If you’re looking for a full docket, Freeman pays off in spades. But the felonies are only loosely linked, and the solutions...

READ REVIEW

GOODBYE TO THE DEAD

Nine years after his late wife’s friend was convicted of killing her husband, Lt. Jonathan Stride of the Duluth Police Department finds new evidence that reopens the case and tears him up as well.

Everyone knew that hotshot surgeon Dr. Janine Snow and her third husband, newspaper columnist Jay Ferris, had their troubles, but nobody expected them to end with Jay shot to death in his home while Janine was in the shower just minutes after Cindy Stride dropped her off after an evening out. The evidence against Janine is strong. Jay was certainly alive when Cindy left his house and dead very shortly thereafter, and he’d just discovered not one but two explosive secrets Janine was desperate to keep under wraps. Defense attorney Archie Gale, for his part, makes much of the absence of physical evidence and the murder weapon’s disappearance. The trial does nothing to change anyone’s mind about Janine’s innocence or guilt—but it does change the vote of one juror, history teacher Howard Marlowe, who’d gone into the trial worshiping Janine from afar but found himself voting to convict her anyway. Nearly a decade after Cindy died and Janine was sentenced, the murder gun is tied to a shooting a few weeks before Jay’s murder and the more recent killing of telemarketer Kelly Hauswirth, putting a completely different complexion on the case. Meanwhile, Freeman (The Burning Place, 2010, etc.) keeps the pot boiling by introducing a mall shooting, a sex trafficking ring, and the personal perils of Cat Mateo, the orphan Stride and Cindy took in all those years ago.

If you’re looking for a full docket, Freeman pays off in spades. But the felonies are only loosely linked, and the solutions are less compelling than the setups. Below average for this accomplished, ambitious series.

Pub Date: March 8, 2016

ISBN: 978-1-62365-911-0

Page Count: 416

Publisher: Quercus

Review Posted Online: Dec. 23, 2015

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Jan. 1, 2016

Did you like this book?

No Comments Yet

Amateurish, with a twist savvy readers will see coming from a mile away.

THE SILENT PATIENT

A woman accused of shooting her husband six times in the face refuses to speak.

"Alicia Berenson was thirty-three years old when she killed her husband. They had been married for seven years. They were both artists—Alicia was a painter, and Gabriel was a well-known fashion photographer." Michaelides' debut is narrated in the voice of psychotherapist Theo Faber, who applies for a job at the institution where Alicia is incarcerated because he's fascinated with her case and believes he will be able to get her to talk. The narration of the increasingly unrealistic events that follow is interwoven with excerpts from Alicia's diary. Ah, yes, the old interwoven diary trick. When you read Alicia's diary you'll conclude the woman could well have been a novelist instead of a painter because it contains page after page of detailed dialogue, scenes, and conversations quite unlike those in any journal you've ever seen. " 'What's the matter?' 'I can't talk about it on the phone, I need to see you.' 'It's just—I'm not sure I can make it up to Cambridge at the minute.' 'I'll come to you. This afternoon. Okay?' Something in Paul's voice made me agree without thinking about it. He sounded desperate. 'Okay. Are you sure you can't tell me about it now?' 'I'll see you later.' Paul hung up." Wouldn't all this appear in a diary as "Paul wouldn't tell me what was wrong"? An even more improbable entry is the one that pins the tail on the killer. While much of the book is clumsy, contrived, and silly, it is while reading passages of the diary that one may actually find oneself laughing out loud.

Amateurish, with a twist savvy readers will see coming from a mile away.

Pub Date: Feb. 5, 2019

ISBN: 978-1-250-30169-7

Page Count: 304

Publisher: Celadon Books

Review Posted Online: Nov. 4, 2018

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Nov. 15, 2018

Did you like this book?

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

A CONSPIRACY OF BONES

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

Did you like this book?

more