Although Keeley (Bitter Crossing, 2014, etc.) clearly hoped to outdo himself in Peyton’s second adventure, he gets in his...

READ REVIEW

FALLEN SPARROW

Childhood friendships and personal needs complicate a border agent’s life when she takes on a homicide-suicide case in her hometown in northern Maine.

As U.S. Customs and Border Protection Agent Peyton Cote watches a cabin burn in Fred St. Pierre’s 450-acre potato field, the smell of gas makes her think the cabin was being used as a meth lab. It’s not a reach: the farm is on the border of enormous but sparsely populated Aroostook County and Canada, and it’s a likely spot for drug dealers and other undesirables to cross back and forth. But the cabin isn’t the only casualty. Peyton and her colleagues find the charred body of Simon Pink, whom St. Pierre hired to deliver potatoes for him. The case takes an even more disturbing turn when Fred shoots his wife, Marie, and then himself. Hidden money and two plane tickets to Prague in Marie’s and Simon’s names suggest a motive for the murder-suicide, especially since Peyton, who’s known the family since childhood, witnessed how possessive and controlling Fred was. For years he smacked Marie around, and he broke up his daughter’s friendship with Peyton. As if the family didn’t have enough drama, it turns out that fire didn’t kill Simon Pink: he was shot with a bullet from Fred Jr.’s gun. Peyton tries to keep from getting killed herself, ekes out time for her son and the high school teacher she’s dating, and hopes to use her insight into the St. Pierre family to help solve the case. But a connection to a Czech terrorist group and the discovery of IEDs soon have the tiny town of Garrett swarming with agents all the way up the food chain—especially given the impending recreational visit from the president.

Although Keeley (Bitter Crossing, 2014, etc.) clearly hoped to outdo himself in Peyton’s second adventure, he gets in his own way with a monotonous style and a cluster of extraneous characters. Still, his tough but compassionate heroine triumphs against the odds.

Pub Date: June 8, 2015

ISBN: 978-0-7387-4221-2

Page Count: 384

Publisher: Midnight Ink/Llewellyn

Review Posted Online: March 21, 2015

Kirkus Reviews Issue: April 1, 2015

Did you like this book?

No Comments Yet

One protest from an outraged innocent says it all: “This is America. This is Wyoming.”

Our Verdict

  • Our Verdict
  • GET IT

  • New York Times Bestseller

  • IndieBound Bestseller

LONG RANGE

Once again, Wyoming game warden Joe Pickett gets mixed up in a killing whose principal suspect is his old friend Nate Romanowski, whose attempts to live off the grid keep breaking down in a series of felony charges.

If Judge Hewitt hadn’t bent over to pick up a spoon that had fallen from his dinner table, the sniper set up nearly a mile from his house in the gated community of the Eagle Mountain Club would have ended his life. As it was, the victim was Sue Hewitt, leaving the judge alive and free to rail and threaten anyone he suspected of the shooting. Incoming Twelve Sleep County Sheriff Brendan Kapelow’s interest in using the case to promote his political ambitions and the judge’s inability to see further than his nose make them the perfect targets for a frame-up of Nate, who just wants to be left alone in the middle of nowhere to train his falcons and help his bride, Liv Brannon, raise their baby, Kestrel. Nor are the sniper, the sheriff, and the judge Nate’s only enemies. Orlando Panfile has been sent to Wyoming by the Sinaloan drug cartel to avenge the deaths of the four assassins whose careers Nate and Joe ended last time out (Wolf Pack, 2019). So it’s up to Joe, with some timely data from his librarian wife, Marybeth, to hire a lawyer for Nate, make sure he doesn’t bust out of jail before his trial, identify the real sniper, who continues to take an active role in the proceedings, and somehow protect him from a killer who regards Nate’s arrest as an unwelcome complication. That’s quite a tall order for someone who can’t shoot straight, who keeps wrecking his state-issued vehicles, and whose appalling mother-in-law, Missy Vankeuren Hand, has returned from her latest European jaunt to suck up all the oxygen in Twelve Sleep County to hustle some illegal drugs for her cancer-stricken sixth husband. But fans of this outstanding series will know better than to place their money against Joe.

One protest from an outraged innocent says it all: “This is America. This is Wyoming.”

Pub Date: March 3, 2020

ISBN: 978-0-525-53823-3

Page Count: 368

Publisher: Putnam

Review Posted Online: Jan. 13, 2020

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Feb. 1, 2020

Did you like this book?

No Comments Yet

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

Did you like this book?

No Comments Yet
more