Pyne keeps expertly mixing up his pitches long after you’ve stopped expecting anything but blazing fastballs.

READ REVIEW

WATER MEMORY

An unusually active risk management agent sent home to rest embarks on a tropical cruise that drops her into hotter waters than ever.

Everyone at Solomon Systems agrees that Aubrey Sentro needs a break after her dramatic rescue of kidnapped software exec Scott Chang, and they don’t even know about her recent diagnosis with persistent post-concussion syndrome, which affects her memory in dramatic and unpredictable ways. Forced to use some of her accumulated vacation days, Sentro books passage aboard the Jeddah, a working steamer that carries a few passengers. Though she can’t even remember most of their names from meal to meal, Sentro becomes unexpectedly close to outspoken Fontaine Fox just in time for heavily armed pirates to board the ship and terrorize passengers and crew alike. Despite their apparent amateurism, identical twins Pauly and Castor Zeme are no ordinary pirates: They’re acting on behalf of someone who’s after much more than the usual cash, credit cards, jewelry, and valuables. As Pyne keeps reminding you, however, Sentro is no ordinary victim either, and her reaction when the Jeddah is boarded sparks the first of many violent sequences so unforgettable that even she might end up remembering them. If only her adult children, Jeremy and Jennifer Troon, could be persuaded to stand down from involving themselves personally in the mercenaries’ ransom demand, her story would end much more quietly—but what would be the fun in that?

Pyne keeps expertly mixing up his pitches long after you’ve stopped expecting anything but blazing fastballs.

Pub Date: Feb. 1, 2021

ISBN: 978-1-5420-2502-7

Page Count: 366

Publisher: Thomas & Mercer

Review Posted Online: Oct. 14, 2020

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Nov. 1, 2020

Did you like this book?

No Comments Yet

The most over-the-top of Horowitz’s frantically overplotted whodunits to date—and that’s no mean feat.

MOONFLOWER MURDERS

Susan Ryeland, the book editor who retired to Crete after solving the mind-boggling mysteries of Magpie Murders (2017), is enticed to England to try her hand at another Chinese box of a case.

Eight years ago, the wedding weekend of Cecily Treherne and Aiden MacNeil at Branlow Hall, the high-end Suffolk hotel the bride’s parents owned, was ruined by the murder of Frank Parris, a hotel guest and advertising man who just happened to be passing through. Romanian-born maintenance man Stefan Codrescu was promptly convicted of the crime and has been in prison ever since. But Cecily’s recent disappearance shortly after having told her parents she’d become certain Stefan was innocent drives Lawrence and Pauline Treherne to find Susan in Crete, where they offer her 10,000 pounds to solve the mystery again and better. Susan’s the perfect candidate because she worked closely with late author Alan Conway, whose third novel, Atticus Pünd Takes the Case, contained the unspecified evidence that convinced Cecily that Detective Superintendent Richard Locke, now DCS Locke, had made a mistake. Checking into Branlow Hall and interviewing Cecily’s hostile sister, Lisa, and several hotel staffers who were on the scene eight years ago tells Susan all too little. So she turns to Atticus Pünd Takes the Case, whose unabridged reproduction occupies the middle third of Horowitz’s novel, and finds that it offers all too much in the way of possible clues, red herrings, analogies, anagrams, and easter eggs. The novel within a novel is so extensive and absorbing on its own, in fact, that all but the brainiest armchair detectives are likely to find it a serious distraction from the mystery to which it’s supposed to offer the key.

The most over-the-top of Horowitz’s frantically overplotted whodunits to date—and that’s no mean feat.

Pub Date: Nov. 10, 2020

ISBN: 978-0-06295-545-6

Page Count: 608

Publisher: Harper/HarperCollins

Review Posted Online: Sept. 8, 2020

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Sept. 15, 2020

Did you like this book?

Vintage King: a pleasure for his many fans and not a bad place to start if you’re new to him.

Reader Votes

  • Readers Vote
  • 26

Our Verdict

  • Our Verdict
  • GET IT

  • New York Times Bestseller

  • IndieBound Bestseller

IF IT BLEEDS

The master of supernatural disaster returns with four horror-laced novellas.

The protagonist of the title story, Holly Gibney, is by King’s own admission one of his most beloved characters, a “quirky walk-on” who quickly found herself at the center of some very unpleasant goings-on in End of Watch, Mr. Mercedes, and The Outsider. The insect-licious proceedings of the last are revisited, most yuckily, while some of King’s favorite conceits turn up: What happens if the dead are never really dead but instead show up generation after generation, occupying different bodies but most certainly exercising their same old mean-spirited voodoo? It won’t please TV journalists to know that the shape-shifting bad guys in that title story just happen to be on-the-ground reporters who turn up at very ugly disasters—and even cause them, albeit many decades apart. Think Jack Torrance in that photo at the end of The Shining, and you’ve got the general idea. “Only a coincidence, Holly thinks, but a chill shivers through her just the same,” King writes, “and once again she thinks of how there may be forces in this world moving people as they will, like men (and women) on a chessboard.” In the careful-what-you-wish-for department, Rat is one of those meta-referential things King enjoys: There are the usual hallucinatory doings, a destiny-altering rodent, and of course a writer protagonist who makes a deal with the devil for success that he thinks will outsmart the fates. No such luck, of course. Perhaps the most troubling story is the first, which may cause iPhone owners to rethink their purchases. King has gone a far piece from the killer clowns and vampires of old, with his monsters and monstrosities taking on far more quotidian forms—which makes them all the scarier.

Vintage King: a pleasure for his many fans and not a bad place to start if you’re new to him.

Pub Date: April 20, 2020

ISBN: 978-1-9821-3797-7

Page Count: 448

Publisher: Scribner

Review Posted Online: March 15, 2020

Kirkus Reviews Issue: April 1, 2020

Did you like this book?

more