Hill’s debut is a chilling psychological thriller with an unusual heroine and a page-turning storyline.

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LITTLE COMFORT

A woman who uses her research skills to track down missing people finds herself over her head in a dangerous case.

Hester Thursby has taken a leave from her library job at Harvard to help her boyfriend, Morgan, care for Kate, the little daughter of Daphne, his twin sister and Hester’s best friend. When she gets a call from Lila Blaine of New Hampshire, who wants her to find Sam, the brother who’s been missing for 12 years, she’s attracted by the promise of mental stimulation and extra money. Lila gives Hester a stack of postcards from all over the United States, each composed of photos her brother presumably took himself and a single sentence. Sam ran away with Gabe DiPursio, a 14-year-old foster child who was staying with Lila and him at the time. Lila admits the reason she wants to find Sam is because she’s selling a valuable piece of lake property. After talking to Gabe’s former foster mother and the social worker he had at the time, Hester, using the most recent postcards as clues, discovers that Sam and Gabe are living in Boston, where Sam’s posing as Aaron Gewirtzman, a young college graduate who was killed in an accident. She doesn’t know that the pair have left a trail of disaster in their wake: Sam has used his charm and good looks to hook up with wealthy women while Gabe uses his computer skills to raise money to tide them over between marks. Sam’s currently preoccupied by the wealthy socialite he’s dating, but Gabe, who meets Hester when she scopes them out by pretending to be looking for an apartment to rent, becomes totally fixated on her. Real danger threatens Hester when she learns too much about their past and present.

Hill’s debut is a chilling psychological thriller with an unusual heroine and a page-turning storyline.

Pub Date: Aug. 28, 2018

ISBN: 978-1-4967-1590-6

Page Count: 304

Publisher: Kensington

Review Posted Online: May 29, 2018

Kirkus Reviews Issue: June 15, 2018

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A kicky, kinky, wildly inventive 21st-century mashup with franker language and a higher body count than Hamlet.

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SHAKESPEARE FOR SQUIRRELS

Manic parodist Moore, fresh off a season in 1947 San Francisco (Noir, 2018), returns with a rare gift for Shakespeare fans who think A Midsummer Night’s Dream would be perfect if only it were a little more madcap.

Cast adrift by pirates together with his apprentice, halfwit giant Drool, and Jeff, his barely less intelligent monkey, Pocket of Dog Snogging upon Ouze, jester to the late King Lear, washes ashore in Shakespeare’s Athens, where Cobweb, a squirrel by day and fairy by night, takes him under her wing and other parts. Soon after he encounters Robin Goodfellow (the Puck), jester to shadow king Oberon, and Nick Bottom and the other clueless mechanicals rehearsing Pyramus and Thisby in a nearby forest before they present it in celebration of the wedding of Theseus, Duke of Athens, to Hippolyta, the captive Amazon queen who’s captured his heart, Pocket (The Serpent of Venice, 2014, etc.) finds Robin fatally shot by an arrow. Suspected briefly of the murder himself, he’s commissioned, first by Hippolyta, then by the unwitting Theseus, to identify the Puck’s killer. Oh, and Egeus, the Duke’s steward, wants him to find and execute Lysander, who’s run off with Egeus’ daughter, Hermia, instead of marrying Helena, who’s in love with Demetrius. As English majors can attest, a remarkable amount of this madness can already be found in Shakespeare’s play. Moore’s contribution is to amp up the couplings, bawdy language, violence, and metatextual analogies between the royals, the fairies, the mechanicals, his own interloping hero, and any number of other plays by the Bard.

A kicky, kinky, wildly inventive 21st-century mashup with franker language and a higher body count than Hamlet.

Pub Date: May 12, 2020

ISBN: 978-0-06-243402-9

Page Count: 288

Publisher: Morrow/HarperCollins

Review Posted Online: Feb. 9, 2020

Kirkus Reviews Issue: March 1, 2020

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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

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