Review: Method 15/33 by Shannon Kirk

Let’s start the week off with another bargain find on Amazon: Method 15/33 by Shannon Kirk is a steal at 99 cents. It’s a decent read, pretty quick, and has some surprising twists.

In Method 15/33 a girl is kidnapped and held for some unknown (at least for a while) purpose. But instead of panicking and dissolving into tears and begging, she takes action. She memorizes the route they take, she begins to plot her escape…and her revenge. She’s methodical and organized and unemotional. (My first thought was “she is clearly on the spectrum.”) She actually talks about her emotions as switches – she always turns the Love switch on for her Nana, but she can just as easily switch Fear off as she’s plotting. She makes lists of her “assets” – things she finds in the room where she’s being held, and numbers them.

I assigned numbers to give a dose of science. A loose floorboard (Asset #4), a red knit blanket (Asset #5), plastic… The collection seemed as complete as possible at the start of Day 4. I would need more, I figured.

She’s an interesting character, our nameless kidnapped girl. (Character #1?) The kidnapper has no idea what he’s getting into.

The other part of the story, the part I didn’t enjoy as much, is the story of the FBI agents who are looking for her, Special Agent Roger Liu and “Lola.” Lola apparently needs to have her identity concealed, which seemed kind of silly to me, but the part that really bothered me was their special skills. Liu has almost superhuman sight; even as a child he is able to read license plates and see things much farther away than other people. Lola has a highly-developed sense of smell. (If that’s the case, why does she douse herself with Old Spice? I don’t get it.) I can’t tell if it was intended to give them something in common with our missing girl, but it seemed like an easy way to get out of some tough investigative situations, like when Lola is able to find an abandoned car because she, and she alone, can smell the exhaust fumes. These enhanced senses didn’t seem natural, they seemed contrived, and I kept thinking that Kirk could have written around them, given some more thought to other ways to run the investigation. Who knows? Maybe the enhancements, the sense of otherness that they give the FBI agents, was important to her, but it made me grind my teeth a little.

Still, I enjoyed Method 15/33 and recommend it if you’re looking for an off-beat procedural. this copy came from my personal library,

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