Picks and Pans Review: Death Match

UPDATED 05/31/2004 at 01:00 AM EDT Originally published 05/31/2004 at 01:00 AM EDT

By Lincoln Child

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Eden Incorporated is a hush-hush computer dating service with a fee of $25,000 per person and more than 924,000 satisfied customers—give or take a few. When two of its "perfect" couples commit double suicide in quick succession, the empire's founders turn to Christopher Lash, a forensic psychologist whose life has been touched by tragedy. In this page-turning techno-thriller, the vulnerable Lash (whose marriage shattered after the FBI put him on the trail of a serial killer) is a compelling hero as he roots out the trouble in romantic paradise. Aside from creating flesh-and-blood characters, Child (author of Utopia) conquers the complexities of artificial intelligence—fueling the plot with material usually comprehensible only to technogeeks. And despite the sinister twists at Eden Inc., he leaves readers with the hope that, somewhere, there may be a perfect match for us all.

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