Though it’s good to see Holt's detective back in the saddle, her return case is tangled and forgettable, with the most...


Franchise owner Holt (Blind Goddess, 2016, etc.) teams up with Reiss-Andersen to bring Chief Inspector Hanne Wilhelmsen back from her grief-soaked stay in Verona to rejoin Oslo’s Violent Crime Section.

The murder of Brede Ziegler is anything but straightforward. Norway’s best-known chef stepped on a million toes to achieve celebrity status. His wife of six months, Vilde Veierland Ziegler, was barely half his age, and the boyfriend she threw over for him is still very much in the picture. Ziegler was stabbed to death with a knife whose pedigree is almost as exalted as his own. And his body was left on the unused back staircase of the Police Security Service. Fortunately, the mystery just happens to coincide with Hanne’s sense that she’s retreated to chaste seclusion to mourn her late partner, Cecilie Vibe, for long enough and her sudden eagerness to return, though the circumstances under which she left Chief Inspector Billy T. and her other colleagues make her wonder whether she still has a job. Welcomed warmly back to Violent Crimes, though not to Billy T.’s friendship, Hanne is on hand for still further complications: the news that Ziegler recently had himself sterilized, hints of financial shenanigans at Entré, his exclusive restaurant, and post-mortem revelations that indicate that if he hadn’t been stabbed to death, he would almost certainly have died from the poison someone had given him. But the most notable job she does as a police detective is to extract a statement from a killer who’s only too willing to talk.

Though it’s good to see Holt's detective back in the saddle, her return case is tangled and forgettable, with the most intriguing features sadly underdeveloped.

Pub Date: Sept. 20, 2016

ISBN: 9781501123351

Page Count: 336

Publisher: Scribner

Review Posted Online: July 4, 2016

Kirkus Reviews Issue: July 15, 2016

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One of her best. Poirot, again on vacation, falls foul of a murder on board a Nile river steamer, followed by two successive murders, obviously connected. A sophisticated group, an ingenious plot, clever deduction, swift-paced narrative. A little romance on the side lends glamour. First rate entertainment.

Pub Date: Feb. 8, 1938

ISBN: 0062073559

Page Count: 354

Publisher: Dodd, Mead

Review Posted Online: Sept. 20, 2011

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Feb. 1, 1938

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Proficient but eminently predictable. Amid all the time shifts and embedded backstories, the most surprising feature is how...

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A convicted killer’s list of five people he wants dead runs the gamut from the wife he’s already had murdered to franchise heroine Ali Reynolds.

Back in the day, women came from all over to consult Santa Clarita fertility specialist Dr. Edward Gilchrist. Many of them left his care happily pregnant, never dreaming that the father of the babies they carried was none other than the physician himself, who donated his own sperm rather than that of the handsome, athletic, disease-free men pictured in his scrapbook. When Alexandra Munsey’s son, Evan, is laid low by the kidney disease he’s inherited from his biological father and she returns to Gilchrist in search of the donor’s medical records, the roof begins to fall in on him. By the time it’s done falling, he’s serving a life sentence in Folsom Prison for commissioning the death of his wife, Dawn, the former nurse and sometime egg donor who’d turned on him. With nothing left to lose, Gilchrist tattoos himself with the initials of five people he blames for his fall: Dawn; Leo Manuel Aurelio, the hit man he’d hired to dispose of her; Kaitlyn Todd, the nurse/receptionist who took Dawn’s place; Alex Munsey, whose search for records upset his apple cart; and Ali Reynolds, the TV reporter who’d helped put Alex in touch with the dozen other women who formed the Progeny Project because their children looked just like hers. No matter that Ali’s been out of both California and the news business for years; Gilchrist and his enablers know that revenge can’t possibly be served too cold. Wonder how far down that list they’ll get before Ali, aided once more by Frigg, the methodical but loose-cannon AI first introduced in Duel to the Death (2018), turns on them?

Proficient but eminently predictable. Amid all the time shifts and embedded backstories, the most surprising feature is how little the boundary-challenged AI, who gets into the case more or less inadvertently, differs from your standard human sidekick with issues.

Pub Date: April 2, 2019

ISBN: 978-1-5011-5101-9

Page Count: 352

Publisher: Gallery Books/Simon & Schuster

Review Posted Online: Feb. 19, 2019

Kirkus Reviews Issue: March 1, 2019

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