Book Review – The Fibonacci Murders
by Dale E Lehman
Average rating (all reviews) :
3 Blogger Reviews
| Rodney Strong
BookGobbler Top Reviewr
| Joni Dee
The Thinking Man’s Murder Mystery
The Fibonacci Murders by Dale E Lehman is a mind blowing contemporary murder mystery. Murders connected to the Fibonacci sequence really test the reader’s power to figure out what is going on and who will be next?
Not a mathematician but I found the whole book fascinating in its complexity. It drew me in from the start and had me questioning – whose was the mathematician’s voice?
The whole book hung together marvellously with a fabulous plotline and realistic characters. In my head I ‘watched’ the police drama unfold. I could easily imagine a bustling police department, the press conferences and the general panic amongst the public. The novel would make a great film.
As the book unfolded, so too did the identity of the perpetrator. With heart racing, I sped on to the conclusion of the novel.
A fabulous read for anyone who likes both a puzzle and murders to solve. The action came thick and fast, with no time for the reader to become bored. With well drawn and likable characters, The Fibonacci Murdersis the perfect read.
I received this book for free on BookGobbler.com. A favourable review was not required and all views expressed are my own.
Solid first book, with a few issues that stopped it from being a great story
A killer is on the loose in Howard County. Working the Fibonacci sequence he taunts the police with cryptic clues to his next crime. The Fibonacci sequence of numbers works on the next number being the combination of the previous two, i.e. 1, 2, 3, 5, 8,
Meanwhile a serial mugger is clubbing people with a golf club and stealing their valuables.
Lieutenant Puller and his two lead detectives are forced to split their time between the crimes, and as both perpetrators seem to be escalating, they are forced to turn to mathematician Professor Kaneko for help. Together they must stop the killer before things escalate to unimaginable levels.
Dale Lehman has constructed a solid thriller with occasional flashes of clear crisp descriptive passages. The story generally works, but for me there were a few issues that stopped it from being a great story.
The subplot of the mugger doesn’t really add anything to the story, and doesn’t really come to a satisfactory conclusion (I don’t want to go into too much detail as it would contain spoilers).
The character of Professor Kaneko is well drawn, but again seemed unnecessary. Apart from the initial consultation, which required his expertise, the work he does to identify the killer is standard grunt work that could have, and should have, been done by the police. It didn’t require any specialist mathematical knowledge.
Also I found the intro sections for each chapter too long, and unnecessary. They didn’t add anything, and the intro to the first chapter indicates a large part for the character than actually occurred.
I liked the three main police officers, they were well defined in both their working and personal lives. Perhaps due to the shortness of the book though I felt like the character of Leo could have been provided with greater depth. And the final revelation on why he was doing it was a complete let down.
I’m not American and so don’t know the ins and outs of law enforcement over there, but it seemed really strange to me that the FBI wasn’t involved in a serial killer case. Especially one that had achieved national and international attention (CNN and BBC at a press conference). The police department in Howard County seemed content to try and solve it themselves without calling for assistance, which seems odd.
All in all as I said it was a solid first book, but I felt if the author had taken his time and made it slightly longer, we would have had a much richer tale.
Good Plot… Could have been smashing!
Let me start by saying that I liked Dale E Lehman’s The Fibonacci Murders. For a debut novel I thought he had done a good job, I liked both the idea and the characters, and even though I had solved the case before the police detectives, I thought it was thrilling.
Lieutenant Peller, along with his sergeants Dumas and Montufar, are chasing a serial killer who’s basing his killing spree according to some twisted interpretation of the Fibonacci number sequence (a series where the number is always the sum of the last two). The killer keeps the team on their toes by sending them letters with clues and calling in person, and he keeps changing the meaning of the subsequent number in ways that are too complicated for the team to figure out. They use a Professor of mathematics, Tomio Kaneko, to try and get into the killer’s head. Meanwhile there’s a raging mad golfer who’s on the loose, mugging people around Howard county. Things get complicated as more people die – yet the team has not a single lead…
The plot of the book is solid, and while I found the writing somewhat too mechanic and precise (maybe thanks to the author’s algorithms and software background), it didn’t disturb me – the book was flowing and gripping at the same time.
My issues with “the Fibonacci Murders” lay within a few aspects of the book, and while I don’t judge harshly a debut novel, I thought that if given attention to these back on the drawing board, it could have been s smashing thriller, which would have given a fight to anything Dan Brown had written.
First, the novel is not long enough, I was missing a bit of action, and felt we’re jumping to an early conclusion. Suddenly the team all profiled the culprit (accurately) and that’s that… Moreover, Professor Kaneko somehow manages to find the identity of the perpetrator, and yet goes and investigates on his own – so his revelation eventually has close-t0-zero contribution to the novel. I wanted to find out more about the characters, I thought they were very well drawn and multi-dimensional, and had the notion that we are getting details to thicken the book and not necessarily the right ones (Montufar’s brother’s accident as an example).
Having said the above, it is an easy read which will keep you glued to the chair. I loved the Howard County police force naivety, it’s not something you see everyday in a crime thriller, and I thoughts the Professor was a character well worth a sequel, unlike any other anti-hero I’ve encountered. 3.5-4 stars, depends upon how complex you like your thrillers.
- The Fibonacci Murders is available from Amazon.com
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