An exciting adventure story ripe for cinematic treatment.

THE PARIS LABYRINTH

In 1889 Paris, Vincent Cavel and his friends are the brilliant creators of secret rooms and passageways, highly sought after by the powerful and wealthy. Now, their own lives may be under siege.

It all begins when Vincent accepts a curious job from a Mr. Minguier, who wants him not to build a secret room but to break into one hidden in his new home. And then a curious invitation arrives from the mysterious Charles Adinson. Like Minguier, Charles does not ask Vincent to design a secret hideaway for his treasures. Instead, he asks him to join a secret fraternity intent upon safeguarding the treasures of history from the newfangled technologies of the modern era. Meanwhile, a beautiful woman has literally fallen into the team’s hidden workshop. Unsure whom to trust, Vincent and his team quickly become caught up in a dangerous adventure riddled with assassination attempts and impossible puzzles to solve. Poisoners, knife-wielding hooligans, menacing stalkers, and eerie magical twins called the Mage—all plunge the team into the sewers and labyrinthine tunnel systems underneath the streets of Paris. The engineering feats found there astound even Vincent’s imagination. Deftly constructing an intricate world, Legardinier is at his best when depicting the secret architecture, magical inventions, and sheer genius of Vincent’s designs. These dazzle set alongside the magic of the World’s Fair, with its exhibits of glassworks, clockworks, machinery, and even the Eiffel Tower. Indeed, once Legardinier delves into the most hidden of subterranean vaults, the treasures rival those of Scheherazade’s tales.

An exciting adventure story ripe for cinematic treatment.

Pub Date: May 4, 2021

ISBN: 978-2-08-020674-9

Page Count: 432

Publisher: Flammarion

Review Posted Online: March 3, 2021

Kirkus Reviews Issue: March 15, 2021

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For devoted Hannah fans in search of a good cry.

THE FOUR WINDS

The miseries of the Depression and Dust Bowl years shape the destiny of a Texas family.

“Hope is a coin I carry: an American penny, given to me by a man I came to love. There were times in my journey when I felt as if that penny and the hope it represented were the only things that kept me going.” We meet Elsa Wolcott in Dalhart, Texas, in 1921, on the eve of her 25th birthday, and wind up with her in California in 1936 in a saga of almost unrelieved woe. Despised by her shallow parents and sisters for being sickly and unattractive—“too tall, too thin, too pale, too unsure of herself”—Elsa escapes their cruelty when a single night of abandon leads to pregnancy and forced marriage to the son of Italian immigrant farmers. Though she finds some joy working the land, tending the animals, and learning her way around Mama Rose's kitchen, her marriage is never happy, the pleasures of early motherhood are brief, and soon the disastrous droughts of the 1930s drive all the farmers of the area to despair and starvation. Elsa's search for a better life for her children takes them out west to California, where things turn out to be even worse. While she never overcomes her low self-esteem about her looks, Elsa displays an iron core of character and courage as she faces dust storms, floods, hunger riots, homelessness, poverty, the misery of migrant labor, bigotry, union busting, violent goons, and more. The pedantic aims of the novel are hard to ignore as Hannah embodies her history lesson in what feels like a series of sepia-toned postcards depicting melodramatic scenes and clichéd emotions.

For devoted Hannah fans in search of a good cry.

Pub Date: Feb. 9, 2021

ISBN: 978-1-2501-7860-2

Page Count: 464

Publisher: St. Martin's

Review Posted Online: Nov. 18, 2020

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Dec. 1, 2020

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Sprawling and only intermittently suspenseful till that last act: below average for this distinguished series.

OCEAN PREY

No oceans in Minnesota, you say? That won’t stop Lucas Davenport and Virgil Flowers, who are clearly determined to burn through their bucket list on the federal government’s dime.

The murders of three Coast Guard officers chasing a suspicious boat in Florida waters by crooks who set fire to the boat moments after abandoning it send shock waves through the DEA, the FBI, and eventually the U.S. Marshals Service. In short order Lucas and his colleague and pal Bob Matees find themselves on a task force Florida Sen. Christopher Colles convenes to find the drugs the fugitives managed to dump into the Atlantic before they shot their pursuers and arrest everyone in sight. The duo’s modus operandi seems to be to talk to everyone who’s seen anything, and then talk to everyone they’ve mentioned, and so on, taking regular breaks to drink, reminisce, and swap wisecracks. Everything is so relaxed and routine that fans of this long-running series will just know that Sandford has something more up his sleeve, and he does. Eventually the task force’s net widens to make room for Virgil, who, working with Marshal Rae Givens, hires himself out to the criminals as a diver who can retrieve those drugs while Lucas and his allies work their way higher and higher up the food chain of baddies. The cast is enormous and mostly forgettable, but Sandford manages to work up a full head of steam when Lucas realizes that his scorched-earth tactics have put Virgil and Rae in serious danger.

Sprawling and only intermittently suspenseful till that last act: below average for this distinguished series.

Pub Date: April 13, 2021

ISBN: 978-0-593-08702-2

Page Count: 432

Publisher: Putnam

Review Posted Online: March 3, 2021

Kirkus Reviews Issue: March 15, 2021

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