Expert prose, brisk pacing, and a complex plot. But what really makes this first of a series Edison’s (Frames Per Second,...

THE REPO

Having blotted his copybook, ex-DEA agent Jack Merchant is spending early retirement desultorily skippering his sloop Lila in and around the marinas of Charleston, Mass., looking forward to not much. His life is on hold: He knows it, hates it, seems stuck with it until the sudden entrance of repo woman Sarah Ballard, holder of past due “bank paper” on the Lila. Sarah and Jack are not strangers to each other. Five years after their paths crossed in a way that brought them close for a while, Sarah’s used the threat of repossession as an obvious pretext to engineer a reunion because she needs Jack’s help. Owner of a struggling business, she’s a make-or-break client with an assignment she fears might be too great a stretch. MassBank wants her to find bank VP Paul Baylor and his wife, a thoroughly respectable, well-heeled young couple who’ve made off in their boat, very possibly with a pile of MassBank cash. Get results in a week, Sarah’s been told, or consider yourself repo non grata. Teaming up efficiently, Sarah and Jack locate the Baylors, but that proves much easier than tangling with the spider they find at work, perverted, pernicious, poisonous, weaving his tangled web for the Baylors—and, as it turns out, for Sarah and Jack as well.

Expert prose, brisk pacing, and a complex plot. But what really makes this first of a series Edison’s (Frames Per Second, 1999, etc.) best yet are the flawed, hurt, exceptionally sympathetic central players.

Pub Date: June 1, 2003

ISBN: 1-932112-11-1

Page Count: 312

Publisher: N/A

Review Posted Online: May 20, 2010

Kirkus Reviews Issue: April 1, 2003

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An undisciplined but powerfully lacerating story, by an author who knows every block of the neighborhood and every hair on...

MYSTIC RIVER

After five adventures for Boston shamus Patrick Kenzie and his off-again lover Angela Gennaro (Prayers for Rain, 1999, etc.), Lehane tries his hand at a crossover novel that’s as dark as any of Patrick’s cases.

Even the 1975 prologue is bleak. Sean Devine and Jimmy Marcus are playing, or fighting, outside Sean’s parents’ house in the Point neighborhood of East Buckingham when a car pulls up, one of the two men inside flashes a badge, and Sean and Jimmy’s friend Dave Boyle gets bundled inside, allegedly to be driven home to his mother for a scolding but actually to get kidnapped. Though Dave escapes after a few days, he never really outlives his ordeal, and 25 years later it’s Jimmy’s turn to join him in hell when his daughter Katie is shot and beaten to death in the wilds of Pen Park, and State Trooper Sean, just returned from suspension, gets assigned to the case. Sean knows that both Dave and Jimmy have been in more than their share of trouble in the past. And he’s got an especially close eye on Jimmy, whose marriage brought him close to the aptly named Savage family and who’s done hard time for robbery. It would be just like Jimmy, Sean knows, to ignore his friend’s official efforts and go after the killer himself. But Sean would be a lot more worried if he knew what Dave’s wife Celeste knows: that hours after catching sight of Katie in the last bar she visited on the night of her death, Dave staggered home covered with somebody else’s blood. Burrowing deep into his three sorry heroes and the hundred ties that bind them unbearably close, Lehane weaves such a spellbinding tale that it’s easy to overlook the ramshackle mystery behind it all.

An undisciplined but powerfully lacerating story, by an author who knows every block of the neighborhood and every hair on his characters’ heads.

Pub Date: Jan. 30, 2001

ISBN: 0-688-16316-5

Page Count: 416

Publisher: Morrow/HarperCollins

Review Posted Online: May 20, 2010

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Dec. 15, 2000

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Joe’s fifth case is his best balanced, most deeply felt and most mystifying to date: an absolute must.

OUT OF RANGE

Crime-fighting Wyoming game warden Joe Pickett outdoes himself during a temporary transfer from sleepy Saddlestring to fashionable Jackson Hole.

Will Jensen, the Jackson game warden, was a great guy and a model warden, but once his wife left him six months ago, he spiraled into madness and suicide, and now Joe’s been called to replace him. The transition is anything but smooth. There’s no question of Joe’s family coming with him, so he’s reduced to hoping he can get a signal for the cell-phone calls he squeezes into his busy schedule. En route to his new posting, Joe has to pursue a marauding grizzly. He arrives to meet a formidable series of challenges. Cantankerous outfitter Smoke Van Horn wants to go on attracting elk with illegal salt licks without the new warden’s interference. Animal Liberation Network activist Pi Stevenson wants him to publicize her cause and adopt a vegan diet. Developer Don Ennis wants to open a housing development for millionaires who like their meat free of additives. Ennis’s trophy wife Stella simply wants Joe—and he wants her back. As he wrestles with these demands, and with a supervisor riled over Joe’s track record of destroying government property in pursuit of bad guys (Trophy Hunt, 2004, etc.), Joe slowly becomes convinced that Will did not kill himself.

Joe’s fifth case is his best balanced, most deeply felt and most mystifying to date: an absolute must.

Pub Date: May 5, 2005

ISBN: 0-399-15291-1

Page Count: 320

Publisher: Putnam

Review Posted Online: May 20, 2010

Kirkus Reviews Issue: April 1, 2005

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