Page owes a lot to Jeffery Deaver’s quadriplegic Lincoln Rhyme and the TV drama Numb3rs. He sees the world as “a matrix of interconnected digits” — which makes him tiresome company — unlike his African-American female sidekick and Dingo, his Australian lodger. And we never learn how he ended up half-man, half-machine. Do we care? Not really.
The internationally bestselling Pobi has created a memorable new character in one-time child maths prodigy Dr Lucas Page, a retired FBI man who is now a physics professor. He lost a leg, an arm and an eye while working for the Bureau and had to leave. Now, ten years on, his former agency partner has been killed by a sniper in New York and Page’s colleagues want him to come back to help them catch him... It is the first of a series of shootings by the sniper, and Page, assisted by a female FBI agent, sets out to catch the killer, with echoes of Jeffery Deaver’s famous quadriplegic Lincoln Rhyme. Told at a ferocious pace in staccato prose, this thriller truly gets the blood racing.
Page is a canny reworking of earlier sleuths: a Sherlock Holmes who’s also a family man, a Lincoln Rhyme whose disabilities don’t debar him from action scenes. And Pobi deftly pairs him with a black female agent with mind-reading skills, forming a double act with obvious film potential. All that mars their pulsating first outing is the official FBI theory of the killings they have to contend with: that a French terrorist was responsible is too dementedly far-fetched.