Sadly, the answers are neither as interesting nor even as surprising as the setup. This may be the first time most of...

READ REVIEW

DON'T LET GO

A pair of present-day murders bring the past alive for a New Jersey cop still mourning the twin brother he buried 15 years ago.

The last few weeks of high school often bring out the graduates’ appetites for unaccustomed risky behavior. But no one in suburban Westbridge has ever been able to explain what Leo Dumas and his girlfriend, cheerleader Diana Styles, were doing on the railroad tracks that made them get hit by a train or why Maura Wells, the girlfriend of Leo’s twin, Napoleon, “Nap,” chose that night to disappear. Now, in one of those sudden lightning flashes only Coben (Home, 2016, etc.) could have thought of, that night comes roaring back with the discovery of Maura’s fingerprints in a car driven by a murdered Pennsylvania cop. Sgt. Rex Canton was shot during what would have been a routine drunk-driving stop if Rex hadn’t been off duty and specifically targeting the man who shot him. Detective Nap Dumas, who still regularly talks to his dead twin, knows he can’t work an out-of-state homicide, even one that links Maura, his vanished girlfriend, once again to Rex, one of his high school classmates. In fact the connection is even deeper, for Leo, Diana, Maura, and Rex were all members of Westbrook High’s Conspiracy Club, a group evidently designed to nurture the naturally anti-establishment paranoia of adolescents through the ages. When one of the club’s two surviving members—Hank Stroud, a math genius who’s been wandering the streets of Westbridge for years—is also murdered, Nap resolves to question the other survivor, Beth Lashley, who’s now married, living in Ann Arbor, and practicing cardiology. He soon finds that Beth’s resolve is equal to his own: she’s separated from her husband, announced a professional sabbatical, and gone AWOL. What secret could the Conspiracy Club have discovered that would remain so dangerous for so long?

Sadly, the answers are neither as interesting nor even as surprising as the setup. This may be the first time most of perennially bestselling Coben’s readers will beat his hard-used hero to the solution.

Pub Date: Sept. 26, 2017

ISBN: 978-0-525-95511-5

Page Count: 400

Publisher: Dutton

Review Posted Online: July 17, 2017

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Aug. 1, 2017

Did you like this book?

No Comments Yet

Dark and unsettling, this novel’s end arrives abruptly even as readers are still moving at a breakneck speed.

THEN SHE WAS GONE

Ten years after her teenage daughter went missing, a mother begins a new relationship only to discover she can't truly move on until she answers lingering questions about the past.

Laurel Mack’s life stopped in many ways the day her 15-year-old daughter, Ellie, left the house to study at the library and never returned. She drifted away from her other two children, Hanna and Jake, and eventually she and her husband, Paul, divorced. Ten years later, Ellie’s remains and her backpack are found, though the police are unable to determine the reasons for her disappearance and death. After Ellie’s funeral, Laurel begins a relationship with Floyd, a man she meets in a cafe. She's disarmed by Floyd’s charm, but when she meets his young daughter, Poppy, Laurel is startled by her resemblance to Ellie. As the novel progresses, Laurel becomes increasingly determined to learn what happened to Ellie, especially after discovering an odd connection between Poppy’s mother and her daughter even as her relationship with Floyd is becoming more serious. Jewell’s (I Found You, 2017, etc.) latest thriller moves at a brisk pace even as she plays with narrative structure: The book is split into three sections, including a first one which alternates chapters between the time of Ellie’s disappearance and the present and a second section that begins as Laurel and Floyd meet. Both of these sections primarily focus on Laurel. In the third section, Jewell alternates narrators and moments in time: The narrator switches to alternating first-person points of view (told by Poppy’s mother and Floyd) interspersed with third-person narration of Ellie’s experiences and Laurel’s discoveries in the present. All of these devices serve to build palpable tension, but the structure also contributes to how deeply disturbing the story becomes. At times, the characters and the emotional core of the events are almost obscured by such quick maneuvering through the weighty plot.

Dark and unsettling, this novel’s end arrives abruptly even as readers are still moving at a breakneck speed.

Pub Date: April 24, 2018

ISBN: 978-1-5011-5464-5

Page Count: 368

Publisher: Atria

Review Posted Online: Feb. 6, 2018

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Feb. 15, 2018

Did you like this book?

No Comments Yet

A strongly felt, if not terribly gripping, sendoff for a Turow favorite nearly 35 years after his appearance in Presumed...

Our Verdict

  • Our Verdict
  • GET IT

  • New York Times Bestseller

  • IndieBound Bestseller

THE LAST TRIAL

Trying his final case at 85, celebrated criminal defense lawyer Sandy Stern defends a Nobel-winning doctor and longtime friend whose cancer wonder drug saved Stern's life but subsequently led to the deaths of others.

Federal prosecutors are charging the eminent doctor, Kiril Pafko, with murder, fraud, and insider trading. An Argentine émigré like Stern, Pafko is no angel. His counselor is certain he sold stock in the company that produced the drug, g-Livia, before users' deaths were reported. The 78-year-old Nobelist is a serial adulterer whose former and current lovers have strong ties to the case. Working for one final time alongside his daughter and proficient legal partner, Marta, who has announced she will close the firm and retire along with her father following the case, Stern must deal not only with "senior moments" before Chief Judge Sonya "Sonny" Klonsky, but also his physical frailty. While taking a deep dive into the ups and downs of a complicated big-time trial, Turow (Testimony, 2017, etc.) crafts a love letter to his profession through his elegiac appreciation of Stern, who has appeared in all his Kindle County novels. The grandly mannered attorney (his favorite response is "Just so") has dedicated himself to the law at great personal cost. But had he not spent so much of his life inside courtrooms, "He never would have known himself." With its bland prosecutors, frequent focus on technical details like "double-blind clinical trials," and lack of real surprises, the novel likely will disappoint some fans of legal thrillers. But this smoothly efficient book gains timely depth through its discussion of thorny moral issues raised by a drug that can extend a cancer sufferer's life expectancy at the risk of suddenly ending it.

A strongly felt, if not terribly gripping, sendoff for a Turow favorite nearly 35 years after his appearance in Presumed Innocent.

Pub Date: May 12, 2020

ISBN: 978-1-5387-4813-8

Page Count: 448

Publisher: Grand Central Publishing

Review Posted Online: Feb. 10, 2020

Kirkus Reviews Issue: March 1, 2020

Did you like this book?

more