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KNOCK KNOCK

Roslund’s fourth has punchy prose and plot twists that readers expecting another brooding Scandinavian noir won’t see coming.

A veteran Swedish detective is forced to revisit the most disturbing case of his career.

After Detective Ewert Grens carried 5-year-old Zana Lilaj from the scene of her family’s massacre, he investigated the crime in vain, even with Zana as an eyewitness. Seventeen years later, DI Grens, who’s on the verge of retirement, can’t refuse the request of his abrasive boss, Mariana Hermansson, to investigate a burglary that's just occurred at the same address. His hopes that this is a coincidence are dashed when he discovers that his notes on the earlier crime have been stolen from the locked police archive. He soon determines that Zana’s life is in danger. Meanwhile, former police informant Piet Hoffmann revels in the domestic bliss of life with his wife, Zofia, and their three young children following his criminal past. All this is shattered when he sees his son Rasmus playing with a hand grenade that arrived in a package addressed to the boy. This unsubtle message is followed by even more literal and threatening ones. After Piet takes his family into hiding, he appeals to his old friend Grens. Although Roslund deftly brings the two cases together, readers hooked by the high stakes and urgency in the early chapters may be impatient with set pieces and narrow escapes that feel like smoke. When Grens finally locates Zana in a new location with a new identity, he’s in for a surprise that adds yet another wrinkle to the case.

Roslund’s fourth has punchy prose and plot twists that readers expecting another brooding Scandinavian noir won’t see coming.

Pub Date: Jan. 19, 2021

ISBN: 978-0-593-18821-7

Page Count: 448

Publisher: Putnam

Review Posted Online: Nov. 17, 2020

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Dec. 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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IDENTITY

Roberts revisits a favorite theme: The power of community can defeat a great evil.

After escaping from a serial killer, a woman tries to reclaim her life.

After a childhood as an Army brat, Morgan Albright is determined to put down roots. She bought a small house in the perfect neighborhood outside of Baltimore, living with a friend and working two jobs to make ends meet. Morgan’s life is happy and fulfilling, and she is making progress on her financial and career goals. Her perfect world is shattered when someone breaks into her home and murders her roommate. At first, the police assume it was a random act of violence, but after discovering the killer stole Morgan’s identity and her entire savings, they realize the crime fits the profile of a serial killer named Gavin Rozwell. The police inform Morgan that her roommate was simply in the wrong place at the wrong time; she was the real intended target. Morgan’s grief, coupled with the financial devastation from the identity theft, leaves her no choice but to return home to Vermont to live with her mother and grandmother. Morgan reconnects with her family and rebuilds her life, including landing the perfect job and falling in love. The police and FBI pursue Gavin, who continues to stalk and kill women, each time leaving a reminder at the crime scene that shows he’s fixated on Morgan as the one who got away. Roberts shows Gavin’s slow descent into obsession and madness as the inverse of Morgan’s healing journey back to herself and her community. The novel highlights Morgan’s preparations for the inevitable final countdown with Gavin, but the lack of immediacy and urgency of the threat makes for a subdued, restrained thriller.

Roberts revisits a favorite theme: The power of community can defeat a great evil.

Pub Date: May 23, 2023

ISBN: 9781250284112

Page Count: 448

Publisher: St. Martin's

Review Posted Online: March 27, 2023

Kirkus Reviews Issue: April 15, 2023

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