Though the case is a hot mess, the criminals’ sublimely simple central concept is worth all those subsidiary homicides.

ANIMAL INSTINCT

A second outing for Paterson’s preeminent investigators ensnares one of their own members in uncomfortable ways.

It’s not clear who shot Lisa Yates to death in a restaurant parking lot, but it’s clear who deserves leaning on: medical services headhunter Gerald Kline, whom she refused to file charges against for domestic abuse when he was living in her place. So Corey Douglas, who, when he was a Paterson cop, questioned Kline in vain, goes to see him now, blusters at him, and broadcasts hints unwisely around town that Kline deserves killing himself. Someone promptly obliges Corey by slitting Kline’s throat. But it’s not that big a favor since the killer also plants a bloodstained sweat suit of Corey’s along with the murder weapon in a nearby dumpster. Suddenly Corey’s in sore need of the professional services of the K Team, whose members include cop-turned-investigator Laurie Collins, tough and taciturn Marcus Clark, and Corey himself since he retired from the force. Released on bail, Corey’s free to join his K-9 partner, Simon Garfunkel, and his fellow humans in tying both Lisa and Kline to an elaborate and extensive scam involving her employer, Ardmore Medical Systems, and a whole lot of other folks, including two hit men, one of whom incriminates himself in a way that would be conclusive if he hadn’t died immediately afterward. Andy Carpenter, Laurie’s husband, takes time out from his own long-running series to defend Corey, but the real fireworks take place far from the courthouse.

Though the case is a hot mess, the criminals’ sublimely simple central concept is worth all those subsidiary homicides.

Pub Date: April 6, 2021

ISBN: 978-1-2502-5720-8

Page Count: 304

Publisher: Minotaur

Review Posted Online: Dec. 26, 2020

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Jan. 15, 2021

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A smart summer escape.

PORTRAIT OF AN UNKNOWN WOMAN

Silva’s latest Gabriel Allon novel is a bit of a throwback—in the best possible way.

One-time assassin and legendary spymaster Gabriel Allon has finally retired. After saying farewell to his friends and colleagues in Israel, he moves with his wife, Chiara, and their two young children to a piano nobile overlooking Venice’s Grand Canal. His plan is to return to the workshop where he learned to restore paintings as an employee—but only after he spends several weeks recovering from the bullet wound that left him dead for several minutes in The Cellist (2021). Of course, no one expects Gabriel to entirely withdraw from the field, and, sure enough, a call from his friend and occasional asset Julian Isherwood sends him racing around the globe on the trail of art forgers who are willing to kill to protect their extremely lucrative enterprise. Silva provides plenty of thrills and, as usual, offers a glimpse into the lifestyles of the outrageously wealthy. In the early books in this series, it was Gabriel’s work as an art restorer that set him apart from other action heroes, and his return to that world is the most rewarding part of this installment. It is true that, at this point in his storied career, Gabriel has become a nearly mythic figure. And Silva is counting on a lot of love—and willing suspension of disbelief—when Gabriel whips up four old master canvases that fool the world’s leading art experts as a lure for the syndicate selling fake paintings. That said, as Silva explains in an author’s note, the art market is rife with secrecy, subterfuge, and wishful thinking, in no small part because it is almost entirely unregulated. And, if anyone can crank out a Titian, a Tintoretto, a Gentileschi, and a Veronese in a matter of days, it’s Gabriel Allon. The author’s longtime fans may breathe a sigh of relief that this entry is relatively free of politics and the pandemic is nowhere in sight.

A smart summer escape.

Pub Date: July 19, 2022

ISBN: 978-0-06-283485-0

Page Count: 448

Publisher: Harper

Review Posted Online: July 19, 2022

Kirkus Reviews Issue: tomorrow

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A rarity: a police procedural more deeply invested in the victims than either the killer or the police.

ABANDONED IN DEATH

June 2061 is a perilous time for women in a downtown Manhattan neighborhood who happen to resemble a violent kidnapper’s mother.

The killer doesn’t seem to be trying to hide anything except his own identity. Ten days after snatching bartender Lauren Elder from the street as she walked home, he leaves her body, carefully dressed and made up, with even the gash in her throat meticulously stitched up and beribboned, where it’s sure to be found quickly, along with the chilling label “bad mommy.” When Lt. Eve Dallas and Detective Delia Peabody realize that Anna Hobe, a server at a nearby karaoke bar who disappeared a week ago under similar circumstances, was probably another victim of the same perp, the clock begins ticking down even before they learn that assistant marketing manager Mary Kate Covino has gone missing as well. Dallas, Peabody, and the helpers who’ve made Robb’s long-lived franchise even more distinctive than its futuristic setting race to find the women or identify their kidnapper before he reverts once again to the 5-year-old abandoned by his mother many years ago. The emphasis this time is on investigative procedure, forensics (beginning with the Party Girl perfume and the Toot Sweet moisturizer the murderer uses on the corpses of his victims), and the broader danger women in every generation face from men who just can’t grow up.

A rarity: a police procedural more deeply invested in the victims than either the killer or the police.

Pub Date: Feb. 8, 2022

ISBN: 978-1-2502-7821-0

Page Count: 368

Publisher: St. Martin's

Review Posted Online: Nov. 17, 2021

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Dec. 1, 2021

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