Trouble in Mind by Jeffery Deaver

Trouble in Mind by Jeffery Deaver.    Grand Central Publishing, 2014. $26.00, 482 pages.

An imminent terrorist threat, a pair of grifters intent on swindling an elderly woman, a reality TV celebrity poker tournament, a crime scene covered in trash. Jeffery Deaver’s latest collection of short stories runs the gamut from fast paced, action thrillers to slower, psychological suspense, and everywhere in between.

In “Fast, a Kathryn Dance Story,” we see the kinesics expert desperately trying to stop a domestic terrorist attack. As she interrogates a seemingly unreadable suspect, the clock ticks down to the deadline, and it’s up to her to crack the code of the suspect’s behavior in order to prevent an event that could kill hundreds.

A has been looking for another break is the center of “Bump.” Mike O’Connor was once one of the best known actors on television, but the ensuing years and his discriminating taste has left him out of work for quite a while. Looking for financing for a brilliant new television concept, he crosses paths with a producer who wants to put him and several other formerly famous and almost famous celebrities in a poker tournament on live TV. With more than a million in cash at stake, there’s more than just fame riding on this tournament.

Lincoln Rhyme and Amelia Sachs make two appearances. First, in “A Textbook Case,” Rhyme and Sachs are up against an opponent that seems to know exactly how to destroy a crime scene to make collecting evidence almost impossible. And in “The Obit,” they take a serious gamble in order to bring down a vigilante.

Some people swear they don’t like short stories, but with twelve of them, six of which have never before appeared in print, even the most particular reader should find something to entertain in “Trouble in Mind.” Full of Deaver’s signature twists, turns and misdirection, “Trouble” packs a lot of action and plot into twelve bite size tales, perfect for when you’re not in the mood for an entire novel.

Rebekah Scott is a reference librarian at May Memorial Public Library. Visit us on the web at www.alamancelibraries.org.