Reviewed by Timea Barabas
In his Random Targets, James Raven addresses the archaic human need to understand. He sadistically taps into our fear of the unknown, so if you like to be tortured by suspense, this crime novel is just for you.
It all starts with a bang. James Raven picks up the readers with his first lines and drops them in the middle of a traffic jam. We enter this world through smoke and fire and we are greeted by chaos and a mass of confused and wounded people. It is mostly up to a team of detectives lead by Detective Chief Inspector Jeff Temple, to solve what evolves into a chain of sniper attacks on motorways near London. Their pool of suspects is wide enough to include both therrosists and rogue soldiers. At first, the only clues they have are those intentionally left behind by the killer. He or she taunts the police with a series of messages left near the crime scenes.
“There’s something deliciously impersonal about murdering total strangers at random” writes James Raven and his killer seems to be addicted to this taste. Usually, there is a reason behind the choice of victims, they are either known to the criminal, and he attacks them to solve some personal conflict, or they are not known, but they either remind him of someone who the killer is in conflict with, or they simply serve as pawns to accomplish his plan. But in this case, the sniper had a godlike power in determining who dies and who lives. He apparently chose people from the motorways at random, crossing the lines of gender and age. This unpredictability is what made these series of events so terrifying.