Thursday, September 11, 2014

The Hanged Man's Song - John Sanford

First time I read the titles of these Kidd novels, I thought they were sophisticated; but since the 1st book I have known that they are only tarot card's names.

This is the 4th book in the series and the last. Among all 4, I think this is the best and I like this very much. There was more criminal investigation than computer stuff.

Kidd's hacker friend, Bobby, who had helped him a lot in databases, had been brutally murdered in his house in Jackson, Mississippi. The killer was 1) meticulous - for able to track down the mysterious Bobby, while the FBI and NSA not 2) evil - for killing Bobby, who was crippled, and 3) crazy - for sending stuffs from Bobby's laptop to the news (and destroyed several politicians' careers) and claimed that it was Bobby's undoing.

Afraid that the missing laptop contained informations about him (and his friends), Kidd tried to get it back, helped by John Smith (from The Empress File) and his burglar friend LuEllen. Among Bobby's ring, perhaps they had chosen Kidd by acclamation, to do the physical works. Hackers usually sit in front of their computers and rarely go out, but Kidd went across country chasing bad guys.

The FBI didn't realize that Bobby had been died. Kidd and John Smith's effort to attract their attention to the murder case was unfruitful. So Kidd, Smith, and LuEllen must play detective to catch Bobby's murderer and get the laptop back. Near the end, there was a critical moment when LuEllen got caught and John Smith's 'foster kid' got kidnapped.

When Kidd and LuEllen was going to go to pick up John Smith, Kidd did two tarot spreads, and the final resolution card was, in both cases, The Hanged Man. "The Hanged Man indicates a kind of suspended animation, a suspense between two states - a waiting state. Transition, maybe. Okay, so Bobby's dead and everything is in transition."

Kidd and LuEllen would appear again 10 years later in Silken Prey - to help State Cop Lucas Davenport in a case. Kidd then was very good in databases, because he had inherited the contents of Bobby's laptop. I read Silken Prey first and knew that Kidd had a hot wife named Lauren and a 5-year old boy named Jackson. Until near the end of The Hanged Man's Song (the last book in the series) he still hadn't met a woman named Lauren. It turned out Lauren was LuEllen's real name. In all 4 books in the Kidd series, Kidd never found out LuEllen's real background; but in Silken Prey, Lucas Davenport successfully tracked her down to her hometown (after pulling out her maiden name from the marriage certificate) and to a local old man who remembered her.

No comments: