by Bruce TierneyAugust, 2005
Crouch opens door to chilling sequel
Perhaps the finest mystery debut of 2004 was Blake Crouch's Desert Places, in which thriller writer Andrew Thomas struggled to extricate himself from the intricate frame job engineered by his exceptionally un-fraternal fraternal twin brother, Orson, and Orson's psychopathic sidekick, Luther Kite. In the end, Andrew was able to escape Orson's clutches, though he's destined for a life on the run as a prime suspect in a series of killings he had no part in. Fast-forward seven years: Andrew lives in Haines Junction, in Canada's remote Yukon. His life is about to be disrupted beyond imagination: Luther has begun systematically killing Andrew's friends and acquaintances, hoping to draw the fugitive out of hiding for a final bloody confrontation. This, then, is the setup for a sequel, the clever and lightning-paced Locked Doors. It would be tempting to view Andrew Thomas as a modern riff on Richard Kimble, the falsely accused wife-slayer from The Fugitive. In fact, the differences far outweigh the similarities. Andrew is the unwitting victim of a major conspiracy, and entertains little or no hope of proving his innocence there is no one-armed man to pursue in hopes of unearthing the truth. Finally, unlike Kimble, Andrew is pitted against an enemy of epic proportions, the revenge-driven Luther. Blake Crouch has penned a sequel that will keep you reading long past your bedtime.