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Review: Thirteen Across by Dan Grant

Review: Thirteen Across by Dan Grant

With the clock running fast and societies livelihood on your back, could you solve THIRTEEN ACROSS: A Puzzle with a Violent Solution?

In present-day Washington, DC, a brilliant, tech-savvy madman with an agenda has concocted a labyrinthine trail of terrorism with an FBI special agent named Kate Morgan at the end. It appears he wants her dead. In the opening scene of Dan Grant’s newest thriller, Kate finds herself crawling over body parts to escape an underground subway train wreck. Kate was on her way to a congressional hearing where she’d been summarily summoned, most certainly already in big trouble with the federal government. Stunned from the horrific attack on the train, Kate is shocked and confused when cops find a briefcase with her name on it shoved under a bench at the subway station. Inside is a page of human skin, tattooed with a set of seven clues coinciding with seven subway stops that will unlock the mystery of what’s happening and sending the FBI, the Army, and Kate herself on a grisly chase.


For those of you who love suspense and thrillers, Thirteen Across takes you on a labyrinth of plot twists through riddles leading to the ultimate crossword finale chase.

I’ll be honest. It took me a while to get into the book. This wasn’t your typical suspense thriller novel. It was detailed with scientific, technical medical jargon to support the facts in the plot. At times it was a little distracting but overall I found the intention of where the storyline was heading worth investing to where it would go. I found it creative and unique using the premise of the cross word puzzle guiding the plot to solve the crime.

I didn’t realize going into this book that there was another book that would’ve introduced Kate and Philip better. Since I didn’t read it, I can’t tell you how much of an influence this would have here but I think there’s enough to base your conclusions on this as a standalone. You do get a good idea of who they are as people and the plot is straight forward from there. Despite this, it might be beneficial to read first for background information.

The character Kate in the book it’s worth mentioning as a fantastic female lead character in the book. I wasn’t sure how I felt about her early on but as the book progressed she became more likable and I felt drawn to her every move.

As a former DMV resident, it was easy to picture the action in the book of the locations and that gave it piqued my interest a little more. It gives these places a more realistic visual and makes me hope that what happened in the plot stays on the fictional side.

This was a different genre for me that I would’ve never jumped right in partly due to the scientific elements but it opened my interests for the future. Some fascinating elements to note was that it touched on was medical research teetering on the conversation of bio-genetics and training humans in the lab. This put a different perspective on this subject as well as visiting the theme of autonomous vehicles gave it an interesting twist in thought.

I’m on the fence about a couple of things. There was some information that came out towards the later part of the book that may have benefited the story in the beginning. I think it would’ve given the reader a different point of view but aren’t sure if that was intentional or not. My opinion is that it would’ve influenced the perception of the characters where we may have understood them better rather than make presumptions from the plot. Second, I wish there could’ve been a better resolution for some of the characters involved because I was curious what happened. Not sure if they will be revisited in the next book but we’ll see what happens next.

Overall, this was a good read once it got going for me. Nice thriller with an interesting plot. Nonstop action with some interesting twists thrown in the plot. If you like medical thrillers, check this one out.

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