An impressive, vividly imagined saga that over its last two entries has begun showing signs of series fatigue. A good time...



After hammering hard at evil for the 15th time (Fatal Error, 2010, etc.), Repairman Jack puts his tools away.

In an author’s note, Wilson informs readers that in their collective hands they now “hold the final installment of the Repairman Jack series.” If so, it’s a rather melancholy valedictory. At the novel’s outset, though, here’s Jack full of beans, eager to get at his long-time nemesis, Rasalom, aka the One. This malevolent, monomaniacal lowlife heads a sinister organization known as the Order, whose self-appointed task it is to bring about the Change. While no one knows exactly what that entails, all right-thinking people view it as not for the better and quite sensibly want nothing to do with it. Ever-resourceful Jack has a plan, a typically all-in cast of the dice he hopes will rid the world of the One once and for all. By novel’s end, however, the world…but that would be telling. In between, just about everything that happens is dismaying to Jack and his friends. The Lady—as much the embodiment of good as Rasalom is of evil—has been killed twice, a third strike and she’s out of the game. Glaeken, Jack’s Merlin-like mentor, fades ever more noticeably. Is it possible, thinks Jack dispiritedly, that after thousands of years he’s down to his final months? Dawn Pickering continues to chase the baby Rasalom stole from her, all the while fearing her baby might have been rendered akin to Rosemary’s. And Weezy, poor girl, who’s had Jack’s back forever, is feeling the pangs of unrequited love. At length Jack lays down his climactic, high-power barrage against Rasalom and the Order, but when the smoke clears Good vs. Evil remains an unresolved contest, the smart money sitting on its hands.

An impressive, vividly imagined saga that over its last two entries has begun showing signs of series fatigue. A good time to end it.

Pub Date: Oct. 11, 2011

ISBN: 978-0-765-32283-8

Page Count: 336

Publisher: Tor

Review Posted Online: Sept. 28, 2011

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Oct. 15, 2011

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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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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.


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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