Thriller fans will love the ticking-clock action.

THE DEVIL'S RANSOM

Pike Logan and his extra-Constitutional Taskforce save the day in their 17th book-length outing.

It’s 2021, and Afghanistan is falling. The Taliban wants to capture mortal enemy Jahn Azimi before he escapes their clutches, which he does with help from Logan and his crew. Aside from having killed many Taliban, Jahn has the Bactrian Treasure (yes, this is a real thing, a pile of ancient gold coins said to be worth billions of dollars). The Taliban want both the man and the gold “really bad.” Blood flows, of course. Meanwhile, bad guys test “zero-click” ransomware on a Washington, D.C., consulting company that happens to have ties to the U.S. intelligence community, but that’s just a dry run for a much bigger show. A private enterprise plans to send some rich dilettantes into space to dock with the International Space Station. Criminals plan to spoil that flight in spectacular and deadly fashion unless the American government tells them where the treasure is. “This attack is going to make worldwide news,” a conspirator says. “It's going to cause America to go nuts.” Which is why President Hannister takes decisive action: “I want Pike Logan operational right now.” Much of the action takes place in Croatia, where Logan accurately says, “I'm probably going to go kinetic here.” The administration’s confidence is well placed: “I know it sounds strange,” an official says, “but that guy is never wrong.” Logan is a fun hero to follow, given that he only slaughters bad guys and has a degree of self-awareness. Every time he kills someone, he says, “it’s like a chip in the armor of your soul.” Whether modestly or carelessly, Pike Logan doesn’t mention his full name for well over 100 pages, never mind that he’s the main character. His fans already know who he is, but it wouldn’t kill the author to weave Chip’s—er, Pike’s—name into his first scene.

Thriller fans will love the ticking-clock action.

Pub Date: Jan. 24, 2023

ISBN: 978-0-06-322198-7

Page Count: 432

Publisher: Morrow/HarperCollins

Review Posted Online: Oct. 18, 2022

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Nov. 15, 2022

Did you like this book?

No Comments Yet

A moody tone hangs like a cloud over the alarming but vague danger awaiting the world.

THE HOUSE AT THE END OF THE WORLD

A tragedy has sent a young artist into seclusion. A potential apocalypse may be enough to bring her back.

For the past two years, 10 months, and 18 days, Katie’s lived in darkness, on retreat from her former life as a rising artist after a personal tragedy eclipsed any happiness she believed possible. Jacob’s Ladder, a remote island named by a former resident for its potential as a stairway to heaven, offers Katie the chance to hide from the rest of the world, merely existing, not healing. She lives each day trying to fulfill what she’s called “the Promise” to those in the life she once knew, though a promise of what is not clear. The closest neighboring islands, Oak Haven and Ringrock, are equally cloistered. Though Katie’s realtor has suggested that Ringrock is some sort of Environmental Protection Agency research station, Katie’s cynicism makes her suspect something more nefarious. The protagonist's remote world and the author’s moody writing are disrupted one night by the startling appearance of drones and the suspicious behavior of a fox Katie’s dubbed Michael J. The wary canine serves as a harbinger of potential danger, and Katie responds by arming herself to the hilt when unexpected guests descend on Jacob’s Ladder. While the true purpose of these visitors is unclear, Katie senses that the greater world is at the precipice of permanent collapse and that she may be the only one who can prevent the impending apocalypse.

A moody tone hangs like a cloud over the alarming but vague danger awaiting the world.

Pub Date: Jan. 24, 2023

ISBN: 978-1-6625-0044-2

Page Count: 416

Publisher: Thomas & Mercer

Review Posted Online: Nov. 16, 2022

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Dec. 1, 2022

Did you like this book?

No Comments Yet

A tale that’s at once familiar and full of odd and unexpected twists—vintage King, in other words.

Reader Votes

  • Readers Vote
  • 11

Our Verdict

  • Our Verdict
  • GET IT

  • New York Times Bestseller

FAIRY TALE

Narnia on the Penobscot: a grand, and naturally strange, entertainment from the ever prolific King.

What’s a person to do when sheltering from Covid? In King’s case, write something to entertain himself while reflecting on what was going on in the world outside—ravaged cities, contentious politics, uncertainty. King’s yarn begins in a world that’s recognizably ours, and with a familiar trope: A young woman, out to buy fried chicken, is mashed by a runaway plumber’s van, sending her husband into an alcoholic tailspin and her son into a preadolescent funk, driven “bugfuck” by a father who “was always trying to apologize.” The son makes good by rescuing an elderly neighbor who’s fallen off a ladder, though he protests that the man’s equally elderly German shepherd, Radar, was the true hero. Whatever the case, Mr. Bowditch has an improbable trove of gold in his Bates Motel of a home, and its origin seems to lie in a shed behind the house, one that Mr. Bowditch warns the boy away from: “ ‘Don’t go in there,’ he said. ‘You may in time, but for now don’t even think of it.’ ” It’s not Pennywise who awaits in the underworld behind the shed door, but there’s plenty that’s weird and unexpected, including a woman, Dora, whose “skin was slate gray and her face was cruelly deformed,” and a whole bunch of people—well, sort of people, anyway—who’d like nothing better than to bring their special brand of evil up to our world’s surface. King’s young protagonist, Charlie Reade, is resourceful beyond his years, but it helps that the old dog gains some of its youthful vigor in the depths below. King delivers a more or less traditional fable that includes a knowing nod: “I think I know what you want,” Charlie tells the reader, "and now you have it”—namely, a happy ending but with a suitably sardonic wink.

A tale that’s at once familiar and full of odd and unexpected twists—vintage King, in other words.

Pub Date: Sept. 6, 2022

ISBN: 978-1-66800-217-9

Page Count: 608

Publisher: Scribner

Review Posted Online: June 22, 2022

Kirkus Reviews Issue: July 15, 2022

Did you like this book?

more