The 10th in Gray’s popular Glasgow series (A Pound of Flesh, 2012, etc.) is sure to please fans as it continues to delve...

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THE SWEDISH GIRL

Four university students are thrilled to be sharing a luxury flat until their fifth roommate is murdered.

Stunning Eva Magnusson’s wealthy father doesn’t let grass grow under his feet. First he buys her a posh flat in Glasgow when she moves there from Sweden to do a course at the university; then he personally vets her flatmates: policeman’s daughter Kirsty Wilson, a nurturing young woman who loves to cook; quiet, young Colin Young, a budding writer; hefty Roger Dunbar, a useful sort to have around; and Gary Calderwood, an Englishman closest to Eva in social class. When Kirsty finds Eva beaten and strangled, all her flatmates are forced to dig deep into their hidden thoughts about her. The police find that Eva had sex shortly before her death, and when DNA proves it was with Colin, DI Jo Grant arrests him for murder. Certain that he’s innocent, Kirsty goes to her father’s boss, Detective Superintendent Lorimer, to ask for his help. But he can’t get Colin out of prison and only angers Grant when he asks her to dig deeper. The beating and strangling of several other pretty young blondes opens the possibility that Colin’s innocent. When Lorimer encourages Kristy to search Eva’s room and ask questions about her life, she’s shocked to learn that Eva has had sex with all her male flatmates plus any number of other men. Lorimer also enlists his friend professor Solomon Brightman, a psychologist and criminal profiler who’s helped him with other cases. Brightman interviews Colin and does think him innocent but also thinks that whoever is killing the other young women did not kill Eva. So Kirsty’s left to continue her amateur sleuthing while the professionals hunt down every clue in hopes of finding a killer or two.

The 10th in Gray’s popular Glasgow series (A Pound of Flesh, 2012, etc.) is sure to please fans as it continues to delve into the lives of the cops who solve the tricky mysteries he sets them.

Pub Date: Jan. 9, 2018

ISBN: 978-0-06-265925-5

Page Count: 368

Publisher: Witness Impulse

Review Posted Online: Nov. 13, 2017

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Dec. 1, 2017

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Forget about solving all these crimes; the signal triumph here is (spoiler) the heroine’s survival.

A CONSPIRACY OF BONES

Another sweltering month in Charlotte, another boatload of mysteries past and present for overworked, overstressed forensic anthropologist Temperance Brennan.

A week after the night she chases but fails to catch a mysterious trespasser outside her town house, some unknown party texts Tempe four images of a corpse that looks as if it’s been chewed by wild hogs, because it has been. Showboat Medical Examiner Margot Heavner makes it clear that, breaking with her department’s earlier practice (The Bone Collection, 2016, etc.), she has no intention of calling in Tempe as a consultant and promptly identifies the faceless body herself as that of a young Asian man. Nettled by several errors in Heavner’s analysis, and even more by her willingness to share the gory details at a press conference, Tempe launches her own investigation, which is not so much off the books as against the books. Heavner isn’t exactly mollified when Tempe, aided by retired police detective Skinny Slidell and a host of experts, puts a name to the dead man. But the hints of other crimes Tempe’s identification uncovers, particularly crimes against children, spur her on to redouble her efforts despite the new M.E.’s splenetic outbursts. Before he died, it seems, Felix Vodyanov was linked to a passenger ferry that sank in 1994, an even earlier U.S. government project to research biological agents that could control human behavior, the hinky spiritual retreat Sparkling Waters, the dark web site DeepUnder, and the disappearances of at least four schoolchildren, two of whom have also turned up dead. And why on earth was Vodyanov carrying Tempe’s own contact information? The mounting evidence of ever more and ever worse skulduggery will pull Tempe deeper and deeper down what even she sees as a rabbit hole before she confronts a ringleader implicated in “Drugs. Fraud. Breaking and entering. Arson. Kidnapping. How does attempted murder sound?”

Forget about solving all these crimes; the signal triumph here is (spoiler) the heroine’s survival.

Pub Date: March 17, 2020

ISBN: 978-1-9821-3888-2

Page Count: 352

Publisher: Scribner

Review Posted Online: Dec. 23, 2019

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Jan. 15, 2020

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THE MIDNIGHT CLUB

Patterson's thrillers (Virgin, 1980; Black Market, 1986) have plummeted in quality since his promising debut in The Thomas Berryman Number (1976)—with this latest being the sorriest yet: a clanky and witless policer about a criminal mastermind and the cop sworn to take him down. Aside from watching sympathetic homicide dick John ("Stef") Stefanovich comeing to terms with a wheelchair-bound life—legacy of a shotgun blast to the back by drug-and-gun-running archfiend Alexandre St.-Germain—the major interest here lies in marvelling at the author's trashing of fiction convention. The whopper comes early: although St.-Germain is explicity described as being machine-gunned to death by three vigilante cops in a swank brothel (". . .a submachine gun blast nearly ripped off the head of Alexandre St.-Germain"; "The mobster's head and most of his neck had been savaged by the machine-gun volley. The body looked desecrated. . ."), before you know it this latter-day Moriarty is stepping unscathed out of an airplane. What gives? Authorial cheating, that's what—thinly glossed over with some mumbling later on about a "body double." Not that St.-Germain's ersatz death generated much suspense anyway, with subsequent action focusing on, among other items, the gory killings of assorted mob bosses by one of the vigilante cops, and Stef's viewing of pornographic tapes confiscated from that brothel. But readers generous enough to plod on will get to read about the newly Lazarus-ized St.-Germain's crass efforts to revitalize and consolidate the world's crime syndicates ("the Midnight Club"), Stef's predictable tumble for a sexy true-crime writer, and how (isn't one miracle enough for Patterson?) at book's end Stef walks again and gets to embrace a rogue cop who's murdered several people. Ironsides with a badge and a lobotomy.

Pub Date: Jan. 23, 1988

ISBN: 0446676411

Page Count: 384

Publisher: Little, Brown

Review Posted Online: Oct. 3, 2011

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Jan. 1, 1988

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