A stirring mystery anchored by a realistic and compelling protagonist.

ONE LITTLE LIE

A woman returning to her hometown finds herself embroiled in a mystery that jeopardizes her life in Greyson’s novel.

Kate Gardner has had a rough time of it lately. After a visit to her hometown that dredges up memories of her long-dead sister, her husband, Scott, has an affair with his high school sweetheart and abandons Kate and their two kids. Having put her own promising career in marketing on hold to help Scott pursue a law career, Kate finds herself adrift and anxious, with a peculiar feeling that someone is following her. Her paranoia seems justified when she sees a video that reveals that a mysterious stranger was stalking her at her son’s soccer game. From there, Greyson’s pacing picks up and events escalate; a random man shows up unannounced to Kate’s home and then claims that he just knocked on the wrong door, and later, someone carves a sexist expletive on the side of her minivan. Soon, the stalking becomes more brazen, including lewd messages on her phone. Aided by Ryan Daley, a police detective to whom she quickly finds herself attracted, Kate tries hard to maintain her composure; she finds herself forgetting appointments and family activities, leading another cop to suspect that her stories of her pursuer are unreliable. Over the course of this tightly plotted tale, Greyson consistently keeps readers on their toes with false leads and surprises. All the while, Greyson paints Kate as a deeply sympathetic character dealing with anxiety and depression as she works temp jobs to provide for her children; meanwhile, her ex-husband and his vindictive new girlfriend attempt to cast greater doubt on her stability. Along the way, the author also works to highlight the moralizing behavior of Kate’s suburban small town. It all leads to an unexpected finale that feels earned.

A stirring mystery anchored by a realistic and compelling protagonist.

Pub Date: June 16, 2021

ISBN: N/A

Page Count: 296

Publisher: Greyson Media, LLC

Review Posted Online: May 20, 2021

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A tale that’s at once familiar and full of odd and unexpected twists—vintage King, in other words.

FAIRY TALE

Narnia on the Penobscot: a grand, and naturally strange, entertainment from the ever prolific King.

What’s a person to do when sheltering from Covid? In King’s case, write something to entertain himself while reflecting on what was going on in the world outside—ravaged cities, contentious politics, uncertainty. King’s yarn begins in a world that’s recognizably ours, and with a familiar trope: A young woman, out to buy fried chicken, is mashed by a runaway plumber’s van, sending her husband into an alcoholic tailspin and her son into a preadolescent funk, driven “bugfuck” by a father who “was always trying to apologize.” The son makes good by rescuing an elderly neighbor who’s fallen off a ladder, though he protests that the man’s equally elderly German shepherd, Radar, was the true hero. Whatever the case, Mr. Bowditch has an improbable trove of gold in his Bates Motel of a home, and its origin seems to lie in a shed behind the house, one that Mr. Bowditch warns the boy away from: “ ‘Don’t go in there,’ he said. ‘You may in time, but for now don’t even think of it.’ ” It’s not Pennywise who awaits in the underworld behind the shed door, but there’s plenty that’s weird and unexpected, including a woman, Dora, whose “skin was slate gray and her face was cruelly deformed,” and a whole bunch of people—well, sort of people, anyway—who’d like nothing better than to bring their special brand of evil up to our world’s surface. King’s young protagonist, Charlie Reade, is resourceful beyond his years, but it helps that the old dog gains some of its youthful vigor in the depths below. King delivers a more or less traditional fable that includes a knowing nod: “I think I know what you want,” Charlie tells the reader, "and now you have it”—namely, a happy ending but with a suitably sardonic wink.

A tale that’s at once familiar and full of odd and unexpected twists—vintage King, in other words.

Pub Date: Sept. 6, 2022

ISBN: 978-1-66800-217-9

Page Count: 608

Publisher: Scribner

Review Posted Online: June 22, 2022

Kirkus Reviews Issue: July 15, 2022

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Not the best of Connelly’s procedurals, but nobody else does them better than his second-best.

DESERT STAR

A snap of the yo-yo string yanks Harry Bosch out of retirement yet again.

Los Angeles Councilman Jake Pearlman has resurrected the LAPD’s Open-Unsolved Unit in order to reopen the case of his kid sister, Sarah, whose 1994 murder was instantly eclipsed in the press by the O.J. Simpson case when it broke a day later. Since not even a councilor can reconstitute a police unit for a single favored case, Det. Renée Ballard and her mostly volunteer (read: unpaid) crew are expected to reopen some other cold cases as well, giving Bosch a fresh opportunity to gather evidence against Finbar McShane, the crooked manager he’s convinced executed industrial contractor Stephen Gallagher, his wife, and their two children in 2013 and buried them in a single desert grave. The case has haunted Bosch more than any other he failed to close, and he’s fine to work the Pearlman homicide if it’ll give him another crack at McShane. As it turns out, the Pearlman case is considerably more interesting—partly because the break that leads the unit to a surprising new suspect turns out to be both fraught and misleading, partly because identifying the killer is only the beginning of Bosch’s problems. The windup of the Gallagher murders, a testament to sweating every detail and following every lead wherever it goes, is more heartfelt but less wily and dramatic. Fans of the aging detective who fear that he might be mellowing will be happy to hear that “putting him on a team did not make him a team player.”

Not the best of Connelly’s procedurals, but nobody else does them better than his second-best.

Pub Date: Nov. 8, 2022

ISBN: 978-0-316-48565-4

Page Count: 400

Publisher: Little, Brown

Review Posted Online: Sept. 28, 2022

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Oct. 15, 2022

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