Though all three cases are wound up less convincingly than they’re laid out, fans of DeSilva’s cleareyed, heartfelt anatomy...

THE DREAD LINE

Getting fired from the Providence Dispatch has done nothing to lighten Liam Mulligan’s workload; the first chronicle of his work as a part-time private eye piles no fewer than three cases on his back.

The first job is the most straightforward: find the masked robber who stuck a gun in Ellington Cargill’s fabulously wealthy face while he was using his safe-deposit box at the Jamestown office of Pell Savings and Trust and walked away with jewelry valued at $6.3 million. The second has the client with the deepest pockets: the New England Patriots, who want McCracken & Associates, whose sole associate is Mulligan, to vet Conner Bowditch, the Boston College defensive tackle they plan to draft if he checks out. Since Mulligan (A Scourge of Vipers, 2015, etc.) already knows Bowditch’s not going to check out—he’s in debt to Mulligan’s old friend Dominic “Whoosh” Zerilli, the bookie who’s generously cut Mulligan in for a piece of his action—this job is a little complicated. But it’s not nearly as complicated as the third job: catching the creep who’s kidnapping dogs on the island of Conanicut, dousing them with lighter fluid, and setting them on fire. Mulligan, who’s just acquired two dogs of his own in the hope of protecting his homestead from the depredations of the fiend he dubs Cat the Ripper, is more than happy to join the hunt for this lowlife even without a client or a fee. But although the Bowditch affair drags on the longest and requires the most fireworks to resolve, it’s the search for the dog killer that ends up touching Mulligan most deeply.

Though all three cases are wound up less convincingly than they’re laid out, fans of DeSilva’s cleareyed, heartfelt anatomy of crime and punishment in Rhode Island won’t mind a bit.

Pub Date: Sept. 6, 2016

ISBN: 978-0-765-37433-2

Page Count: 320

Publisher: Forge

Review Posted Online: June 21, 2016

Kirkus Reviews Issue: July 1, 2016

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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

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Strictly for fans prepared to worry that Woods’ highflying franchise hero may actually breathe his last this time.

HIT LIST

Stone Barrington under siege.

Stone’s name is the 10th and last on the list that crosses his desk. But since it’s accompanied by an unsigned note that adds, “Dead, no special order, starting soon. Figure it out,” he wastes no time shoring up his defenses. And a good thing too, since his nemesis straightaway shoots three other victims and makes three clean getaways, along the way breaching the perimeter of Stone’s swanky East Side building and short-circuiting his security system. But Stone’s idea of going to ground isn’t quite the same as yours or mine. When Vanessa Baker, the baker he slept with in Treason (2020), phones him, he responds without ado to her overtures, and she’s soon ensconced in his place. He huddles with his old NYPD partner, police commissioner Dino Bacchetti, and CIA director Lance Cabot to identify his aspiring executioner. His efforts, first to shake off, then to track down the predator, lead him and his Gulfstream 500 to his estate in England, to his place in Cold Harbor, Maine, and eventually to Santa Fe. When he’s attacked by a hired killer during a shopping trip in Turnbull & Asser, he shoots the assailant, then seeks to apply pressure that will lead him to the paymaster. He even finds time to proposition Holly Barker, the secretary of state whose presidential campaign would be mortally wounded by news of any assignation with him. More people will die but not anyone you care about, and certainly not Stone, whom Dino describes, with pardonable understatement, as “the luckiest guy I know.”

Strictly for fans prepared to worry that Woods’ highflying franchise hero may actually breathe his last this time.

Pub Date: March 17, 2020

ISBN: 978-0-593-08322-2

Page Count: 336

Publisher: Putnam

Review Posted Online: Feb. 9, 2020

Kirkus Reviews Issue: March 1, 2020

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