There’s a little too much of the younger Wyatt, who’s nowhere near as compelling as his uncle, but Disher continues to show...

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FALLOUT

Peerless Aussie thief Wyatt teams up with his not-so-peerless nephew Ray for a high-stakes caper that’s got failure written all over it.

Despite the different outfits he wears for each job, the Victoria Police know that the same man is responsible for all the shotgun-fueled bank jobs they’ve been investigating. What they don’t know is that the bush bandit is Raymond Wyatt, the estranged nephew of the crook who’s been a thorn in the constabulary’s side for a dog’s years. Not content to stay with a life of honest stickups, Ray’s been smooth-talked by gambler Brian Vallance and his much younger girlfriend, Allie Roder, into going shares on an independent, illegal salvage operation that promises to net the partners millions. Ray plans to raise the money he needs to buy in by pulling an art heist on commission from a crooked lawyer, and since he needs a partner, he naturally thinks of his uncle, who’s capped his latest jewel robbery (Port Vila Blues, 2012) by drugging Sgt. Liz Redding, the cop who chased him all the way to his bedroom, and running out on her. But before the two Wyatts go after those lightly guarded paintings, Ray unwisely accepts another offer of £15,000 to break murderous holdup man Tony Steer out of jail. He plans to keep this little commission secret from his uncle, but an explosion of violence brings it to Wyatt’s attention anyway. Nor does the theft of those paintings come off quite as Ray expects.

There’s a little too much of the younger Wyatt, who’s nowhere near as compelling as his uncle, but Disher continues to show an impressive knack for planning capers that go like clockwork but then come to grief anyway.

Pub Date: July 16, 2013

ISBN: 978-1-61695-103-0

Page Count: 256

Publisher: Soho Crime

Review Posted Online: June 30, 2013

Kirkus Reviews Issue: July 15, 2013

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Great storytelling, a quirky hero, and a quirkier plot make this a winner for adventure fans.

CROOKED RIVER

FBI Special Agent Aloysius Pendergast finds evil afoot in his latest action-filled adventure (Verses for the Dead, 2018, etc.).

Imagine Florida beachcombers’ shock when they discover a shoe with a severed foot inside. Soon they see dozens more feet, all in identical shoes, bobbing toward the beach. Police and FBI ultimately count more than a hundred of them washing up on Sanibel and Captiva Islands' tranquil shores. Pendergast teams up with the junior Special Agent Armstrong Coldmoon to investigate this strange phenomenon. Oceanographers use a supercomputer to analyze Gulf currents and attempt to determine where the feet entered the ocean. Were they dumped off a ship or an island? Does each one represent a homicide? Analysts examine chemical residues and pollen, even the angle of each foot’s amputation, but the puzzle defies all explanation. Attention focuses on Cuba, where “something terrible was happening” in front of a coastal prison, and on China, the apparent source of the shoes. The clever plot is “a most baffling case indeed” for the brilliant Pendergast, but it’s the type of problem he thrives on. He’s hardly a stereotypical FBI agent, given for example his lemon-colored silk suit, his Panama hat, and his legendary insistence on working alone—until now. Pendergast rarely blinks—perhaps, someone surmises, he’s part reptile. But equally odd is Constance Greene, his “extraordinarily beautiful,” smart, and sarcastic young “ward” who has “eyes that had seen everything and, as a result, were surprised by nothing.” Coldmoon is more down to earth: part Lakota, part Italian, and “every inch a Fed.” Add in murderous drug dealers, an intrepid newspaper reporter, coyotes crossing the U.S.–Mexico border, and a pissed-off wannabe graphic novelist, and you have a thoroughly entertaining cast of characters. There is plenty of suspense, and the action gets bloody.

Great storytelling, a quirky hero, and a quirkier plot make this a winner for adventure fans.

Pub Date: Feb. 4, 2020

ISBN: 978-1-5387-4725-4

Page Count: 368

Publisher: Grand Central Publishing

Review Posted Online: Jan. 13, 2020

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Feb. 1, 2020

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Professionally entertaining, with lots of realistically frustrating false hopes—though it’s hard to worry very much about...

NEON PREY

Lucas Davenport goes west.

But first he goes south, called from his home in Minnesota to the Louisiana swamp where hired killer Clayton Deese buried at least five people (the total is actually higher) before coming a cropper seven months ago with his latest target, Howell Paine. Things went sideways, sending Paine to the hospital and sentencing Deese to an ankle monitor he sliced through three days ago. Local FBI agent Sandro Tremanty, discovering Deese’s absence, wants help from the U.S. marshals in rounding up his quarry so that he can implicate loan shark Roger Smith, who’d hired him to hurt Paine and send a warning to his other debtors. And there’s another reason the feds would like to get Deese off the streets: His experiments in homicide have given him a taste for human flesh. Soon enough, Lucas, together with marshals Rae Givens and Bob Matees, has picked up Deese’s trail, which leads first to Marina Del Rey, where he’s joined his half brother, Marion Beauchamps, and Jayden Nast, “a guy with guns, who hates cops,” in a brutal home-invasion crew. Conscientious detective work brings Lucas and the LAPD within a whisker of catching Deese, but he slips away from them and heads to Las Vegas with Genesis Cox, the blonde he’s picked up, and John Rogers Cole, another accomplice. Deese and his cohort must constantly pull new jobs to support their gambling and drug habits, and it’s hard to imagine their eluding the law for very long. But there are deeper threats to their racket. Roger Smith, who knows plenty about Deese, realizes he has every reason to get rid of him, and there turns out to be no honor among the thieves closer to home either.

Professionally entertaining, with lots of realistically frustrating false hopes—though it’s hard to worry very much about the leading question here: Will the franchise hero (Twisted Prey, 2018, etc.) succeed in bringing the crooks to justice before they wipe each other off the face of the Earth?

Pub Date: April 13, 2019

ISBN: 978-0-525-53658-1

Page Count: 400

Publisher: Putnam

Review Posted Online: Feb. 17, 2019

Kirkus Reviews Issue: March 1, 2019

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