2012: #61 – Death Match (Lincoln Child)

Title: Death Match
Author: Lincoln Child
Format: Audio
Audiobook length:  13 hrs 52 min
Release Date: May 4, 2004
Publisher: Anchor
Source: personal copy
★★★½☆ 

Lewis and Lindsay Thorpe were the perfect couple: young, attractive, and ideally matched. But the veil of perfection can mask many blemishes. When the Thorpes are found dead in their tasteful Flagstaff living room (having committed double suicide), alarms go off in the towering Manhattan offices of Eden Incorporated, the high-tech matchmaking company whose spectacular success, and legendary secrecy, has inspired awe around the world. The Thorpes, few people knew, were more than the quintessential happy couple – they were Eden’s first perfect match.

A short time later, Christopher Lash, a gifted former FBI forensic psychologist, receives an urgent plea from Eden to perform a quick – and quiet – investigation into the deaths. Lash’s psychological autopsy reveals nothing suspicious, but inadvertently dredges up the memories of a searing personal tragedy he has kept at bay for years.

The situation changes suddenly when a second Eden couple is found dead — by all appearances, another double suicide. Now Eden – particularly Richard Silver, the company’s brilliant and reclusive founder – has no choice but to grant Lash unprecedented access to its most guarded secrets if he is to have any chance of determining what is going wrong. The hidden world he discovers is a stunning labyrinth of artificial intelligence, creative genius, and a melding of technology that does indeed, to Lash’s surprise, deliver on Eden’s promise to its clients: the guarantee of a perfect, lifelong mate. But Lash’s involvement in the investigation becomes more personal and dangerous than he could have imagined, nearly as soon as it begins.

With tremendous imagination and skill, master thriller-writer Lincoln Child renders a setting too frighteningly believable not to be real. Infused with relentless suspense and a riveting pace, DEATH MATCH is Child at his best.

My thoughts:

This is going to be quick because I listened to this book a while ago and can’t remember a lot of the details! I do remember that I enjoyed it. I found the concept more interesting than I expected. Basically, couples who are deemed “perfect matches” by the high-tech matchmaking company, Eden, are committing mutual suicide at an alarming rate. Lash, a psychiatrist, is brought in to find out why people who have no known suicidal tendencies would do it. Eden is panicking, desperate to show that their process is not flawed, and therefore, not responsible.

The plot probably could have moved along a little more quickly, but overall I thought it was a good listen. There was one big problem with the audio production – there are parts of the book where Lash is reading various psychological reports and test results, and in the audio they read out every bit, even the multi-digit id numbers and various other numerical data. It grew tedious, and I think they should have altered that a bit for the audiobook.

If you are looking for a thriller that isn’t mired in the military, in espionage, or in the financial district, I think this would be a good choice.

Available from: Amazon | Barnes & Noble | IndieBound | WorldCat

Other reviews:

  • But it has been a long time since I had to take a book to another room because I HAD to keep reading it and couldn’t tolerate any distractions at all.” — Swistle
  • “In this techno-mystery, Child speaks with his own Crichton-esque voice, pulling out all the stops, imagining the complexities of a world run almost exclusively by technology.”Curled Up with a Good Book
  • “Though I guessed the general shape of the ending early on, I still enjoyed the thrills of the ride through Death Match, and appreciate the issues it raised about the potential for profiling individuals through their data traffic.” — Bookloons

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