Next book


A kick-ass thriller from start to finish.

There’s red-hot action from the get-go in the ninth novel in the late W.E.B. Griffin’s newly revived Presidential Agent series.

In Cairo, terrorists murder the U.S. ambassador and kidnap Secretary of State Frank Malone, delivering a clear message that the U.S. can’t protect its own. They hold him for ransom and to gain power for themselves in Sudan, where they have spirited him. Oddly, the terrorists’ real goal is to get Sudan removed from the state sponsor of terror list. President Natalie Cohen will have none of this and decides to reinstate the secret Presidential Agent Program and bring the 57-year-old black ops asset Carlos “Charley” Guillermo Castillo out of retirement. He's paired with much younger Marine Raiders Capt. P.K. "Pick" McCoy, who will train in the field to one day be the next Presidential Agent. As expected, there is the old guy–young guy conflict: Is the kid too green?versus Can the old fart keep up with me?Castillo promises the president he'll bring Malone home, but it won’t be easy. A whole lot of bad guys will have to take a bullet, and McCoy proves himself more than up to the task. While Castillo is still the best at what he does, his Marine understudy is a “one-man killing machine” and a “one-man annihilation machine” given to “Captain America bullshit.” And speaking of bovine droppings, he amuses a CIA spook by insisting that he is not a killer. “Being good at killing isn’t what makes you a killer…I take no joy in it.” Oh right, like he hates his job. But the duo seems to take it in stride when "body parts, hot and wet, rained down on them.” Meanwhile, President Cohen hopes that Charley Castillo and his “Merry Outlaws” will show terrorists what happens when you mess with the United States of America. So don’t mind all the blood; it mostly comes from the other guys.

A kick-ass thriller from start to finish.

Pub Date: Dec. 7, 2021

ISBN: 978-0-399-17121-5

Page Count: 432

Publisher: Putnam

Review Posted Online: Oct. 12, 2021

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Nov. 1, 2021

Next book


A weird, wild ride.

Celebrity scandal and a haunted lake drive the narrative in this bestselling author’s latest serving of subtly ironic suspense.

Sager’s debut, Final Girls (2017), was fun and beautifully crafted. His most recent novels—Home Before Dark (2020) and Survive the Night (2021) —have been fun and a bit rickety. His new novel fits that mold. Narrator Casey Fletcher grew up watching her mother dazzle audiences, and then she became an actor herself. While she never achieves the “America’s sweetheart” status her mother enjoyed, Casey makes a career out of bit parts in movies and on TV and meatier parts onstage. Then the death of her husband sends her into an alcoholic spiral that ends with her getting fired from a Broadway play. When paparazzi document her substance abuse, her mother exiles her to the family retreat in Vermont. Casey has a dry, droll perspective that persists until circumstances overwhelm her, and if you’re getting a Carrie Fisher vibe from Casey Fletcher, that is almost certainly not an accident. Once in Vermont, she passes the time drinking bourbon and watching the former supermodel and the tech mogul who live across the lake through a pair of binoculars. Casey befriends Katherine Royce after rescuing her when she almost drowns and soon concludes that all is not well in Katherine and Tom’s marriage. Then Katherine disappears….It would be unfair to say too much about what happens next, but creepy coincidences start piling up, and eventually, Casey has to face the possibility that maybe some of the eerie legends about Lake Greene might have some truth to them. Sager certainly delivers a lot of twists, and he ventures into what is, for him, new territory. Are there some things that don’t quite add up at the end? Maybe, but asking that question does nothing but spoil a highly entertaining read.

A weird, wild ride.

Pub Date: June 21, 2022

ISBN: 978-0-593-18319-9

Page Count: 368

Publisher: Dutton

Review Posted Online: March 29, 2022

Kirkus Reviews Issue: April 15, 2022

Next book


Dark and unsettling, this novel’s end arrives abruptly even as readers are still moving at a breakneck speed.

Ten years after her teenage daughter went missing, a mother begins a new relationship only to discover she can't truly move on until she answers lingering questions about the past.

Laurel Mack’s life stopped in many ways the day her 15-year-old daughter, Ellie, left the house to study at the library and never returned. She drifted away from her other two children, Hanna and Jake, and eventually she and her husband, Paul, divorced. Ten years later, Ellie’s remains and her backpack are found, though the police are unable to determine the reasons for her disappearance and death. After Ellie’s funeral, Laurel begins a relationship with Floyd, a man she meets in a cafe. She's disarmed by Floyd’s charm, but when she meets his young daughter, Poppy, Laurel is startled by her resemblance to Ellie. As the novel progresses, Laurel becomes increasingly determined to learn what happened to Ellie, especially after discovering an odd connection between Poppy’s mother and her daughter even as her relationship with Floyd is becoming more serious. Jewell’s (I Found You, 2017, etc.) latest thriller moves at a brisk pace even as she plays with narrative structure: The book is split into three sections, including a first one which alternates chapters between the time of Ellie’s disappearance and the present and a second section that begins as Laurel and Floyd meet. Both of these sections primarily focus on Laurel. In the third section, Jewell alternates narrators and moments in time: The narrator switches to alternating first-person points of view (told by Poppy’s mother and Floyd) interspersed with third-person narration of Ellie’s experiences and Laurel’s discoveries in the present. All of these devices serve to build palpable tension, but the structure also contributes to how deeply disturbing the story becomes. At times, the characters and the emotional core of the events are almost obscured by such quick maneuvering through the weighty plot.

Dark and unsettling, this novel’s end arrives abruptly even as readers are still moving at a breakneck speed.

Pub Date: April 24, 2018

ISBN: 978-1-5011-5464-5

Page Count: 368

Publisher: Atria

Review Posted Online: Feb. 5, 2018

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Feb. 15, 2018

Close Quickview