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YOU MAY NOW KILL THE BRIDE

An interesting but hard-to-follow thriller.

A death at a bachelorette party makes a group of childhood friends question what they know in this adult debut.

Tansy, Lauren, Farah, Saskia, and Dominica have been friends since elementary school. Thick as thieves since Dominica saved the rest from a bully on the playground, they are now in their mid-30s and in very different places in life: Saskia married rich and lords it over the others. Dominica is a hotshot divorce lawyer, always on her phone. Lauren makes do at a makeup company while mooning over her ex-boyfriend (and Farah’s brother), Joss. Farah’s long-awaited wedding is coming up but has been overshadowed by Tansy’s last-minute whirlwind marriage to a man she barely knows. At Tansy’s bachelorette party, emotions are simmering when what seems to be a tragic accident leaves one of them dead. But as the accident starts looking like murder and the friends try to carry on with Farah’s wedding preparations, each begins to wonder if one of them may be more than she seems. The book is full of twists and turns, swiftly pushing forward while dropping in short flashbacks of the girls’ growing-up years to flesh out their relationships, and it’s hard not to want to know exactly what’s going on. It can be hard to follow, however, as the point of view changes between paragraphs, sometimes within the same sentence. Though the characters are drawn with real depth, they spend their time showing their disgust with each other while telling the reader how close they are. The only thing that seems to connect them is the duration of their relationships, not the quality. Their friendship can be hard to believe.

An interesting but hard-to-follow thriller.

Pub Date: May 14, 2024

ISBN: 9780593731536

Page Count: 352

Publisher: Random House

Review Posted Online: March 23, 2024

Kirkus Reviews Issue: April 15, 2024

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DEVOLUTION

A tasty, if not always tasteful, tale of supernatural mayhem that fans of King and Crichton alike will enjoy.

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Are we not men? We are—well, ask Bigfoot, as Brooks does in this delightful yarn, following on his bestseller World War Z(2006).

A zombie apocalypse is one thing. A volcanic eruption is quite another, for, as the journalist who does a framing voice-over narration for Brooks’ latest puts it, when Mount Rainier popped its cork, “it was the psychological aspect, the hyperbole-fueled hysteria that had ended up killing the most people.” Maybe, but the sasquatches whom the volcano displaced contributed to the statistics, too, if only out of self-defense. Brooks places the epicenter of the Bigfoot war in a high-tech hideaway populated by the kind of people you might find in a Jurassic Park franchise: the schmo who doesn’t know how to do much of anything but tries anyway, the well-intentioned bleeding heart, the know-it-all intellectual who turns out to know the wrong things, the immigrant with a tough backstory and an instinct for survival. Indeed, the novel does double duty as a survival manual, packed full of good advice—for instance, try not to get wounded, for “injury turns you from a giver to a taker. Taking up our resources, our time to care for you.” Brooks presents a case for making room for Bigfoot in the world while peppering his narrative with timely social criticism about bad behavior on the human side of the conflict: The explosion of Rainier might have been better forecast had the president not slashed the budget of the U.S. Geological Survey, leading to “immediate suspension of the National Volcano Early Warning System,” and there’s always someone around looking to monetize the natural disaster and the sasquatch-y onslaught that follows. Brooks is a pro at building suspense even if it plays out in some rather spectacularly yucky episodes, one involving a short spear that takes its name from “the sucking sound of pulling it out of the dead man’s heart and lungs.” Grossness aside, it puts you right there on the scene.

A tasty, if not always tasteful, tale of supernatural mayhem that fans of King and Crichton alike will enjoy.

Pub Date: June 16, 2020

ISBN: 978-1-9848-2678-7

Page Count: 304

Publisher: Del Rey/Ballantine

Review Posted Online: Feb. 9, 2020

Kirkus Reviews Issue: March 1, 2020

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HOME IS WHERE THE BODIES ARE

Answers are hard to come by in this twisting tale designed to trick and delight.

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Three siblings on very different paths learn that their family home may be haunted by secrets.

Eldest daughter Beth is alone with her fading mother as she takes her final breath and says something about Beth’s long-departed brother and sister, who may not have disappeared forever. Beth is still reeling from the loss of her mother when her estranged siblings show up. Michael, the youngest, hasn’t been home since their father’s disappearance seven years ago. In the meantime, he’s outgrown his siblings, trading his share of the family troubles for a high-paying job in San Jose. Nicole, the middle child, has been overpowered by addiction and prioritized tuning out reality over any sense of responsibility, much to Beth’s disgust. Though their mother’s death marks an ending for the family, it’s also a beginning, as the three siblings realize when they find a disturbing videotape among their parents’ belongings. The video, from 1999, sheds suspicion on their father’s disappearance, linking it to a long-unsolved neighborhood mystery. Was it just a series of unfortunate circumstances that broke the family apart, or does something more sinister underlie the sadness they’ve all found in life? In chapters that rotate among the family’s first-person narratives, the siblings take turns digging up stories and secrets in their search for solace.

Answers are hard to come by in this twisting tale designed to trick and delight.

Pub Date: April 30, 2024

ISBN: 9798212182843

Page Count: 270

Publisher: Blackstone

Review Posted Online: Feb. 3, 2024

Kirkus Reviews Issue: March 1, 2024

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