Reviewed by Alex Binkley
Ottawa author Patricia Filteau has set an ambitious timetable for her first three Kate Roarty, P.I. novels, which mesh murder, high-tech intrigue and globetrotting. Vantage Point was released this spring and is to be followed by Traces next year and Steps in 2018.
Kate’s experience in investigating intellectual property theft takes an unexpected turn when her love of long-distance swimming, a favourite activity of the author as well, leads her to discover a body floating in Meech Lake. She takes on a pivotal role in the subsequent murder investigation by Quebec police when it’s discovered the deceased, Dr. Vincent Bernard Taylor, is the head of a British hi-tech company, which has connections to international researchers in the United States.
Vantage Point is a blend of crime and mystery fiction with elements of science fiction and romance as Kate unravels the technology behind the lethal microchip implanted in Dr. Taylor's brain. Kate also has to wend her way through the bureaucracy of police forces and security agencies, which are trying to solve the murder and prevent other killings while gaining a better understanding of how the technology works. She has to track down the victim’s scientific colleagues to question them about where their research was leading and why it had become the source of deadly intrigue and cover-up that even threatens her.
The author tells a convincing tale of Kate using a well-established network to learn about the technology behind the bio-engineered microchips and how the devices could be used to control and kill people. She also has to juggle the interests of the different police and security forces. Throw in a love affair with a young police officer and Kate had a busy time of it.
It all makes for a good tale especially for those who like to solve the crime and find the killer as the story unfolds. The plot has plenty of characters and twists in it that should surprise the reader. It will take a really good sleuth to figure out how Taylor was killed before the surprising cause of death is revealed.
Vantage Point is independently published by its author.