Author Michael Marshall takes a common man and throws him a curveball in this paranoid thriller, “Killer Move.” Bill Moore craves something more than his job selling condos near the Florida Keys. Although happily married, his ambition to start his own business begins to make him a bit selfish and greedy. One morning he arrives for another dreary business day and finds a card on his desk that says MODIFIED.
His life as he knows it has just ended with one word.
Life for Moore starts to drastically change. At first the clues are more annoying than dangerous, like emails from his work computer that Moore never sent, books delivered to his home that he never ordered, and provocative photos he has never seen showing up on his hard drive.
Someone has cracked his passwords and started messing with his familiar world. When his wife begins to doubt his innocence, Moore realizes he has to find the hacker - and fast. When a colleague disappears, the evidence points to Moore as the murderer. He realizes that it’s really not a game.
Marshall creates a noir feel to the narrative as he amps up the paranoia factor. It’s too bad that he decided to make the protagonist so unlikable that his misfortunes don’t quite hit the emotional level they should.
In addition, the ending is a bit muddied and not the slam-dunk a book like this deserves. And, although a minor quibble, “Modified” would have been a much better title.
With all of this in mind, “Killer Move” is still a compelling read that raises as many questions as answers.