Frustrated small-town loan officer Kyle Schmidt turns to online chat for a brief escape from his bleak reality. His fleeting affair awakens his online partner, Shelly Ruzinski, from a life of abject loneliness, and unleashes a love that quickly evolves into a dangerous obsession. She leaves a trail of murders as signs of her undying devotion, forcing the beleaguered police chief and a boy with unique perceptive abilities to stop her before she commits the ultimate act of love.
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Est. Packaging Dimensions: Length: 8.4" Width: 5.4" Height: 0.7" Weight: 0.85 lbs.
Release Date Jun 1, 2007
Publisher Nightengale Press
ISBN 1933449462 ISBN13 9781933449463
A nail-biting, twenty-first century chiller. Nov 4, 2007
Net Loss is a thrilling suspense story of an online connection turned desperate and deadly. Chicago native Kyle Schmidt, consumed with anger for the citizens of a tiny Wisconsin town after two of its delinquents attack him and ruin his life, tries to forget himself in a brief online affair with Shelly Ruzinski, a miserable corporate wife. He moves on from the affair; she does not, and her burning desire to prove her love leads her to initiate a string of killings, starting with Kyle's assailants. Tyson Hendrick, an eleven-year-old witness to murder, cannot convince the beleaguered police chief that Shelly was responsible instead of Kyle; as events become ever more frantic, Kyle and Tyson must join forces to stop Shelly before her mad love drives her to the final sacrifice. A nail-biting, twenty-first century chiller.
Crazy Chick With Lots of Local Color Jul 27, 2007
To meekly add to that posted by the previous reviewer, Net Loss is a quality first novel written by someone with a deep understanding of the eccentricities of the Wisconsin mindset, and the ability to tell an increasingly compelling murder mystery thriller. In Net Loss we learn why we probably shouldn't consider a career in banking, that beer and ice fishing are REALLY important to certain strata in America's Dairyland, and that using web chats for romantic purposes can be problematic.
Hein begins with a withering look at his Wisconsin characters, then successfully builds storyline upon these losers and malcontents. The number of characters is large; the number of their foibles even larger. Still, by the end the reader is riveted as a grizzled cop and a mysterious boy wander through a snowy Wisconsin night (is there any other kind?) looking for a woman who a professional psychiatrist would clinically label as a "crazy chick".
If you like your chicks crazy, your social analysis barbed and poisonous, and a good chase through the snow thriller, Net Loss is a good book for you. Hein proves he can handle a complex plot engagingly, but perhaps even more interesting to readers farther from Lake Superior is his skill in relating Wisconsin life, icy warts and all.
Reviewed by Barb Radmore Jul 23, 2007
Kyle Schmidt is an unhappy man. He hates the small town in which he found a job, he hates his job as a collection agent for a bank and he is often not all that fond of his wife. His hobby is seducing and dumping women in on line chat rooms. He takes out his unhappiness on the delinquent clients who owe the bank money so he is also hated himself. In a short time he his beaten by two of these clients, loses his job and flees to lose the last of his money in a casino. He holes up in his motel room to lick his wounds and try to think of a plan for the future. But while he is alone in his hotel room the two men who beat him up are both brutally murdered. Kyle does not dare go back to town, sure that he will be blamed for the deaths.
Shelly Ruzinski is a lonely housewife. Her husband, who seemed to adore her when they got married, has turned into a distant yet demanding spouse. She finds solace in the on line chat rooms, especially by the man she has met there, the man of her dreams she only knows as Kyle. After a torrid on line seduction, she leaves her home to go to Kyle, convinced he is her man. As her trip progresses she spirals deeper and deeper into madness, reality is non existent. She no longer knows who she really is, just that she must find and protect Kyle at all costs. A small town police force is no match for her as the body count grows. It is only an eleven year old boy who sees the real her and must convince others to stop her.
The author has created a fascinating premise. His plot idea is strong. As an author he shows the characteristics of an able writer- he has developed his characters, his plot line is clear and concise and he is able to bring the story to an exploding climax. The use of multiple points of view lessens the story's impact. Each character, and there are many, steps in to tell his or her part of the tale. Letting action push the plot would have been more profitable to the potential of the story line. The characters are driven to a ending of redemption which, being thoroughly disagreeable people, they need. The characters are not ones with whom the reader can or wants to sympathize. The lone character of Tyson is the only sympathetic one, as an eleven year old boy he is left to carry the day for his elders.
It will be interesting to see what Tim Hein has planned next. His writing potential is evident. His next work will be worth checking out.