A delightfully twisting roller-coaster ride through light, dark and the shades between.

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LAWS OF DEPRAVITY

The surprises keep coming in La Salle’s twisting debut thriller, in which good and evil aren’t always black and white.

Quincy Cavanaugh and Tavares “Phee” Freeman team up with FBI agent Janet Maclin in the pursuit of a serial killer who’s murdered 12 clergymen every 10 years for the past three decades. With the killings set to occur over a limited number of days, the investigators have to move quickly to catch the Martyr Maker before he takes more lives and goes back into hiding. In the process, they discover that he isn’t randomly pursuing men of the cloth—he’s targeting the ones who use their positions to keep lurid secrets safe, and he believes he’s on a mission from God. In addition to the absorbing, fast-paced plot that will keep readers guessing until the end, each wonderfully sculpted character has a distinct, lifelike personality. Some characters aren’t who they appear to be, and few escape the story unchanged. Crucial subplots revolving around the main characters’ family members and significant others, who struggle with their own demons—like Quincy’s brother, who’s a priest, and a mother whose son committed suicide on her father’s watch—add nuance, making the characters real, vulnerable and flawed. Without skimping on character development in exchange for action, the plot offers catalysts for change while raising spiritual questions and blurring the line between good and evil, which propels the story upward from being merely a solid, entertaining thriller to being a gripping must-read that could have readers pondering right and wrong long after they’ve finished.

A delightfully twisting roller-coaster ride through light, dark and the shades between.

Pub Date: June 1, 2012

ISBN: 978-1477582114

Page Count: 236

Publisher: CreateSpace

Review Posted Online: Jan. 17, 2013

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Feb. 15, 2013

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If you're new to Penny's world, this would be a great place to jump in. Then go back and start the series from the beginning.

ALL THE DEVILS ARE HERE

Gamache goes to Paris.

Armand Gamache of the Sûreté du Québec has had an eventful time in Penny's last few books, taking over as Chief Superintendent, uncovering corruption at the highest levels, facing public scorn, and finally ending up back where he started, as head of the homicide division. Penny has always been a master of pacing on a serieswide level, moving between the overarching corruption story and more local mysteries and also occasionally taking a break from Three Pines, the beloved, unmappable Quebec village that is the main setting. This time around, Gamache and his wife, Reine-Marie, a retired librarian, are spending time in Paris, where both of their children now live, waiting for their daughter, Annie, to give birth to her first child with husband Jean-Guy Beauvoir, Gamache's former second-in-command. Gamache takes the opportunity to visit the Rodin Museum with his godfather, billionaire Stephen Horowitz, who then joins the extended Gamache clan for dinner—only to be hit by a car and almost killed as they leave the restaurant. Gamache is convinced it was no accident—an impression reinforced the next morning when he and Reine-Marie go to Stephen's apartment and find the place has been ransacked and there's a dead body behind the sofa. Soon the whole family is involved in the investigation, and everyone has a part to play, from Reine-Marie, who visits the Archives nationales, to son Daniel, a venture capitalist who moved to Paris to escape his father's shadow. Gamache calls on an old friend, the head of the Paris police force, but can he be trusted? As always, Penny's mystery is meticulously constructed and reveals hard truths about the hidden workings of the world—as well as the workings of the Gamache family. But there's plenty of local color, too, with a trip to the top of the Eiffel Tower to escape surveillance and a luxurious suite at the Hotel George V for good measure.

If you're new to Penny's world, this would be a great place to jump in. Then go back and start the series from the beginning.

Pub Date: Sept. 1, 2020

ISBN: 978-1-25-014523-9

Page Count: 448

Publisher: Minotaur

Review Posted Online: July 1, 2020

Kirkus Reviews Issue: July 15, 2020

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This exuberant elegy for Florida's paved-over paradise performs the near miracle of making us laugh even as we despair.

SQUEEZE ME

A frothy blend of murder mystery and political satire set on the wealthy island of Palm Beach, Florida, and deep inside the (unnamed) U.S. president’s private estate.

When Kiki Pew Fitzsimmons, daughter “of the aerosol Pews” and a leading Palm Beach socialite, disappears on the manicured grounds of Lipid House in the middle of a fundraising gala, the last place anyone thinks to look is inside a giant Burmese python. Never mind that a gigantic specimen sporting an enormous bulge is discovered shortly afterward, sleeping off its meal in a banyan tree. Efficiently beheaded by professional critter wrangler Angie Armstrong, the dead snake, which is promptly stolen, soon turns up on the interstate, where it temporarily halts the motorcade of the first lady as she returns to Casa Bellicosa, her husband’s Florida retreat. But who would steal a headless snake? What happened to its telltale bulge? And what about poor old Kiki, who just happened to belong to the Potussies, an influential all-female group of aging fans of the president? One mystery leads to another, and delightful subplots multiply as the sprightly narrative follows the intersecting adventures of Angie, the novel’s irresistible heroine; the first lady; bumbling villains; sardonic lawmen; loathsome politicians; and, inevitably, an Everglades-dwelling, LSD–imbibing eco-avenger—who is incubating an iguana egg in his one empty eye socket. So, yes, the humor gets wild and the satire a little outlandish. But this airy novel, taking pratfalls in stride, never loses its buoyancy thanks to Hiaasen’s deftly drawn characters and zingy dialogue.

This exuberant elegy for Florida's paved-over paradise performs the near miracle of making us laugh even as we despair.

Pub Date: Aug. 25, 2020

ISBN: 978-1-5247-3345-2

Page Count: 352

Publisher: Knopf

Review Posted Online: July 14, 2020

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Aug. 1, 2020

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