in the first book to recognize a scenario he had come up with coming true in real life.  He wound up on the run with Margo French, his author escort at the time the attack happened.

This book picks up almost two years later, and Ian is getting ready for a trip to Hong Kong.  One of his books is being turned into a movie, and the studio is paying for him to be there at the start of filming for publicity.  He’s also planning to turn it into a research trip for the book he should be writing.  Days before he leaves, Margo shows up at his door.  She is now homeless, still trying to deal with the events from two years ago.  Feeling sorry for her, Ian agrees to hire her as a research assistant for the trip.

Neither of them realize that their arrival in Hong Kong has attracted the wrong kind of attention thanks again to one of Ian’s books.  Will they recognize the danger they are in before it is too late?

Like the first one, this book is a blend of humor and thriller.  Much of the humor this time comes from the movie that is being made.  Lee has spent years as a writer in Hollywood, and he knows how to perfectly mock the entertainment industry without being so insider that he loses the rest of us.  Unfortunately, some of his humor falls into the adolescent male category, and I didn’t always appreciate that.  Then again, I’ve read Lee’s books enough to know it was coming.

And yes, there is a thriller plot in the book as well.  Thanks to the wonderful use of multiple points of view, we can see things building before Ian and Margo realize just how much danger they are in.  This book doesn’t have quite the same explosive beginning the first one does; it’s more of a slow burn.  But once it ignites, it becomes a page turning thriller with plenty of twists and turns.

Not only is a writer not usually who you picture as the main character of a thriller, but Ian is not a young, in shape guy.  He’s a middle aged, over weight guy.  I also appreciate that aspect of his character since it makes him more realistic.  Margo is a fun side kick, and I enjoyed getting to spend time with both of them again.  They are clearly the series stars.  The rest of the cast is good, although we don’t get to know any of them particularly well.  They are all supporting characters in a thriller, after all.

While spy thrillers are not my normal genre, I’m glad I followed Lee Goldberg into it.  Killer Thriller is a funny page turner that will leave you wanting more.

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