I think this is a really good book. Born sidesteps all the clichés and puts out a book that's free of the dreck that often occurs in these books. I also really like his humour.
The mad bomber, Daniel Wells, was my favourite character. It's a very subtle portrait of this guy who's dangerous but not. In one really great sequence Wells is taking driving lessons because he needs to use a semi to move his bomb from one place to another, and he just can't get the hang of it. He's the worst student they've ever had. So there's the possibility of his plan not coming off at all because he can't learn to drive a truck.
I think Wells does have a moral code. He just wants to create chaos in the world. He takes energy from it, he enjoys it, and that's his aim. He's made easier for us to relate to because he's a white American - there's no cultural gap to cross, and it's interesting to think about a homegrown problem like this, where everyone's got their own agendas.
Other reviews by Paul Bergen:
Darkly Dreaming Dexter
He Who Fears the Wolf
Bill Tasker has the makings of a hero. He's trying to do right, realizing that he's made mistakes and trying to fix them. It's an honest look at the human side of a hero, what's going on inside his head. He's defined by his job, but he's conscious of that, and feels immense guilt when he can't spend time with his daughters.
I have very, very mixed feelings about the female characters in this book, though. They're described in terms of what they look like, what they're wearing. Camy is muscular, she works out and has a nice body, nice legs, nice chest. Nothing about her intelligence, her investigative skills, her firearms skills or anything like that. But then, she sounds like she can kick some serious butt, at one point she gives a black eye to a guy who won't stop teasing her. She probably has to face a number of challenges to get the credibility to be able to work with the boys.
I thought the inter-departmental politics were accurate. From my perspective in Emergency Response, a lot of people are trying to work on the same thing, but from different angles and with slightly different goals, and I think that's what creates a lot of conflict. It's basically just politics: how to save face, how to pursue your own interests, and how smaller agencies have to play nice with the bigger guys in the sandbox.
I would have liked to see more character development; I wanted more detail about the relationships between the characters. A little more detail and it would have been a perfect five.