A thriller packed with nonstop action, real-life name-dropping and enough cutting-edge science to make you wonder how much...

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THE LOST KEY

Nicholas Drummond’s first day as an FBI agent shakes things up in New York City.

The first Brit accepted into the FBI has had a great deal of previous experience as a spy and Scotland Yard detective; he'd also worked before with the lovely and talented Michaela "Mike" Caine on a joint case (The Final Cut, 2013, etc.). Sent to investigate a stabbing on Wall Street, they never suspect they'll soon be involved in the toughest case of their combined careers. The dead man, Johnathan Pearce, owned a specialty bookstore packed with rare and valuable items. But he was also involved with a mysterious group known as the Highest Order that traces its origins back to Jacobean times. Its membership includes some of the world’s wealthiest and most influential people. Drummond is a computer hacker of rare skill, but so is Pearce’s son, Adam. If they could only find him, Drummond and Caine might discover why his father’s last words were “The key is in the lock.” Drummond is temporarily suspended when he has to kill several thugs and the assassin sent by Manfred Havelock, a German scientist and industrialist whose father was a member of the Highest Order. The mentally unstable Havelock’s company has invented nanotech so advanced that one of his inventions was found in the brain of the assassin. Havelock, who already knows what the key is for, desperately wants to retrieve it. So Drummond, whose own father is also a member of the Highest Order, has to play catch-up. When Havelock’s minions kidnap Adam’s sister to force him to cooperate, Drummond and Caine follow, only to face every imaginable danger before they can unlock the secret and save the world from untold horrors.

A thriller packed with nonstop action, real-life name-dropping and enough cutting-edge science to make you wonder how much of it could be true.

Pub Date: Sept. 30, 2014

ISBN: 9780399164767

Page Count: 464

Publisher: Putnam

Review Posted Online: July 30, 2014

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Aug. 15, 2014

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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

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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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