Intricately crafted and clocklike in its controlled release of psychological and geopolitical tension.

TIMEBOMB

Embedded as a driver in the London home of Russian money launderer Josef Goldmann, undercover officer Jonathan Carrick’s assignment is yielding no useful information.

But when intel regarding the sale of a portable nuke makes Goldmann of interest to MI5, the stakes rise. Carrick foils an apparent assassination attempt and finds himself finagled into Goldmann’s trust just as they hook up with the broker, mafia heavy Reuven Weissberg whose lineage, nihilism and innate distrustfulness descend from a survivor of the Sobibor extermination camp. As a pawn in the hands of the brusque, unorthodox Christopher Lawson, 38 years an officer with the Secret Intelligence Service, Carrick walks the high wire sans safety net, enduring ruthless tests by mafia thugs. Meanwhile two disgruntled former Soviet soldiers excavate the weapon from its hiding place in a vegetable patch and set off in a decrepit car on a bizarre, often Quixotic odyssey, facing border crossings and inspections with the weapon hidden loosely under a tarp. The buyer, an Islamic militant operative known as “The Crow,” has lined up an expert to verify the device’s authenticity, a nuclear scientist let go from his position for family connection to the tribal areas in Pakistan. Themes of disenfranchisement breeding treachery and buried evils inevitably resurfacing permeate this latest, balletic thriller from Seymour (Walking Dead, 2008, etc.), whose sense of historical underpinnings, earned from years of covering terrorism as a journalist, elevate this tale to the heights of the genre, offering sprung steel suspense and sobering depictions of a world tilting on its nuclear fulcrum from Cold War deadlock to post 9-11 volatility. As the threat of nuclear terrorism looms, Carrick’s psychological state threatens collapse. Weissberg leads him to the site of one holocaust—will it become birthplace of another?  

Intricately crafted and clocklike in its controlled release of psychological and geopolitical tension.

Pub Date: Feb. 1, 2012

ISBN: 978-1-59020-699-7

Page Count: 432

Publisher: Overlook

Review Posted Online: Dec. 28, 2011

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Jan. 15, 2012

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Boasting one of the freshest and most unlikely duos to appear in crime fiction in some time, the latest thriller by...

THE DEAD STUDENT

Convinced that the shooting death of his psychiatrist uncle was murder—not a suicide, as ruled—a Miami Ph.D. student with a binge-drinking problem turns to his high school girlfriend to help him uncover the truth.

Timothy Warner, known as Moth, has long depended upon his Uncle Ed, who had drinking issues of his own, in times of crisis. He knew Ed well enough to know that he would never have shot himself, no matter how convinced the police are that he did. Not knowing whom else to call for help, he contacts his old flame Andrea Martine. Known as Andy Candy, she's in a fragile state herself, still recovering from an unprosecuted case of date rape and from having her heart broken by Moth. But though she's reluctant to see him again, her devotion slowly returns. With all their quirks and foibles, they make an unusually appealing team. When the narrative is taken over by the smugly self-admiring Student #5, a former student of Ed's who is stalking old professors he has grudges against, the book becomes more predictable. As devious as Student #5 is, he meets his match in Moth and Andy. "You're not a cop. You don't know anything about killing," Andy says to Moth early on. "I'm a fast learner," he replies.

Boasting one of the freshest and most unlikely duos to appear in crime fiction in some time, the latest thriller by Katzenbach (Red 1-2-3, 2013) is one of his most enjoyable.

Pub Date: Oct. 6, 2015

ISBN: 978-0-8021-2337-4

Page Count: 432

Publisher: Mysterious Press

Review Posted Online: July 16, 2015

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Aug. 1, 2015

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SECRET IN THE MIST

A tranquil story about Jonathan and his two secrets: “One is buried in a patch of sunny earth. The other was buried in a patch of evening mist.” The secret in the sunny patch is a sunflower. The other secret appears to be a second flower—a night-blooming cereus or a queen of the night? When the big day comes, Jonathan and his whole family stand in awe, mouths agape at the “flashiest flower” sister Kate has ever seen. Come night, Jonathan creeps down stairs and is joined by his father outside. There the second secret unfolds: It is not a different flower at all, but the sunflower by night, radiant still. The mystery of night adds a note of excitement to Jonathan’s secret, but not enough to strain the lullaby sweetness of this story. Every page is enhanced by Lambert’s soft pastels. (Picture book. 3-7)

Pub Date: June 1, 1999

ISBN: 1-899607-98-6

Page Count: 32

Publisher: Sterling

Review Posted Online: May 20, 2010

Kirkus Reviews Issue: May 15, 1999

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