Sunday, June 17, 2007

Deadly Dating

Death Match by Lincoln Child (356 pgs, Doubleday) is my first completed book for the SRC2 Challenge. It is also this month's selection for the Braincandy Reading group (and since I am leading the discussion, I figured I should probably READ it!) This is also the first book by Lincoln Child that I have read.

When Dr. Christopher Lash gets a call from Eden Incorporated, he is mystified. Why would they want to hire him for his services? He is a former FBI forensics psychologist, a profiler. A tragedy at work had affected him personally, and it not only caused him to retire early, but ended his marriage. He is in private practice now and working hard to exorcise the demons of his past. When Eden calls, he decides to see what they could possibly want from him.

Because everyone in the country knows about Eden. They are a match-making service. But not just any service. They are a high-tech company surrounded by secrecy and have a phenomenal success rate. Founded by the reclusive computer genius, Richard Silver, Eden boosts 100% accuracy in finding couples happiness. For just $25,000/person, you too can find the perfect mate! But people are LINING UP to apply for it's services.

When Christopher arrives, he finds he is meeting with the upper echelon of Eden. At Eden, they guarantee the matches they make. Using complicated computing and psychological analysis, couples are matched. If they reach a percentage, around 95%, they are considered a perfect match. And Eden's record stands: All couples that have been matched, have been happy. But in all the years that Eden has been operating, they have seen 6 100% matches. A uniquely perfect match. These are referred to as a "supercouple" match. But the reason Christopher has been called in is that one of the supercouples just committed a double suicide. Eden would like someone from the outside to check into the occurrence.

Everything that Christopher sees about the Thorpes indicates they are indeed the perfect couple. There are absolutely no indicators of suicidal tendencies. Just when he is about to give up, another one of Eden's supercouples commits suicide. Now the real question is this: Is it truly a suicide or is it homicide?

I enjoyed this book. It was a nice thriller with a lot of intensity. The nature of the book is truly far-fetched. Can a computer really match couples perfectly? Aren't there many factors that a computer can't take into consideration? But the book does get into some confusing explanations about Artificial Intelligence and technical jargon. For those that aren't familiar with computers and processing it might be a little too much. And the back story of Lash's time in the FBI just seemed to be thrown in rather hastily and was tied up unsatisfyingly. It's almost like Child was trying to do too many things at one time. He touches on a lot of topics: AI, dating, match-making, serial killers, psychology, suicide, computer programming, computer security. In the end, it was just too much to make a really GREAT book. I figured out the conclusion long before I turned to that page. But I was entertained. And that is truly what 'braincandy' is all about. It was enough for me to put Lincoln Child on my reading list for the future, especially his collaborations with Douglas Preston. 3.5/5

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Dewey said...

Looks like a pretty good thriller. But I came to tell you that you won a prize in the blogroll game! Come see.

Rhinoa said...

Haha yes it's always good to read the book you have set others to read! It sounds like you really enjoyed it. I'm not sure it is something I would rush out to buy as it's not quite to my tastes, but worth seeing if the library has it :)

Angela/SciFiChick said...

$25,000? I think I'd just stay single.