Author(s): John Sandford
Series: Kidd & LuEllen #1
Published by Berkley on 12/01/1996
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Kidd is a computer whiz, artist, and professional criminal. LuEllen is his lover, and his favorite partner in crime. Their playing field in on the cutting edge of high-tech corporate warfare. This time they've been hired by a defense industry corporation to destroy its business rival through computer sabotage. If Kidd and LuEllen can pull it off, they’ll reap millions. It’s the sting of a lifetime. One false move and it’s a lifetime sentence. As the takedown unfolds, everything goes according to plan. But their string of successes turns into a noose when the ultimate con artists find themselves on the wrong end of the ultimate con…
In The Fools Run Kidd, the artist, computer expert and sometimes criminal, is hired to retrieve stolen technology and destroy the defense contractor responsible for the theft. With a thief named LuEllen backing him up Kidd finds that there is much more at play then simple industrial espionage.
This book involves computers and was written very early in the digital age, something that might bother a lot of people reading this book years after it was written. While it doesn’t bug me I can see how the dated technology could throw some readers. It is important to note that the computers in the book are a plot point and not the real focus of the book. Like Sanford’s other work The Fools Run is more about Kidd’s ability to think his way around situations.
This book really gives you what readers of other Sandford titles have come to expect; an interesting problem, not really a mystery since the twist was fairly standard for this type of thriller/mystery and can be seen coming miles down the road, fun characters with good interplay and well written dialogue. While Kidd is less white hat then Davenport or Flowers, Sanford’s other who serialized characters, he is equally as interesting. His interplay with LuEllen especially works and the two really play off each other. Also, the use of Tarot in the book as game theory is an interesting device that I have not really seen before.
While the overall plot isn’t groundbreaking the pace is just right for this type of story. Everything seems to flow fairly naturally and there weren’t any lull points that make the book drag. Put on that a couple of twists and turns that, even if they are somewhat predictable, work pretty well and you get a story worth reading. While not quite as polished as his later works you can see the seed of what makes Sandford such an effective writer in this genre.
Review by Travis Starnes