JUMPER by Richard Barth
Thomas Dunne, St. Martin's Press, September 2000
Samual Garvey designs roller coasters. He's recovering from the loss of his wife and mixed reviews from his last coaster by building the greatest ride in the history of the world--a roller coaster where the carts actually fly across a free space. A call from Rachael White of the National Transport Safety Board highlights the danger of his profession. Someone is sabotaging roller coasters. Will the Jumper be next?
Garvey must balance his love for family, growing fascination with Rachael, and obsession with the Jumper with a search for the killers who have sabotaged coasters in the past and are now threating him. Using both his engineering talent and the assistance of a roller coaster enthusiast/banker, Garvey must also discover who could possibly benefit from tragedy.
Richard Barth makes the world of roller coaster construction fascinating and vital. The different methods his killers use to sabotage different coasters are intriguing and informative. Certainly JUMPER readers will enjoy a new sense of anticipation the next time they visit an amusement park. Barth, perhaps aware that his readers will be more interested in flying metal than in accounting, brushes more lightly over the financial analysis needed to uncover the criminals. The climactic scene at the first running of the Jumper totally involves the reader's emotions.
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