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LOCAL GONE MISSING

Layers and layers of unlovely revelations about people who seemed perfectly nice.

The disappearance of a well-liked pensioner places all the other problems of the aspiring resort town of Ebbing in an unsettling new context.

Charlie Perry, whose ex-model wife, Pauline, talked him into buying the money pit Tall Trees, is worried because his expenses have left him deeply in debt to Wadham Manor, the posh care home where his daughter, Birdie Nightingale, has been housed ever since a botched burglary left her boyfriend dead and her blind and brain-damaged. Housecleaner Dee Eastwood is grieving the loss of her elder brother, Phil Golding, who was found dead in a park three weeks ago. Dave Harman, landlord of the Neptune pub, is angry that newcomer Pete Diamond is sponsoring a music festival that will bring all manner of riffraff into the quiet town. DI Elise King, still on sick leave after her cancer surgery, wonders when she’ll feel herself again. All these troubles get shunted aside when Pauline reports that Charlie’s gone missing. By the time Elise finds him dead, she’s already accepted retired librarian Ronnie Durrant’s invitation to poke around a little. Given what Elise has already discovered, it makes perfect sense for DCI Graham McBride to call her back to the Major Crime Team ahead of schedule and to appoint her senior investigating officer when DI Hugh Ward, the long-term live-in who dumped her, goes on sick leave after he’s dumped in turn by his fiancee. Barton presents such an embarrassment of riches that the tale has almost run its course before the coppers have a chance to sit down with Stuart Bennett, the just-freed burglar who attacked Birdie.

Layers and layers of unlovely revelations about people who seemed perfectly nice.

Pub Date: June 14, 2022

ISBN: 978-1-98480-304-7

Page Count: 384

Publisher: Berkley

Review Posted Online: March 15, 2022

Kirkus Reviews Issue: April 1, 2022

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MIND GAMES

A touching story of love and grief ends in an epic battle of good versus evil.

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Roberts’ latest may move you to tears, or joy, or dread, or all three.

Every summer, John and Cora Fox visit Cora’s mother, Lucy Lannigan, in Redbud Hollow, Kentucky, leaving their children, 12-year-old Thea and 10-year-old Rem, for a two-week taste of heaven. The children love Grammie Lucy far more than John’s snooty family, which looks down on Cora. Lucy, a healer with deep Appalachian roots, loves animals, cooks the best meals, plays musical instruments, and makes soap and candles for her thriving business. Thea—who’s inherited the psychic abilities passed down through the women of Lucy’s family—has vivid magical dreams, one of which becomes a living nightmare when a psychopath robs and murders John and Cora as Thea watches helplessly. Thea’s description of the killer and her ability to see him in real time help the skeptical police catch Ray Riggs, who goes to prison for life. Although Thea and Rem go on to have a wonderful childhood with Grammie, Thea constantly wages a mental battle with Riggs, who tries to use his own psychic abilities to get into her mind. Over the years, Thea uses her imagination to become a game designer while the more business-minded Rem helps manage her career. Thea eventually builds a house near Lucy, where a newly arrived neighbor is her teen crush, singer-songwriter Tyler Brennan. Tyler has his own issues and is protective of his young son but slowly builds a loving relationship with Thea, whose silence about her abilities leads to a devastating misunderstanding. At first Thea tries to keep Riggs locked out of her mind. As her powers grow, she torments him. Finally, she realizes that she must win this battle and destroy him if she’s ever to have peace.

A touching story of love and grief ends in an epic battle of good versus evil.

Pub Date: May 21, 2024

ISBN: 9781250289698

Page Count: 432

Publisher: St. Martin's

Review Posted Online: March 23, 2024

Kirkus Reviews Issue: April 15, 2024

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THE SILENT PATIENT

Amateurish, with a twist savvy readers will see coming from a mile away.

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A woman accused of shooting her husband six times in the face refuses to speak.

"Alicia Berenson was thirty-three years old when she killed her husband. They had been married for seven years. They were both artists—Alicia was a painter, and Gabriel was a well-known fashion photographer." Michaelides' debut is narrated in the voice of psychotherapist Theo Faber, who applies for a job at the institution where Alicia is incarcerated because he's fascinated with her case and believes he will be able to get her to talk. The narration of the increasingly unrealistic events that follow is interwoven with excerpts from Alicia's diary. Ah, yes, the old interwoven diary trick. When you read Alicia's diary you'll conclude the woman could well have been a novelist instead of a painter because it contains page after page of detailed dialogue, scenes, and conversations quite unlike those in any journal you've ever seen. " 'What's the matter?' 'I can't talk about it on the phone, I need to see you.' 'It's just—I'm not sure I can make it up to Cambridge at the minute.' 'I'll come to you. This afternoon. Okay?' Something in Paul's voice made me agree without thinking about it. He sounded desperate. 'Okay. Are you sure you can't tell me about it now?' 'I'll see you later.' Paul hung up." Wouldn't all this appear in a diary as "Paul wouldn't tell me what was wrong"? An even more improbable entry is the one that pins the tail on the killer. While much of the book is clumsy, contrived, and silly, it is while reading passages of the diary that one may actually find oneself laughing out loud.

Amateurish, with a twist savvy readers will see coming from a mile away.

Pub Date: Feb. 5, 2019

ISBN: 978-1-250-30169-7

Page Count: 304

Publisher: Celadon Books

Review Posted Online: Nov. 3, 2018

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Nov. 15, 2018

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