As so often before, Mayor traverses the Green Mountain State from end to end piling on complications and subplots that fans...



“We’re talking Shakespearean tragedy here,” says teammate Sammie Martens, evaluating Joe Gunther of the Vermont Bureau of Investigation’s latest carnival of crime. Well, yes and no.

It begins quietly, with the discovery of a Jane Doe beaten to death and dumped along a mountain trail. And it continues quietly for a while, with the identification of the victim as working girl Teri Parker, the news that she was pregnant, and the confession of Mick Durocher, caught on surveillance cameras driving the four-wheeler that dumped the corpse near the peak of Bromley Mountain, that he killed the girl as well. But Joe and his teammates (Trace, 2017, etc.) aren’t satisfied with Mick’s confession, which begins with the implausible premise that this sad sack had had an extended relationship with a beautiful young woman and then gets so many details of the crime itself wrong. As they continue to hunt Teri’s killer, a plague of new crimes breaks out, many of them acts of sabotage against GreenField, an independent, but still corporate, grocer (think Whole Foods) under the control of founder Robert Beaupré and his dysfunctional family. Somebody dubbed J.R. has declared open season on GreenField’s physical plant, including its fleet of delivery trucks. As if those weren’t troubles enough, there’s a literal plague as well. The improbable appearance of the Ebola virus at Upper Valley Surgical Services, where senior nurse Victoria Garlanda has recently recruited Sue Spinney, the wife of Joe’s VBI buddy Lester Spinney, leaves Victoria herself gravely ill even though she never came into direct contact with the afflicted patient. No wonder Joe grouses, “I just keep going in circles on this damned case.” Or cases.

As so often before, Mayor traverses the Green Mountain State from end to end piling on complications and subplots that fans won’t expect to see any more neatly tied together than the collected works of William Shakespeare.

Pub Date: Sept. 25, 2018

ISBN: 978-1-250-11328-3

Page Count: 320

Publisher: Minotaur

Review Posted Online: July 2, 2018

Kirkus Reviews Issue: July 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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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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