Less original and densely packed than Calvino’s earlier cases (Paying Back Jack, 2009, etc.), but just as dankly atmospheric.

READ REVIEW

ASIA HAND

Once more Vincent Calvino, Bangkok’s most newsworthy private eye, forgoes paying clients to avenge a dead acquaintance and incidentally protect himself and his family.

After some bumpy times, freelance cameraman Jerry Hutton finally seemed to have it made. With soundman Roland May, he’d recorded footage of a Burmese Army division flagrantly violating the Geneva Convention. When the resulting publicity allowed him to option the story of his life and won him a job doing second-unit work on American director Jesse Tyler’s movie Lucky Charms, he’d been so ebullient that he’d splurged to buy his rental wife Kwang a German Shepherd to breed. That was all before he was thrown into jail and, soon after his release, thrown into Lumpini Park Lake and drowned. Did the 22nd Burmese Division somehow get back at him? The murder of Roland, which follows apace, makes it sound that way. But his friend Col. Pratt of the Bangkok police helps Calvino, who’s less interested in the subject of Hutton’s movie than in the process of filmmaking, see something odd about the footage that put Hutton on the hot seat. And Calvino sees something even strangerf about Lucky Charms, starting with its cast. For the film’s leading lady Carol Hatcher, the daughter of a U.S. Army Intelligence officer, is joined by Calvino’s lover Kiko and his visiting daughter Melody, 13, who lands an unsought role hours after her plane touches down.

Less original and densely packed than Calvino’s earlier cases (Paying Back Jack, 2009, etc.), but just as dankly atmospheric.

Pub Date: July 1, 2010

ISBN: 978-0-8021-7073-6

Page Count: 272

Publisher: Black Cat/Grove

Review Posted Online: June 3, 2010

Kirkus Reviews Issue: May 15, 2010

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?

No Comments Yet

This thriller about the pursuit of a serial killer suffers from an unpleasant hero and a glacial pace.

OUTFOX

An FBI agent is determined to catch a man who bilks and murders wealthy women, but the chase goes slowly.

Brown (Tailspin, 2018, etc.) has published 70 bestsellers, and this one employs her usual template of thriller spiked with romance. Its main character, Drex Easton, is an FBI agent in pursuit of a serial killer, but for him it’s personal. When he was a boy, his mother left him and his father for another man, Weston Graham. Drex believes Graham murdered her and that he has killed at least seven more women after emptying their bank accounts. Now he thinks he has the clever Graham—current alias Jasper Ford—in his sights, and he’s willing to put his career at risk to catch him. The women Ford targets are wealthy, and his new prey is no exception—except that, uncharacteristically, he has married her. Talia Ford proves to be a complication for Drex, who instantly falls in lust with her even though he’s not at all sure she isn’t her husband's accomplice. Posing as a would-be novelist, Drex moves into an apartment next door to the Fords’ posh home and tries to ingratiate himself, but tensions rise immediately—Jasper is suspicious, and Talia has mixed feelings about Drex's flirtatious behavior. When Talia’s fun-loving friend Elaine Conner turns up dead after a cruise on her yacht and Jasper disappears, Drex and Talia become allies. There are a few action sequences and fewer sex scenes, but the novel’s pace bogs down repeatedly in long, mundane conversations. Drex's two FBI agent sidekicks are more interesting characters than he is; Drex himself is such a caricature of a macho man, so heedless of ethics, and so aggressive toward women that it’s tough to see him as a good guy. Brown adds a couple of implausible twists at the very end that make him seem almost as untrustworthy as Graham.

This thriller about the pursuit of a serial killer suffers from an unpleasant hero and a glacial pace.

Pub Date: Aug. 6, 2019

ISBN: 978-1-4555-7219-9

Page Count: 448

Publisher: Grand Central Publishing

Review Posted Online: July 28, 2019

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Aug. 15, 2019

Did you like this book?

more