by James Grippando ‧ RELEASE DATE: Feb. 5, 2019
Grippando is equally skillful at ratcheting up the tension and plucking at your heartstrings. Only the ending, which...
Miami attorney Jack Swyteck battles to save an undocumented Salvadorian immigrant caught between the abusive husband she fled and the majesty of the U.S. government.
Barista Julia Rodriguez’s job at Café de Caribe ends the moment she emphatically rejects the advances of cafe manager Duncan McBride, who promptly dimes her out to Immigration and Customs Enforcement. Only Julia’s heroism and quick thinking prevent her 14-year-old daughter, Beatriz, from being swept up along with her. Brought to Jack’s attention by her aunt, Cecelia Varga, and Jack’s grandmother, Beatriz only wants to be reunited with her mother. But that’s one tall order, as Jack (A Death in Live Oak, 2018, etc.) quickly learns. Julia’s not eligible for asylum because she was charged with a felony back in El Salvador: aborting the baby who was the product of one of the many rapes she suffered at the hands of her husband, brutal gangster Jorge Rodriguez. Flexing his muscles in court, Jack gets Julia released from detention just in time for her to discover Duncan McBride’s corpse in her bathtub. Small wonder that Beatriz, faced with her mother’s reimprisonment, withdraws into a life-threatening case of resignation syndrome, leading to an ugly paradox: an immigration judge orders Julia released until Beatriz’s health improves, but as soon as it does, Julia’s detained again even though the price will be Beatriz’s relapse. Working with his old buddy Theo Knight, Jack makes two trips to El Salvador, but what he learns there just deepens his client’s peril, which turns on another paradox. There’s every indication that Jorge Rodriguez has followed Julia to the U.S., but his presence there, if he really is there, undermines her case for asylum, which depends on the argument that she’d face imminent danger back in El Salvador, even as it puts her in clear and present danger here and now.Grippando is equally skillful at ratcheting up the tension and plucking at your heartstrings. Only the ending, which acknowledges just how intractable the plight of undocumented immigrants has become, is a letdown.
Pub Date: Feb. 5, 2019
Page Count: 368
Review Posted Online: Oct. 27, 2018
Kirkus Reviews Issue: Nov. 15, 2018
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by Kathy Reichs ‧ RELEASE DATE: March 17, 2020
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
Page Count: 352
Review Posted Online: Dec. 22, 2019
Kirkus Reviews Issue: Jan. 15, 2020
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by Karin Slaughter ‧ RELEASE DATE: Sept. 29, 2015
Slaughter (Cop Town, 2014, etc.) is so uncompromising in following her blood trails to the darkest places imaginable that...
Awards & Accolades
Best Books Of 2015
New York Times Bestseller
Twenty-four years after a traumatic disappearance tore a Georgia family apart, Slaughter’s scorching stand-alone picks them up and shreds them all over again.
The Carrolls have never been the same since 19-year-old Julia vanished. After years of fruitlessly pestering the police, her veterinarian father, Sam, killed himself; her librarian mother, Helen, still keeps the girl's bedroom untouched, just in case. Julia’s sisters have been equally scarred. Lydia Delgado has sold herself for drugs countless times, though she’s been clean for years now; Claire Scott has just been paroled after knee-capping her tennis partner for a thoughtless remark. The evening that Claire’s ankle bracelet comes off, her architect husband, Paul, is callously murdered before her eyes and, without a moment's letup, she stumbles on a mountainous cache of snuff porn. Paul’s business partner, Adam Quinn, demands information from Claire and threatens her with dire consequences if she doesn’t deliver. The Dunwoody police prove as ineffectual as ever. FBI agent Fred Nolan is more suavely menacing than helpful. So Lydia and Claire, who’ve grown so far apart that they’re virtual strangers, are unwillingly thrown back on each other for help. Once she’s plunged you into this maelstrom, Slaughter shreds your own nerves along with those of the sisters, not simply by a parade of gruesome revelations—though she supplies them in abundance—but by peeling back layer after layer from beloved family members Claire and Lydia thought they knew. The results are harrowing.Slaughter (Cop Town, 2014, etc.) is so uncompromising in following her blood trails to the darkest places imaginable that she makes most of her high-wire competition look pallid, formulaic, or just plain fake.
Pub Date: Sept. 29, 2015
Page Count: 400
Review Posted Online: June 30, 2015
Kirkus Reviews Issue: July 15, 2015
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