Action-packed, thrilling and just credible enough.

THE SILENT MAN

CIA superagent John Wells (The Ghost War, 2008, etc.) returns in another well-crafted thriller.

When his people botch a hit on Wells, ruthless international weapons dealer Pierre Kowalski knows he needs to think fast of something valuable to trade for his skin. Wells isn't one to let something like this slide, especially since his fiancée Jennifer Exley was caught in the crossfire. In exchange for a truce, Kowalski decides to let Wells in on a rumor that's been making the rounds lately, something about an unspecified quantity of highly enriched uranium that the Russians seem to have lost. Wells, who already has had some considerable success when it comes to saving the country from grave national threats, takes the bait. Soon he and the rest of the federal government are scrambling to find out who has the uranium, how much they have and what they’re planning on doing with it. You could arch your eyebrows at the hero’s God-like hand-to-hand combat abilities, or the circumstances that conspire to place the same agent between the United States and total ruin more than once in the span of a few short years. It might be considered overkill that Wells is lustily ogled by every female in the book, from the supermodel to the tanning-booth attendant. And low groans are definitely in order for the tenuous clue that leads him to the book’s climactic conclusion. But please groan quietly, so as not to spoil everyone’s fun. Berenson earns his reader’s suspension of disbelief with a relentless plot and many expertly wrought white-knuckle thrills along the way.

Action-packed, thrilling and just credible enough.

Pub Date: Feb. 10, 2009

ISBN: 978-0-399-15538-3

Page Count: 432

Publisher: Putnam

Review Posted Online: May 20, 2010

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Jan. 15, 2009

Did you like this book?

No Comments Yet

Brown’s ear for Texas dialect and her earnest characterizations of cynical lawmen with stout hearts make for an enjoyable...

TOUGH CUSTOMER

A manhunt for a homicidal stalker reunites an ex-cop and his long-lost daughter, in Brown’s latest thriller (Rainwater, 2009).

Private eye Dodge Hanley, who left the Houston police for Atlanta years before, is summoned back to Texas by his long-ago flame Caroline King, now a successful realtor. Caroline wants Dodge, who once rescued her from an abusive fiancé, to lend his sleuthing skills to find Oren Starks, the man who burst in on her daughter Berry and Berry’s co-worker Ben at Caroline’s lake house near the small town of Merritt. Shooting and wounding Ben, Oren fled, but not before vowing to murder Berry. A dismissed co-worker at the Houston marketing firm where Berry and Ben work, Oren was unhinged by his thwarted efforts to woo Berry and another colleague, Sally Buckland. Dodge (who, unbeknownst to Berry, is her father) and local deputy Ski Nyland join forces to track Oren down. Ski’s call to Sally finds her strangely reluctant to corroborate her previous claim of sexual harassment against Oren, perhaps because Oren has a gun to her head during the call. Despite a leg injury sustained at Caroline’s house, Oren confounds pursuers by somehow managing to be in several places at once. He breaks into a Merritt motel room, fatally wounding a teenager who surprises him there. Sally’s body is found hanging in the closet of Berry’s Houston home. Oren takes an elderly couple hostage in a campground, and kills again before disappearing into the Big Thicket, a treacherous, swampy national park. Brown’s trademark romance spiced with raunch serves her well as she orchestrates two parallel lust stories: Caroline’s and Dodge’s passionate but brief encounter in 1978, and the present frisson between Berry and Dodge’s younger doppelgänger, hard-boiled cop Ski. The narrative, slowed by too many talky scenes and descriptive filler, eventually rewards readers’ patience with a bang-up surprise ending. 

Brown’s ear for Texas dialect and her earnest characterizations of cynical lawmen with stout hearts make for an enjoyable summer read.

Pub Date: Aug. 12, 2010

ISBN: 978-1-4165-6310-5

Page Count: 400

Publisher: Simon & Schuster

Review Posted Online: June 22, 2010

Kirkus Reviews Issue: July 15, 2010

Did you like this book?

No Comments Yet

Amateurish, with a twist savvy readers will see coming from a mile away.

Reader Votes

  • Readers Vote
  • 14

  • New York Times Bestseller

  • IndieBound Bestseller

THE SILENT PATIENT

A woman accused of shooting her husband six times in the face refuses to speak.

"Alicia Berenson was thirty-three years old when she killed her husband. They had been married for seven years. They were both artists—Alicia was a painter, and Gabriel was a well-known fashion photographer." Michaelides' debut is narrated in the voice of psychotherapist Theo Faber, who applies for a job at the institution where Alicia is incarcerated because he's fascinated with her case and believes he will be able to get her to talk. The narration of the increasingly unrealistic events that follow is interwoven with excerpts from Alicia's diary. Ah, yes, the old interwoven diary trick. When you read Alicia's diary you'll conclude the woman could well have been a novelist instead of a painter because it contains page after page of detailed dialogue, scenes, and conversations quite unlike those in any journal you've ever seen. " 'What's the matter?' 'I can't talk about it on the phone, I need to see you.' 'It's just—I'm not sure I can make it up to Cambridge at the minute.' 'I'll come to you. This afternoon. Okay?' Something in Paul's voice made me agree without thinking about it. He sounded desperate. 'Okay. Are you sure you can't tell me about it now?' 'I'll see you later.' Paul hung up." Wouldn't all this appear in a diary as "Paul wouldn't tell me what was wrong"? An even more improbable entry is the one that pins the tail on the killer. While much of the book is clumsy, contrived, and silly, it is while reading passages of the diary that one may actually find oneself laughing out loud.

Amateurish, with a twist savvy readers will see coming from a mile away.

Pub Date: Feb. 5, 2019

ISBN: 978-1-250-30169-7

Page Count: 304

Publisher: Celadon Books

Review Posted Online: Nov. 4, 2018

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Nov. 15, 2018

Did you like this book?

more