Emery (Lament for Bonnie, 2016, etc.) populates 1995 Belfast so conscientiously and evokes its atmosphere so faithfully that...



Halifax attorney Monty Collins and his wife, professor Maura MacNeil, come to Ireland just in time to sink neck-deep in the latest round of the Troubles.

The beginning of 1995 finds Monty’s Dublin-born friend, Father Brennan Burke, visiting his Belfast relatives at the same time that Monty’s been embedded in a Belfast law firm. Their closeness brings the two old friends together, but not necessarily in the best ways. Although Monty’s been placed temporarily with Ellison Whiteside to do some boring commercial work, the departure of one of EW’s associates one step ahead of the law leaves a number of his criminal cases hanging, and Monty eagerly accepts the invitation to step into the breach. In the meantime, he’s been importuned by Katie Flanagan to find out what happened to her father, Eamon Flanagan, who supposedly drowned three years ago after a fall from the Ammon Road Bridge on the same night that Provo soldier Fritzy O’Dwyer was shot to death very close by. Although Monty wants no part of a case bound to earn him the enmity of either the Loyalists or the Unionists, he seems unable to help learning further details that scream coverup. Brennan, for his part, has grown close enough to his cousin Ronan Burke’s family that Ronan’s son Tomás confesses to him a murder he committed and asks both absolution and Brennan’s help in retrieving the murder weapon, which he hurriedly left years ago in a hiding place that’s all too vulnerable. The plot to recover the rifle predictably goes wrong, leaving Brennan hanging out to dry just as Monty has raised enough hackles to get himself and his friends gently but firmly threatened if he doesn’t drop the Flanagan case. The determination of each of the two old friends to protect the other by keeping him in ignorance ends up backfiring in a spectacular way.

Emery (Lament for Bonnie, 2016, etc.) populates 1995 Belfast so conscientiously and evokes its atmosphere so faithfully that the historical background ends up swallowing the plot she’s devised, which for all its twists and turns can’t possibly compete with the Troubles.

Pub Date: Oct. 16, 2018

ISBN: 978-1-77041-386-3

Page Count: 480

Publisher: ECW Press

Review Posted Online: July 31, 2018

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Aug. 15, 2018

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


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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An appealing new heroine, a fast-moving plot, and a memorably nightmarish family make this one of Box’s best.

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The creator of Wyoming Fish and Game Warden Joe Pickett (Wolf Pack, 2019, etc.) launches a new series starring a female private eye who messes with a powerful family and makes everyone involved rue the day.

Cassie Dewell’s been taking a monthly retainer from Bozeman attorney Rachel Mitchell for investigations of one sort and another, but she really doesn’t want to look into the case of Rachel’s newest client. That’s partly because Blake Kleinsasser, the fourth-generation firstborn of a well-established ranching family who moved to New York and made his own bundle before returning back home, comes across as a repellent jerk and partly because all the evidence indicates that he raped Franny Porché, his 15-year-old niece. And there’s plenty of evidence, from a rape kit showing his DNA to a lengthy, plausible statement from Franny. But Cassie owes Rachel, and Rachel tells her she doesn’t have to dig up exculpatory evidence, just follow the trail where it leads so that she can close off every other possibility. So Cassie agrees even though there’s an even more compelling reason not to: The Kleinsassers—Horst II and Margaret and their three other children, John Wayne, Rand, and Cheyenne, Franny’s thrice-divorced mother—are not only toxic, but viperishly dangerous to Blake and now Cassie. Everyone in Lochsa County, from Sheriff Ben Wagy on down, is in their pockets, and everyone Cassie talks to, from the Kleinsassers to the local law, finds new ways to make her life miserable. But Cassie, an ex-cop single mother, isn’t one to back down, especially since she wonders why anyone would take all the trouble to stop an investigation of a case that was as rock-solid as this one’s supposed to be.

An appealing new heroine, a fast-moving plot, and a memorably nightmarish family make this one of Box’s best.

Pub Date: Aug. 13, 2019

ISBN: 978-1-250-05105-9

Page Count: 320

Publisher: Minotaur

Review Posted Online: May 27, 2019

Kirkus Reviews Issue: June 15, 2019

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