Siri is an interesting heroine, but this case, like her debut (Some Kind of Peace, 2012), lacks the core of cold logic that...

MORE BITTER THAN DEATH

A second round of homicide, troubled patients and scarcely less troubled personal relationships for Stockholm psychotherapist Siri Bergman.

You wouldn’t think the murder of a mother whose 5-year-old daughter is a most unhelpful witness would have anything to do with a therapy group for women who’ve been in abusive relationships, and, outside the pages of fiction, you’d probably be right. But Grebe and Träff linger for so long on the dynamics of the latest group Siri runs with her partner, Aina Davidsson, that it’s only a matter of time before the crime is connected to one of the group members: Malin, who was raped on her first meeting with a new acquaintance; Sofie, who was beaten by her stepfather; Sirkka, who didn’t realize how abusive her husband had been until he was dead; Kattis, whose ex, Henrik, claims that she’s a pathological liar; and Hillevi, a pediatric oncologist who would have stayed with her violent husband if he hadn’t started beating one of their children too. And, in fact, the murder of Susanne Olsson turns out to have ties to more than one member of the group—a fact that leads to a truly shocking development halfway through the story. Unfortunately, matters proceed along more routine lines thereafter. Siri’s lover, Markus, isn’t happy that she’s shutting him out of her pregnancy. Siri finds herself getting maybe too close to one member of the group. The 5-year-old witness is kidnapped. Siri has to be rescued from a narrow brush with death.

Siri is an interesting heroine, but this case, like her debut (Some Kind of Peace, 2012), lacks the core of cold logic that fuels the best of the recent flowering of Scandinavian thrillers.

Pub Date: June 18, 2013

ISBN: 978-1-4516-5460-8

Page Count: 256

Publisher: Simon & Schuster

Review Posted Online: June 17, 2013

Kirkus Reviews Issue: July 1, 2013

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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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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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