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

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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Forget about solving all these crimes; the signal triumph here is (spoiler) the heroine’s survival.

A CONSPIRACY OF BONES

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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A suspenseful, professional-grade north country procedural whose heroine, a deft mix of compassion and attitude, would be...

BADLANDS

Box takes another break from his highly successful Joe Pickett series (Stone Cold, 2014, etc.) for a stand-alone about a police detective, a developmentally delayed boy, and a package everyone in North Dakota wants to grab.

Cassandra Dewell can’t leave Montana’s Lewis and Clark County fast enough for her new job as chief investigator for Jon Kirkbride, sheriff of Bakken County. She leaves behind no memories worth keeping: her husband is dead, her boss has made no bones about disliking her, and she’s looking forward to new responsibilities and the higher salary underwritten by North Dakota’s sudden oil boom. But Bakken County has its own issues. For one thing, it’s cold—a whole lot colder than the coldest weather Cassie’s ever imagined. For another, the job she turns out to have been hired for—leading an investigation her new boss doesn’t feel he can entrust to his own force—makes her queasy. The biggest problem, though, is one she doesn’t know about until it slaps her in the face. A fatal car accident that was anything but accidental has jarred loose a stash of methamphetamines and cash that’s become the center of a battle between the Sons of Freedom, Bakken County’s traditional drug sellers, and MS-13, the Salvadorian upstarts who are muscling in on their territory. It’s a setup that leaves scant room for law enforcement officers or for Kyle Westergaard, the 12-year-old paperboy damaged since birth by fetal alcohol syndrome, who’s walked away from the wreck with a prize all too many people would kill for.

A suspenseful, professional-grade north country procedural whose heroine, a deft mix of compassion and attitude, would be welcome to return and tie up the gaping loose end Box leaves. The unrelenting cold makes this the perfect beach read.

Pub Date: July 28, 2015

ISBN: 978-0-312-58321-7

Page Count: 272

Publisher: Minotaur

Review Posted Online: April 22, 2015

Kirkus Reviews Issue: May 15, 2015

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