Don't Look Away
by Leslie A. Kelly
Book 1 of Veronica Sloan
Detective Veronica Sloan isn't shocked by much. Having lived through the worst terrorist attacks in history — which destroyed much of Washington, D.C. — she's immune to even the most vicious brutality. But even she is stunned by the discovery of a murder in the basement of the under-reconstruction White House.
Sloan and FBI Agent Jeremy Sykes have been assigned to investigate the homicide because the victim was a participant in a top-secret experiment. Veronica has been training for just this kind of case, waiting to use her special skills, anxious to learn if a recording device implanted in a victim's head can help solve their murder … before the killer strikes again.
Barring all the typos I stumbled across, and the slow start, this book got interesting as it progressed. Being a more futuristic type of book, even if it's set only a few years in the future, it was kind of hard to pick up on all the new lingo and all the "history" of the present timeline.
Veronica was not an easy character to relate to, and sometimes came off extremely judgmental; but then she'd correct herself by revisiting earlier snap judgments she makes about people, and properly accept that she was wrong. I don't know what to think about her.
And then we even have a sort of love triangle--I don't like love triangles. And in this case, I think it would have been handled well if there had been better chemistry between the respective points involved. At least Veronica points out the obvious, resenting the fact that they are in the middle of a murder investigation, a rather cruel and gruesome one at that, and the two men around her are too busy posturing and trying to pee their territory around her.
Anyway, I wasn't really all that impressed by the O.E.P. technology that was presented in this book. The hype and the curiosity that came about made me think that there was a lot more to the optical tech than we actually ended up finding. In the end, it was all just a fancy, more glamorized kind of body cam that really only snaps non-motion pictures once every second.
While that DOES make for a nice way to watch a crime happening from a victim's perspective, as we can see, there are loopholes and workarounds. If the perpetrator knows that the O.E.P. technology exists and has been implanted in the victim, said perpetrator can take many precautions to ensure that he or she can still get away with the crime. Simply remove the head and hide it, or bash in the skull and completely ruin the optical chip, or just wear a mask or find some way to blind the victim.
Truthfully, I was actually expecting something a bit more advanced and... well, fancier.
Time to adjust my mindset, I suppose.
Though at the very least, the criminal investigation wasn't bad, though I would have liked to see more of it. While our two main characters spend their time looking at photos from their victims' O.E.P. files, a lot of the actual investigating happens behind the scenes, conducted by Veronica's police detective partner. And while the main culprit wasn't really predictable, the way some of the events in the story progression occurs was predictable.
Finally, this book kind of ends on a cliff-hanger, which means I need to pick up the second book ASAP. I don't like cliff-hangers.