This agile thriller makes doing the right thing both nerve-wracking and exciting.


In this novel, a disenchanted man discovers he can go home again—but will he face a killer there?

McGlothlin introduces readers to John Kelton. Not ready to enter the family lumber business, John becomes a teacher in North Carolina. But after his father, Marvin, dies in a hunting accident, John heads home to Watauga, Tennessee. Also returning is his status-driven older brother, Mark, who has been estranged from their father. While John inherited Marvin’s liquid assets, Mark inherited 90% of the timber company. A local coal company with a questionable reputation has made an above-value offer for the business, and Mark is eager to accept and leave town. But John resolves to find a way to buy out Mark and preserve the local economy. His only ally is Elisa Endrizzi, a pretty broker helping him to raise the needed capital. John also finds his father’s death to be suspicious, but he can’t get anyone to believe him, starting with the local sheriff. The harder John pushes, the more he gets trapped in a conspiracy. At one point, he is jailed as a suspect in the death of his father’s flaky girlfriend. But John is determined to solve the mystery of Marvin’s death while simultaneously saving his family’s legacy and staying alive. In this complex mystery, McGlothlin successfully plays long-term corporate responsibility against short-term greed. Although no business executive, John wants to assist those living in his hometown while others profiting from the timber company, initially including his brother, are less concerned with the residents’ fates. John doesn’t help himself by throwing around half-cocked accusations, making enemies of those whose aid he might need. He quickly becomes the boy who cried wolf. But by kicking over every rock, he may eventually get to the truth. Unfortunately, none of the secondary characters are as well drawn as John, Elisa, and Mark. But McGlothlin skillfully muddies the waters with many suspects benefitting from Marvin’s death, which in part results in John’s scorched-earth approach. The story’s biggest drawback is that the true culprit becomes apparent far too soon. Still, the author’s fast-paced narrative makes this taut tale a quick, enjoyable read.

This agile thriller makes doing the right thing both nerve-wracking and exciting.

Pub Date: N/A


Page Count: 200

Publisher: Manuscript

Review Posted Online: June 22, 2020

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Not the best of Connelly’s procedurals, but nobody else does them better than his second-best.


A snap of the yo-yo string yanks Harry Bosch out of retirement yet again.

Los Angeles Councilman Jake Pearlman has resurrected the LAPD’s Open-Unsolved Unit in order to reopen the case of his kid sister, Sarah, whose 1994 murder was instantly eclipsed in the press by the O.J. Simpson case when it broke a day later. Since not even a councilor can reconstitute a police unit for a single favored case, Det. Renée Ballard and her mostly volunteer (read: unpaid) crew are expected to reopen some other cold cases as well, giving Bosch a fresh opportunity to gather evidence against Finbar McShane, the crooked manager he’s convinced executed industrial contractor Stephen Gallagher, his wife, and their two children in 2013 and buried them in a single desert grave. The case has haunted Bosch more than any other he failed to close, and he’s fine to work the Pearlman homicide if it’ll give him another crack at McShane. As it turns out, the Pearlman case is considerably more interesting—partly because the break that leads the unit to a surprising new suspect turns out to be both fraught and misleading, partly because identifying the killer is only the beginning of Bosch’s problems. The windup of the Gallagher murders, a testament to sweating every detail and following every lead wherever it goes, is more heartfelt but less wily and dramatic. Fans of the aging detective who fear that he might be mellowing will be happy to hear that “putting him on a team did not make him a team player.”

Not the best of Connelly’s procedurals, but nobody else does them better than his second-best.

Pub Date: Nov. 8, 2022

ISBN: 978-0-316-48565-4

Page Count: 400

Publisher: Little, Brown

Review Posted Online: Sept. 28, 2022

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Oct. 15, 2022

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Fascinating main characters and a clever plot add up to an exciting read.


A thriller with bloody murders and plenty of suspects and featuring an unlikely partnership between two FBI investigators.

FBI consultant Amos Decker has a lot on his mind. The huge fellow once played for the Cleveland Browns in the NFL until he received a catastrophic brain injury, leaving him with synesthesia; he sees death as electric blue. More pertinent to the plot, he also has hyperthymesia, or spontaneous and highly accurate recall. On the one hand, his memories can be horrible. He’d once come home to find his wife and daughter murdered, dead in pools of blood. Later, he listens helplessly on the telephone while his ex-partner shoots herself in the mouth. On the other hand, his memory helps him solve every case he's given. Now he's sent to Florida with a brand-new partner, Special Agent Frederica White, to investigate the murder of a federal judge. Both partners are pissed at their last-minute pairing, and they immediately see themselves as a bad fit. White is a diminutive Black single mother of two who has a double black belt in karate “because I hate getting my ass kicked.” (The author doesn't mention Decker's race, but since he's being contrasted with his new partner in every way, perhaps readers are expected to see him as White. Clarity would be nice.) Their case is strange: Judge Julia Cummins was stabbed 10 times and her face covered with a mask, while her bodyguard was shot to death. Decker and White puzzle over the “very contrarian crime scene” where two murders seem to have been committed by two different people in the same place. The plot gets complex, with suspects galore. But the interpersonal dynamic between Decker and White is just as interesting as the solution to the murders, which doesn't come easily. At first, they’d like to be done with each other and go their separate ways. But as they work together, their mutual respect rises and—alas—the tension between them fades almost completely. The pair will make a great series duo, especially if a bit of that initial tension between them returns. And Baldacci shouldn’t give Decker a pass on his tortured memories, because readers enjoy suffering heroes. It's not enough that his near-perfect recall helps him in his job.

Fascinating main characters and a clever plot add up to an exciting read.

Pub Date: Oct. 11, 2022

ISBN: 978-1-5387-1982-4

Page Count: 448

Publisher: Grand Central Publishing

Review Posted Online: Sept. 14, 2022

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Oct. 1, 2022

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