Part The Club Dumas, part The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo, all punk attitude and beautiful ache.


In a dystopian world of heavy fog, Nazi demonstrations, and a creeping virus, photographer Cass Neary searches for an ancient book that might have supernatural power.

Cass is a wreck. She’s lost her camera; she hasn’t heard from the love of her life, ex-con Quinn O’Boyle, in several days; and she’s jonesing for alcohol, speed, or anything else she can get her hands on. When she runs into rare-book runner Gryffin Haselton in London, he confesses that he’s about to make the sale of a lifetime to up-and-coming tech genius Tindra Bergstrand: a mysterious, arcane book that may have been written by Aristotle. Of course, things go horribly wrong: The middleman is murdered, and Cass and Gryffin escape only to be picked up by Tindra’s people. It turns out that Tindra wants the Aristotle text to scan into an app she’s developing that's supposed to heal the brains of people suffering from PTSD—but when Cass gets a glimpse of the Ludus Mentis app, she flashes back viscerally to the greatest trauma of her life. Reunited with Quinn, Cass is soon on the run, dodging neo-Nazis as they rally in London and following clues to a remote Scandinavian island, hoping that if she recovers the book it could pay her and Quinn’s way to a new start. Cass is walking wounded; still she views the world through the eyes of a true artist, an artist who feels the full weight of her calling. “Because what is a photographer,” she asks, “but a chooser of the slain, someone who decides who or what is destined for immortality?” Cass Neary is a tough, self-destructive character who still exudes compassion, courage, and love for the beauty and the pain of life—even more so because she recognizes its impermanence.

Part The Club Dumas, part The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo, all punk attitude and beautiful ache.

Pub Date: Sept. 29, 2020

ISBN: 978-0-31648-593-7

Page Count: 352

Publisher: Mulholland Books/Little, Brown

Review Posted Online: July 14, 2020

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Aug. 1, 2020

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Crave chills and thrills but don’t have time for a King epic? This will do the job before bedtime. Not that you’ll sleep.

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Horrormeister King follows a boy’s journey from childhood to adolescence among the dead—and their even creepier living counterparts.

Jamie Conklin sees dead people. Not for very long—they fade away after a week or so—but during that time he can talk to them, ask them questions, and compel them to answer truthfully. His uncanny gift at first seems utterly unrelated to his mother Tia’s work as a literary agent, but the links become disturbingly clear when her star client, Regis Thomas, dies shortly after starting work on the newest entry in his bestselling Roanoke Saga, and Tia and her lover, NYPD Detective Liz Dutton, drive Jamie out to Cobblestone Cottage to encourage the late author to dictate an outline of his latest page-turner so that Tia, who’s fallen on hard times, can write it in his name instead of returning his advance and her cut. Now that she’s seen what Jamie can do, Liz takes it on herself to arrange an interview in which Jamie will ask Kenneth Therriault, a serial bomber who’s just killed himself, where he’s stowed his latest explosive device before it can explode posthumously. His post-mortem encounter with Therriault exacts a high price on Jamie, who now finds himself more haunted than ever, though he never gives up on the everyday experiences in which King roots all his nightmares.

Crave chills and thrills but don’t have time for a King epic? This will do the job before bedtime. Not that you’ll sleep.

Pub Date: March 2, 2021

ISBN: 978-1-7890-9649-1

Page Count: 256

Publisher: Hard Case Crime

Review Posted Online: Dec. 26, 2020

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Jan. 15, 2021

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Top-drawer crime fiction. The authors are tough on the hero, but the hero is tough.


Patterson and Ellis put their characters through hell in this hard-edged second installment of their Black Book series after The Black Book (2017).

A young girl is one of four people gunned down in a “very, very bad” K-Town drive-by shooting in Chicago. Police are under intense political pressure to solve it, so Detective Billy Harney is assigned to the Special Operations Section to put the brakes on the gang violence on the West Side. His new partner is Detective Carla Griffin, whom colleagues describe as “sober as an undertaker” and “as fun as a case of hemorrhoids.” And she looks like the last thing he needs, a pill popper. (But is she?) Department muckety-mucks want Harney to fail, and Griffin is supposed to spy on him. The poor guy already has a hell of a backstory: His daughter died and his wife committed suicide (or did she?) four years earlier, he’s been shot in the head, charged with murder (and exonerated), and helped put his own father in prison. (Nothing like a tormented hero!) Now the deaths still haunt him while he and Griffin begin to suspect they’re not looking at a simple turf war starring the Imperial Gangster Nation. Meanwhile, the captain in Internal Affairs is deep in the pocket of some bad guys who run an international human trafficking ring, and he loathes Harney. The protagonist is lucky to have Patti, his sister and fellow detective, as his one reliable friend who lets him know he’s being set up. The authors do masterful work creating flawed characters to root for or against, and they certainly pile up the troubles for Billy Harney. Abundant nasty twists will hold readers’ rapt attention in this dark, violent, and fast-moving thriller.

Top-drawer crime fiction. The authors are tough on the hero, but the hero is tough.

Pub Date: March 29, 2021

ISBN: 978-0-316-49940-8

Page Count: 384

Publisher: Little, Brown

Review Posted Online: Dec. 15, 2020

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Jan. 1, 2021

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