It’s inspiring to see so many people who don’t much like each other rally to the cause of Housewright’s hero.

WHAT DOESN'T KILL US

Rushmore McKenzie gets shot. He’s not dead yet, but it’s a lot harder for him to narrate his 18th case.

Moments after stepping out of RT’s Basement and seeing the warm smile of neglected housewife Nancy Moosbrugger, who’s come to the bar in hopes of being a little less neglected, the unlicensed private eye is shot in the back. Dr. Lillian Linder, a friend of McKenzie’s wife, nightclub owner Nina Truhler, makes sure that he has the best medical care, and everyone in and out of the St. Paul Police Department, where McKenzie worked until a financial windfall enabled him to retire years ahead of schedule, drops everything to look into the shooting. Chopper Coleman, one of many criminals McKenzie befriended, gets a copy of the surveillance video from outside RT’s Basement. Cmdr. Bobby Dunston, McKenzie’s old friend, prioritizes the attack over every other case on Major Crimes’ docket. Dunston’s former partner, Detective Jean Shipman, looks hard into McKenzie’s latest investigation, a favor for his friend Dave Deese, who asked him to find out who his father was after a home DNA test reveals that it wasn’t the man he was raised to call his dad. This last trail leads Shipman (like McKenzie, as he reveals in a series of first-person flashbacks while he lies in a coma) down a rabbit hole created by the wealthy, well-insulated family of Gerald King, who disappeared under sinister circumstances 20 years ago. The Kings are a gift that keeps on throwing off nefarious complications, and some readers may well get lost in the weeds before the curtain comes crashing down.

It’s inspiring to see so many people who don’t much like each other rally to the cause of Housewright’s hero.

Pub Date: May 25, 2021

ISBN: 978-1-2507-5699-2

Page Count: 352

Publisher: Minotaur

Review Posted Online: March 17, 2021

Kirkus Reviews Issue: April 1, 2021

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Enjoyable storytelling by two masters of the craft.

22 SECONDS

Lindsay Boxer faces a ton of trouble in the latest entry in Patterson and Paetro’s Women’s Murder Club series.

Senior crime reporter Cindy Thomas is writing a biography of Evan Burke, a notorious serial killer who sits in solitary confinement in San Quentin. She’s kidnapped by thugs wanting her to talk about her best friend, Lindsay Boxer, who’s an SFPD homicide detective and the story’s main character. San Francisco has a restrictive new gun law, and gun-totin’ folks everywhere have their boxer shorts in a twist. A national resistance movement has formed—Defenders of the Second—whose motto is “We will not comply.” They find it outrageous that the new law makes it illegal to own a gun that can kill 50 people with a single clip. Meanwhile, lots of bodies show up: A young girl disappears and is later found dead in a ditch, and ex-cops are found dead with their lips stapled shut and “You talk, you die” written on their foreheads. An inmate is found hanged in prison. And “a massive but unspecified load of military-style weaponry was en route from Mexico to the City by the Bay.” In a “frustrating, multipronged case,” there’s a harrowing shootout memorialized in a video showing “twenty-two of the scariest seconds” of Boxer’s life. She’s an appealing series hero with loving family and friends, but she may arrive at a crossroads where she has “to choose between my work and [my] baby girl.” The formulaic story has unmemorable writing, but it’s entertaining and well told. You probably won’t have to worry about the main characters, who have thus far survived 21 adventures. Except for the little girl, you can expect people to get what they deserve. It's relatively mild as crime novels go, but the women characters are serious, strong, and admirable.

Enjoyable storytelling by two masters of the craft.

Pub Date: May 2, 2022

ISBN: 978-0-316-49937-8

Page Count: 384

Publisher: Little, Brown

Review Posted Online: March 30, 2022

Kirkus Reviews Issue: April 15, 2022

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Generations may succeed generations, but Sandford’s patented investigation/action formula hasn’t aged a whit. Bring it on.

THE INVESTIGATOR

A domestic-terrorist plot gives the adopted daughter of storied U.S. Marshal Lucas Davenport her moment to shine.

Veteran oilman Vermilion Wright knows that losing a few thousand gallons of crude is no more than an accounting error to his company but could mean serious money to whomever’s found a way to siphon it off from wells in Texas’ Permian Basin. So he asks Sen. Christopher Colles, Chair of Homeland Security and Government Affairs, to look into it, and Colles persuades 24-year-old Letty Davenport, who’s just quit his employ, to return and partner with Department of Homeland Security agent John Kaiser to track down the thieves. The plot that right-winger Jane Jael Hawkes and her confederates, most of them service veterans with disgruntled attitudes and excellent military skills, have hatched is more dire than anything Wright could have imagined. They plan to use the proceeds from the oil thefts to purchase some black-market C4 essential to a major act of terrorism that will simultaneously express their alarm about the country’s hospitality to illegal immigrants and put the Jael-Birds on the map for good. But they haven’t reckoned with Letty, another kid born on the wrong side of the tracks who can outshoot the men she’s paired with and outthink the vigilantes she finds herself facing—and who, along with her adoptive father, makes a memorable pair of “pragmatists. Really harsh pragmatists” willing to do whatever needs doing without batting an eye or losing a night’s sleep afterward.

Generations may succeed generations, but Sandford’s patented investigation/action formula hasn’t aged a whit. Bring it on.

Pub Date: April 12, 2022

ISBN: 978-0-593-32868-2

Page Count: 400

Publisher: Putnam

Review Posted Online: Jan. 26, 2022

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Feb. 15, 2022

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