“If there were a god, he would have stopped me.”--When Galileo Preys by Joshua Corin, Copyright ©2010 by Joshua Corin, published by Mira Books
That’s the message discovered atop an elementary school in downtown Atlanta. Across the street are the bodies of fourteen innocent men and women, each quickly and cleanly murdered. The sniper Galileo is on the loose. He can end a human life from hundreds of yards away. And he is just getting started.
Where others see puzzles, Esme Stuart sees patterns, and these outside-the-box inductive skills made her one of the FBI’s top field operatives. But she turned her back on all that eight years ago to start a family and live a normal life. She now has a husband and a daughter and a Long Island home to call her own, far removed from the bloody streets of Atlanta.
But Galileo’s murders escalate and Esme’s beleaguered old boss at the Bureau needs the help of his former protégée. But how can she turn her back on her well-earned quiet life? How would she ever be able to justify such a choice to her husband? To her daughter?
And what will happen when Galileo turns his scope on them?
The following month, someone set the Amarillo Aquarium on fire. Firefighters respond and enter the building. When they realize they have the wrong equipment (the fire went from standard combustible to chemical), they head outside and run into a hail of sniper bullets. It’s the same sniper.
And he’s just getting started.
In her home on Long Island, former FBI Agent Esme Stuart reads the stories about the Atlanta killings. Her interest is piqued, but she restrains herself. After all, she’s a wife and mother now, not a go-get-em hotshot agent. After the second set of killings, however, she speaks to her former boss and mentor, Tom Piper, and she agrees to join the task force—temporarily—in Amarillo. By midnight, she’s in the hospital, severely wounded, thanks to Galileo.
This guy is serious.
In the short period of time she had after arriving in Amarillo and before she was injured, Esme believes she found the connection. There’s a presidential election coming up, and one particular candidate held rallies in the cities where the killings took place. Follow the candidate, she says. Check his schedule and see where he’s speaking next. And check out his main supporter…there’s something fishy there. But stubbornly, the powers-that-be at the FBI refuse to listen and Esme returns to her family on Long Island. The killings continue and Tom tries to enlist Esme’s help, but she refuses. She gave him all the information she could and it would now be up to Tom to solve the case. She’s out of it.
Until the killer arrives in Long Island.
And he has Esme in his cross-hairs.
Mmmm…okay, so he doesn’t exactly have Esme in his cross-hairs, at least not at the point he arrives on Long Island. He has other business to tend to first. Only then does he aim for Esme.
This is a great story that moves at a good pace from beginning to end. There were a few areas where the pace seemed to slow a bit, mostly when background information was given about a particular character, but those scenes helped enrich those characters and the slower pace helped the reader catch their breath, so I don’t know that’s I’d change any of those scenes.
While Galileo Preys is a neat, intense thriller that quickly grabs your attention and takes you for a ride that never slows down. (Am I using “ride” metaphors too much? I need to work on that.) I would definitely recommend this book for those who love thrillers and killers with a unique “twist” on their craft.
This is another of my NetGalley reads.
Galley copies sometimes contain errors and I found one here. At the start of Chapter 26, Kellerman and Piper go to a shooting range owned by a man named Will Clay. Three pages later, Will Clay is now Bill Clay. Later on, he goes back to being Will. Oopsie! I think I’ll go to a book store once this is released (September 1, if you’re interested) and see if they fixed that.
**UPDATE**I checked, and the error was not fixed. I find it odd that such an error could get past the editors and proofreaders like that, but these things do happen. Hopefully, if/when this book goes into additional printings, someone will fix it.
I give this story FOUR STARS.