Farrell’s psychological thriller-classic holds up. The bonus stories add value to this edition.


Farrell’s groundbreaking tale of two elderly sisters caught up in a murderous web has been re-released. This volume includes three additional, never-before-published short stories from the author (1920-2006).

Baby Jane Hudson was a child star in the early 1900s. A Shirley Temple type of wunderkind, Baby Jane sang, danced and enthralled audiences all over the world. She was also a tiny terror, holding her family hostage with her bad temper and earning power, tormenting her younger sister, Blanche, and dominating her doting parents. Since then, Blanche has had a sparkling career as a Hollywood star, appearing in dozens of movies and dazzling audiences everywhere. But a terrible accident has forced a change in her lifestyle: She is now a cripple that Jane cares for in the fortresslike atmosphere of the former movie star’s once-fashionable home. And Jane is deluded. Although close to 60, she cakes her face with makeup and dresses like a little girl, dreaming of the day when she can once again return to show business. In order to prepare for that day, Jane hires an accompanist and starts practicing for the resumption of her childhood career; but she’s also immersed in a deadly game with her dependent sister, making certain that Blanche becomes more and more isolated from the outside world. In the process of ensuring that isolation, Jane resorts to cruel tactics that reinforce her mental instability. Farrell’s writing comes across as a bit melodramatic by today’s standards, but this ageless and much-emulated tale (turned into a classic film starring Bette Davis and Joan Crawford) still resonates. The book includes three additional, never-before-published Farrell stories. "Whatever Happened to Cousin Charlotte," the story that birthed the film Hush, Hush Sweet Charlotte, is another relatives-gone-bad story in the same vein as Jane; "The Debut of Larry Richards," about a successful actor whose path crosses with an actor he has spurned, with disastrous results, tips its hat to the old Twilight Zone television series; and "First, The Egg" provides a fanciful, light look at a romance between a man who finds what he believes to be a dinosaur egg and the woman who loves him, even if she does think he's a bit batty.

Farrell’s psychological thriller-classic holds up. The bonus stories add value to this edition.

Pub Date: Oct. 1, 2013

ISBN: 978-1-4555-4675-6

Page Count: 304

Publisher: Grand Central Publishing

Review Posted Online: Aug. 31, 2013

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Sept. 15, 2013

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A tasty, if not always tasteful, tale of supernatural mayhem that fans of King and Crichton alike will enjoy.

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  • New York Times Bestseller


Are we not men? We are—well, ask Bigfoot, as Brooks does in this delightful yarn, following on his bestseller World War Z (2006).

A zombie apocalypse is one thing. A volcanic eruption is quite another, for, as the journalist who does a framing voice-over narration for Brooks’ latest puts it, when Mount Rainier popped its cork, “it was the psychological aspect, the hyperbole-fueled hysteria that had ended up killing the most people.” Maybe, but the sasquatches whom the volcano displaced contributed to the statistics, too, if only out of self-defense. Brooks places the epicenter of the Bigfoot war in a high-tech hideaway populated by the kind of people you might find in a Jurassic Park franchise: the schmo who doesn’t know how to do much of anything but tries anyway, the well-intentioned bleeding heart, the know-it-all intellectual who turns out to know the wrong things, the immigrant with a tough backstory and an instinct for survival. Indeed, the novel does double duty as a survival manual, packed full of good advice—for instance, try not to get wounded, for “injury turns you from a giver to a taker. Taking up our resources, our time to care for you.” Brooks presents a case for making room for Bigfoot in the world while peppering his narrative with timely social criticism about bad behavior on the human side of the conflict: The explosion of Rainier might have been better forecast had the president not slashed the budget of the U.S. Geological Survey, leading to “immediate suspension of the National Volcano Early Warning System,” and there’s always someone around looking to monetize the natural disaster and the sasquatch-y onslaught that follows. Brooks is a pro at building suspense even if it plays out in some rather spectacularly yucky episodes, one involving a short spear that takes its name from “the sucking sound of pulling it out of the dead man’s heart and lungs.” Grossness aside, it puts you right there on the scene.

A tasty, if not always tasteful, tale of supernatural mayhem that fans of King and Crichton alike will enjoy.

Pub Date: June 16, 2020

ISBN: 978-1-9848-2678-7

Page Count: 304

Publisher: Del Rey/Ballantine

Review Posted Online: Feb. 10, 2020

Kirkus Reviews Issue: March 1, 2020

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


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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