An often entertaining read about political corruption, romance and hope for a better future.


In Turner’s debut novel, career CIA agent Kat Hastings uncovers the shocking truth behind John F. Kennedy’s assassination and confronts her own troubled relationship with her father.

Kat Hastings is pushing 60 and yet still finds herself doing the bidding of her boss, Ben, and her emotionally unavailable spy father, the cryptically named H2. The former wants her to explore a CIA vault that supposedly contains secrets relating to JFK’s assassination, while the latter wants her to refrain from exploring her passions. She obeys both men, until she realizes just how potentially revolutionary each discovery could be. She uncovers JFK’s brain in a canister, and finds a renewed passion for former lover and investigative reporter Robbie. Her allegiance to her rigid code of conduct is tested to the limit; she even flat-out lies to her supervisor about sharing information with Robbie, ruining an otherwise unblemished service record. Much like the Tom Clancy canon, the novel purposefully employs a patriotic, dedicated protagonist to deepen the shock of her discovery of corruption. Turner’s heavily researched conjectures on the assassination and its subsequent effect on the national psyche are thought-provoking, if not necessarily original. More surprising is how vividly Turner realizes her characters, at least for most of the book. Robbie, for example, is quickly fleshed out in only a few sentences: “ ‘My wife died.’ He traced his scar. His pain seemed fresh. For the first time, I noticed the years etched into his face.” The novel’s final third, however, devolves into a jumble of false confidences and hidden identities, along with torture and double crosses. However, the author demonstrates a solid grasp of community dynamics and the often disappointing complexity of adult relationships. Her prose reveals a softness with a noirish, Chandler-esque edge: “He could be as cold, hard, and secretive as the file cabinets that flanked him.” Readers seeking a somber yet probing inquiry into the limits of romance, duty and renewal late in life will relish Kat’s attempts to balance the needs of her heart with the realities of national security.

An often entertaining read about political corruption, romance and hope for a better future.

Pub Date: Jan. 9, 2014

ISBN: 978-1492346302

Page Count: 360

Publisher: CreateSpace

Review Posted Online: March 27, 2014

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A tasty, if not always tasteful, tale of supernatural mayhem that fans of King and Crichton alike will enjoy.

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Are we not men? We are—well, ask Bigfoot, as Brooks does in this delightful yarn, following on his bestseller World War Z (2006).

A zombie apocalypse is one thing. A volcanic eruption is quite another, for, as the journalist who does a framing voice-over narration for Brooks’ latest puts it, when Mount Rainier popped its cork, “it was the psychological aspect, the hyperbole-fueled hysteria that had ended up killing the most people.” Maybe, but the sasquatches whom the volcano displaced contributed to the statistics, too, if only out of self-defense. Brooks places the epicenter of the Bigfoot war in a high-tech hideaway populated by the kind of people you might find in a Jurassic Park franchise: the schmo who doesn’t know how to do much of anything but tries anyway, the well-intentioned bleeding heart, the know-it-all intellectual who turns out to know the wrong things, the immigrant with a tough backstory and an instinct for survival. Indeed, the novel does double duty as a survival manual, packed full of good advice—for instance, try not to get wounded, for “injury turns you from a giver to a taker. Taking up our resources, our time to care for you.” Brooks presents a case for making room for Bigfoot in the world while peppering his narrative with timely social criticism about bad behavior on the human side of the conflict: The explosion of Rainier might have been better forecast had the president not slashed the budget of the U.S. Geological Survey, leading to “immediate suspension of the National Volcano Early Warning System,” and there’s always someone around looking to monetize the natural disaster and the sasquatch-y onslaught that follows. Brooks is a pro at building suspense even if it plays out in some rather spectacularly yucky episodes, one involving a short spear that takes its name from “the sucking sound of pulling it out of the dead man’s heart and lungs.” Grossness aside, it puts you right there on the scene.

A tasty, if not always tasteful, tale of supernatural mayhem that fans of King and Crichton alike will enjoy.

Pub Date: June 16, 2020

ISBN: 978-1-9848-2678-7

Page Count: 304

Publisher: Del Rey/Ballantine

Review Posted Online: Feb. 10, 2020

Kirkus Reviews Issue: March 1, 2020

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Sprawling and only intermittently suspenseful till that last act: below average for this distinguished series.


No oceans in Minnesota, you say? That won’t stop Lucas Davenport and Virgil Flowers, who are clearly determined to burn through their bucket list on the federal government’s dime.

The murders of three Coast Guard officers chasing a suspicious boat in Florida waters by crooks who set fire to the boat moments after abandoning it send shock waves through the DEA, the FBI, and eventually the U.S. Marshals Service. In short order Lucas and his colleague and pal Bob Matees find themselves on a task force Florida Sen. Christopher Colles convenes to find the drugs the fugitives managed to dump into the Atlantic before they shot their pursuers and arrest everyone in sight. The duo’s modus operandi seems to be to talk to everyone who’s seen anything, and then talk to everyone they’ve mentioned, and so on, taking regular breaks to drink, reminisce, and swap wisecracks. Everything is so relaxed and routine that fans of this long-running series will just know that Sandford has something more up his sleeve, and he does. Eventually the task force’s net widens to make room for Virgil, who, working with Marshal Rae Givens, hires himself out to the criminals as a diver who can retrieve those drugs while Lucas and his allies work their way higher and higher up the food chain of baddies. The cast is enormous and mostly forgettable, but Sandford manages to work up a full head of steam when Lucas realizes that his scorched-earth tactics have put Virgil and Rae in serious danger.

Sprawling and only intermittently suspenseful till that last act: below average for this distinguished series.

Pub Date: April 13, 2021

ISBN: 978-0-593-08702-2

Page Count: 432

Publisher: Putnam

Review Posted Online: March 3, 2021

Kirkus Reviews Issue: March 15, 2021

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