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THE DEVIL'S TRIANGLE

After all that’s been written about the ark in countless adventure stories, it’s hard to find any new ground to cover. But...

FBI agents hunt for the Ark of the Covenant.

Special agents Nicholas Drummond and Michaela “Mike” Caine are the heads of the new Covert Eyes team, which takes only the most difficult cases. They get a call from their frenemy Kitsune, a famous thief also known as the Fox, who begs their help in rescuing her British husband, Grant, who’s been kidnapped by a pair of psychopathic twins who’d hired Kitsune to steal Moses’ staff from the Topkapi Palace. The staff is a fake, but Cassandra Kohath and her twin, Ajax, part of a family whose lifetime goal has been to find the Ark of the Covenant, will stop at nothing to get it. Now Kitsune’s on the run in Venice, and when Drummond and Caine arrive, they become just two more people the Kohaths want dead to hide not only the secret of the Ark, but also their grandfather’s ability to create storms all over the world. Case in point: he’s just moved a vast amount of sand out of the Gobi, creating a storm in Beijing that could kill thousands. The twins’ mother was working in the Gobi when she disappeared, and they’re sure the ark is buried there. But now that the sand is gone, they find nothing more than part of a golden wing that once covered the chest holding the ark. The three team up in the hope of rescuing Grant and finding the base from which the elder Kohath is using his unusual powers to wreak havoc all over the world.

After all that’s been written about the ark in countless adventure stories, it’s hard to find any new ground to cover. But there are action and thrills aplenty in Coulter and Ellison’s new addition to their Brit in the FBI series (The End Game, 2015, etc.).

Pub Date: March 14, 2017

ISBN: 978-1-5011-5032-6

Page Count: 512

Publisher: Gallery Books/Simon & Schuster

Review Posted Online: Jan. 22, 2017

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Feb. 1, 2017

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A CONSPIRACY OF BONES

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

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. 22, 2019

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Jan. 15, 2020

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DARK MATTER

Suspenseful, frightening, and sometimes poignant—provided the reader has a generously willing suspension of disbelief.

A man walks out of a bar and his life becomes a kaleidoscope of altered states in this science-fiction thriller.

Crouch opens on a family in a warm, resonant domestic moment with three well-developed characters. At home in Chicago’s Logan Square, Jason Dessen dices an onion while his wife, Daniela, sips wine and chats on the phone. Their son, Charlie, an appealing 15-year-old, sketches on a pad. Still, an undertone of regret hovers over the couple, a preoccupation with roads not taken, a theme the book will literally explore, in multifarious ways. To start, both Jason and Daniela abandoned careers that might have soared, Jason as a physicist, Daniela as an artist. When Charlie was born, he suffered a major illness. Jason was forced to abandon promising research to teach undergraduates at a small college. Daniela turned from having gallery shows to teaching private art lessons to middle school students. On this bracing October evening, Jason visits a local bar to pay homage to Ryan Holder, a former college roommate who just received a major award for his work in neuroscience, an honor that rankles Jason, who, Ryan says, gave up on his career. Smarting from the comment, Jason suffers “a sucker punch” as he heads home that leaves him “standing on the precipice.” From behind Jason, a man with a “ghost white” face, “red, pursed lips," and "horrifying eyes” points a gun at Jason and forces him to drive an SUV, following preset navigational directions. At their destination, the abductor forces Jason to strip naked, beats him, then leads him into a vast, abandoned power plant. Here, Jason meets men and women who insist they want to help him. Attempting to escape, Jason opens a door that leads him into a series of dark, strange, yet eerily familiar encounters that sometimes strain credibility, especially in the tale's final moments.

Suspenseful, frightening, and sometimes poignant—provided the reader has a generously willing suspension of disbelief.

Pub Date: July 26, 2016

ISBN: 978-1-101-90422-0

Page Count: 352

Publisher: Crown

Review Posted Online: May 3, 2016

Kirkus Reviews Issue: May 15, 2016

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