It begins with a minor traffic stop, but “15 Seconds” (William Morrow, $25.99) by Andrew Gross quickly accelerates into a race across several states with murder along the way.
Dr. Henry Steadman is driving from the airport to a northern Florida convention where he is to be the featured speaker when a cop stops him for an illegal turn. He is handcuffed and thrown into the back of a police car and questioned as if he were a fleeing felon.
Finally he is released with a warning just in time to see a blue car pull up beside the squad car and a gunman shoot the officer. Steadman finds the officer is dead and realizes he will be the prime suspect.
He leaves to find a friend with whom he had planned a game of golf but finds the friend shot to death in his home. Security cameras reveal the same blue car was in the neighborhood, and Steadman is sure someone is framing him.
Now he's a suspect in two murders and soon receives a phone call that his daughter is being held by someone with a grudge against the doctor. There are other murders in different states, and Steadman is suspected.
He has to rely on friends to help him as he frantically tries to find out who is setting him up and why, but even some of them are suspicious.
If you're a fan of fast-action thrillers, this one is for you. But don't plan on a relaxing evening of reading.
— Kay Dyer