Third Degree, by Greg Iles

Third Degree by Greg Iles: Book CoverFinished 1-7-11, rating 2.5/5, thriller, 466 pages, pub. 2007

“You’re lying,” Warren said, still clutching the gun beside his leg.  “I have to say, that’s the last thing I expected from you.”

Laurel refused to acknowledge the gun’s existence, yet it filled her mind with terrifying power.  Where had Warren gotten a pistol?  He owned a rifle and a shotgun, but so far as she knew, there wasn’t a single handgun in the house.  Yet he was holding on now.  Should she acknowledge it?  Was it riskier to pretend the gun wasn’t there?  Would that reinforce the idea that she was lying?  Warren was almost hiding it from her, though.  For now, she decided, she would pretend she hadn’t seen it.

Chapter 5

Laurel had been having an affair for a year before she broke it off when Danny refused to leave his wife.  Now, five weeks later, Laurel has just found out she is pregnant and she doesn’t know who the father is.  She goes home early from work with a migraine and finds her husband waiting for her with a gun.  So, begins a long day of killing, sacrificing, lying, hostages, and discovery. 

I did not like Laurel.  She had two kids and was having an affair with the father of her autistic student.  She was angry that he hadn’t left his wife when he said he would and her pregnancy was just the icing on the cake.  I did not like her husband, Warren, who was clearly off his rocker and I did not like Danny, although he was supposed to be a sympathetic figure.  The fact that all three of these adults had such little regard for the kids made me angry.  I think I was supposed to see all the shades of gray of each of these characters, but some of their actions were so black and white that it was hard to make excuses for them.

Even with all that being said, Iles does know how to write a gripping thriller, so I did finish it, but I really wasn’t all that caught up in all the drama.  I’ve loved the other Iles books I’ve read but this one didn’t do it for me.

This book was from my personal library.