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DIVISIBLE MAN

THE THIRD LIE

A gripping, timely, and twisty thriller.

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In Seaborne’s sixth series adventure, a pilot who can turn invisible and fly tackles a tangle of crimes, including serial killing and extortion.

It’s been a jam-packed year for Essex County Airport charter pilot Will Stewart since the midair collision that should have killed him. The crash left him with an amazing ability: he can float invisibly, no longer “subject to the laws of inertia and mass and gravity.” He’s called on this power, which he calls “the other thing,” to uncover truths and right wrongs committed by otherwise untouchable malefactors. While he’s invisible, Will can make other people float, too, which has allowed him to perform amazing rescues. Although he’s tried to keep his gift a secret, a small group, including his police detective wife, Andy, is in the know, and they’re concerned that online-retail billionaire Spiro Lewko has gotten his hands on the only surviving piece of debris from the mysterious object that collided with Will. Lewko intends to study the object at his highly secure, state-of-the-art research facility. Meanwhile, a vicious serial killer is murdering isolated farm families and threatens to keep doing so unless he receives $100 million from the Stewarts’ wealthy friend Sandy Stone. To raise the money, Stone must sell a valuable lakeside property that a National Football League star is currently renting. The athlete was recently arrested for providing alcohol to minors, so he’s broken the lease—a convenient situation for arrogant real estate developer Emilio DeSantorini, who wants to buy the property. Once again, Will must employ his special talents, join with allies, and investigate interrelated cases to ensure that justice is done.

Seaborne shows himself to be a reliably splendid storyteller in this latest outing. The plot is intricate and could have been confusing in lesser hands, but the author manages it well, keeping readers oriented amid unexpected developments. He captures a particular cultural zeitgeist by using bitcoin and the dark web as story elements, and he offers original characters that call to mind real-life figures, such as Elon Musk, Jeff Bezos, and Donald Trump. His crisp writing about complex scenes and concepts is another strong suit, as when he describes Lewko’s laboratory, “a set director’s dream for a science fiction picture” where “sequential lights glowed in the floor, throbbing like weird luminescent water flowers sunk in an acrylic pond.” The fantasy of self-powered flight remains absolutely compelling, each installment bringing new revelations regarding its possibilities and origins. As a former charter pilot, Seaborne conveys Will’s delight not only in “the other thing,” but also in airplanes and the world of flight—an engaging subculture that he ably brings to life for the reader. Will is heroic and daring, as one would expect, but he’s also funny, compassionate, and affectionate. While embracing a troubled woman, for example, he reflects on his own feelings: “It wasn’t attraction, but it was love….The kind that hides beneath the skin of humanity and peeks out when tragedy reminds us that everyone around us reflects the face we see in the mirror.”

A gripping, timely, and twisty thriller.

Pub Date: May 4, 2020

ISBN: 978-1-73368-345-6

Page Count: 414

Publisher: Trans World Data

Review Posted Online: June 4, 2020

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Aug. 1, 2020

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HOME IS WHERE THE BODIES ARE

Answers are hard to come by in this twisting tale designed to trick and delight.

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Three siblings on very different paths learn that their family home may be haunted by secrets.

Eldest daughter Beth is alone with her fading mother as she takes her final breath and says something about Beth’s long-departed brother and sister, who may not have disappeared forever. Beth is still reeling from the loss of her mother when her estranged siblings show up. Michael, the youngest, hasn’t been home since their father’s disappearance seven years ago. In the meantime, he’s outgrown his siblings, trading his share of the family troubles for a high-paying job in San Jose. Nicole, the middle child, has been overpowered by addiction and prioritized tuning out reality over any sense of responsibility, much to Beth’s disgust. Though their mother’s death marks an ending for the family, it’s also a beginning, as the three siblings realize when they find a disturbing videotape among their parents’ belongings. The video, from 1999, sheds suspicion on their father’s disappearance, linking it to a long-unsolved neighborhood mystery. Was it just a series of unfortunate circumstances that broke the family apart, or does something more sinister underlie the sadness they’ve all found in life? In chapters that rotate among the family’s first-person narratives, the siblings take turns digging up stories and secrets in their search for solace.

Answers are hard to come by in this twisting tale designed to trick and delight.

Pub Date: April 30, 2024

ISBN: 9798212182843

Page Count: 270

Publisher: Blackstone

Review Posted Online: Feb. 3, 2024

Kirkus Reviews Issue: March 1, 2024

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IDENTITY

Roberts revisits a favorite theme: The power of community can defeat a great evil.

After escaping from a serial killer, a woman tries to reclaim her life.

After a childhood as an Army brat, Morgan Albright is determined to put down roots. She bought a small house in the perfect neighborhood outside of Baltimore, living with a friend and working two jobs to make ends meet. Morgan’s life is happy and fulfilling, and she is making progress on her financial and career goals. Her perfect world is shattered when someone breaks into her home and murders her roommate. At first, the police assume it was a random act of violence, but after discovering the killer stole Morgan’s identity and her entire savings, they realize the crime fits the profile of a serial killer named Gavin Rozwell. The police inform Morgan that her roommate was simply in the wrong place at the wrong time; she was the real intended target. Morgan’s grief, coupled with the financial devastation from the identity theft, leaves her no choice but to return home to Vermont to live with her mother and grandmother. Morgan reconnects with her family and rebuilds her life, including landing the perfect job and falling in love. The police and FBI pursue Gavin, who continues to stalk and kill women, each time leaving a reminder at the crime scene that shows he’s fixated on Morgan as the one who got away. Roberts shows Gavin’s slow descent into obsession and madness as the inverse of Morgan’s healing journey back to herself and her community. The novel highlights Morgan’s preparations for the inevitable final countdown with Gavin, but the lack of immediacy and urgency of the threat makes for a subdued, restrained thriller.

Roberts revisits a favorite theme: The power of community can defeat a great evil.

Pub Date: May 23, 2023

ISBN: 9781250284112

Page Count: 448

Publisher: St. Martin's

Review Posted Online: March 27, 2023

Kirkus Reviews Issue: April 15, 2023

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