The window Brady (The Eloquence of the Dead, 2016, etc.) provides into the everyday lives of ordinary Irishmen caught in a...


Murder and politics make for strange bedfellows in 1888 Dublin, when Ireland is still chafing under British rule.

Despite being Catholic, DI Joe Swallow, of Dublin’s famed G-Division, has recently received a well-deserved promotion and reset his relationship with Maria Walsh, his landlady and owner of the licensed premises M & M Grant’s. As fearful Londoners see Jack the Ripper confounding every effort to catch him, Swallow may be dealing with a serial killer of his own. Alice Flannery, a young waitress on her way home from her job at the New Vienna restaurant, is so badly beaten that she dies in the hospital. The police do everything they can to come up with suspects, investigating even her boss, her brother, and her priest. Two more young women are also attacked. One of them dies, and the survivor remembers little of her assailant. Meantime, Swallow and his boss, John Mallow, chief superintendent of Dublin’s detectives, have another major problem on their hands. Ireland is in constant turmoil, with many groups fighting for independence. In an effort to destroy the credibility of fiery Irish nationalist Charles Stewart Parnell, who’s living in England, the office of security has asked G-Division to produce all the logs of Parnell’s activities they kept while they were protecting him during his visits to Ireland. Swallow and Mallow are certain that destroying Parnell will only lead to more violence. Under constant pressure from the security office in Dublin and especially from the supercilious Maj. Kelly, Swallow and Mallow maintain that they have no knowledge of the logs’ current whereabouts, though Swallow has hidden them in a storeroom in the medical examiner’s office. Although the police use every resource to capture the killer or killers, the approach of Christmas finds them still empty-handed. Maria’s pregnancy encourages Swallow to pop the question, but not even his nuptials slow down the hunt.

The window Brady (The Eloquence of the Dead, 2016, etc.) provides into the everyday lives of ordinary Irishmen caught in a dramatic moment gives his third entry a combination of the best elements of police procedurals and historical mysteries.

Pub Date: Oct. 10, 2017

ISBN: 978-1-68331-395-3

Page Count: 336

Publisher: Crooked Lane

Review Posted Online: Aug. 20, 2017

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Sept. 1, 2017

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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. 23, 2019

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Jan. 15, 2020

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A suspenseful, professional-grade north country procedural whose heroine, a deft mix of compassion and attitude, would be...


Box takes another break from his highly successful Joe Pickett series (Stone Cold, 2014, etc.) for a stand-alone about a police detective, a developmentally delayed boy, and a package everyone in North Dakota wants to grab.

Cassandra Dewell can’t leave Montana’s Lewis and Clark County fast enough for her new job as chief investigator for Jon Kirkbride, sheriff of Bakken County. She leaves behind no memories worth keeping: her husband is dead, her boss has made no bones about disliking her, and she’s looking forward to new responsibilities and the higher salary underwritten by North Dakota’s sudden oil boom. But Bakken County has its own issues. For one thing, it’s cold—a whole lot colder than the coldest weather Cassie’s ever imagined. For another, the job she turns out to have been hired for—leading an investigation her new boss doesn’t feel he can entrust to his own force—makes her queasy. The biggest problem, though, is one she doesn’t know about until it slaps her in the face. A fatal car accident that was anything but accidental has jarred loose a stash of methamphetamines and cash that’s become the center of a battle between the Sons of Freedom, Bakken County’s traditional drug sellers, and MS-13, the Salvadorian upstarts who are muscling in on their territory. It’s a setup that leaves scant room for law enforcement officers or for Kyle Westergaard, the 12-year-old paperboy damaged since birth by fetal alcohol syndrome, who’s walked away from the wreck with a prize all too many people would kill for.

A suspenseful, professional-grade north country procedural whose heroine, a deft mix of compassion and attitude, would be welcome to return and tie up the gaping loose end Box leaves. The unrelenting cold makes this the perfect beach read.

Pub Date: July 28, 2015

ISBN: 978-0-312-58321-7

Page Count: 272

Publisher: Minotaur

Review Posted Online: April 22, 2015

Kirkus Reviews Issue: May 15, 2015

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