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DIVISIBLE MAN

EIGHT BALL

Another riveting, taut, and timely adventure with engaging characters and a great premise.

In this eighth series thriller, a pilot who can float while invisible investigates a sniper targeting far-right extremists.

Will Stewart, a pilot at Wisconsin’s Essex County Airport, has a way of getting involved in tense, high-stakes rescues and criminal investigations. An accident mysteriously endowed him with the ability to render himself imperceptible to the naked eye, and also float in a way that isn’t subject to inertia or gravity; over time, he’s discovered various ways to control his flight. For direction and velocity, he nearly always relies on homemade, handheld propeller units, which are useful but limited by battery life. Will often partners with his brilliant, dedicated wife, Detective Andy Stewart, who’s now attending an FBI training program. Few others know of Will’s abilities, but one who does is FBI Special Agent Leslie Carson-Pelham, whose late boss told her the secret. She asks Will to eavesdrop on a right-wing White supremacist’s plans to mount an attack on the U.S. government and start a race war; instead, Will witnesses the man’s death by sniper fire. It’s just one in a string of hits on extremist targets, and although Will foils a would-be kidnapping and helps bring down a chief suspect, it’s soon clear that the killer is still on the loose, which causes general panic. On leave from the Academy, Andy consults with one of her instructors, Mrs. Palmer, who displays razor-sharp intelligence, a genius for invention, and world-class ballistics expertise. She has invaluable and surprising insights that suggest that the sniper’s next target will be the president of the United States, so she and the Stewarts converge on the president’s Detroit campaign rally. Along the way, multiple deceptions put Will and Andy in mortal danger—and could lead to a national political firestorm.

Any reader of this series knows that they’re in good hands with Seaborne, who’s a natural storyteller. His descriptions and dialogue are crisp, and his characters deftly sketched; for example, Pidge, an ace pilot whom Will trained, is described as “a little under five feet of coiled cobra with short blonde hair and a disarming pixie smile” whom Will “always assumed would die alone in a bar fight at the age of ninety.” The book keeps readers tied into its complex and exciting thriller plot with lucid and graceful exposition, laying out clues with cleverness and subtlety. In one instance, for example, Will is afloat, reconnoitering a scene; later on, an almost accidental observation he made before leads him directly to a crucial realization. It doesn’t feel contrived, and neither do some other surprising plot twists. Seaborne gives a pilot’s attention to the aerodynamics of Will’s self-powered flights, during which he must account for obstacles, such as power lines, while working out trajectories, and so on, which gives the book a satisfying procedural air. Also, although Will’s abilities are powerful, they have reasonable limitations, and the protagonist is always a relatable character with plenty of humanity and humor.

Another riveting, taut, and timely adventure with engaging characters and a great premise.

Pub Date: Oct. 5, 2021

ISBN: 978-1-73568-349-2

Page Count: 404

Publisher: Trans World Data

Review Posted Online: Nov. 11, 2021

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DEVOLUTION

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

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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. 9, 2020

Kirkus Reviews Issue: March 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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