Readers who like their fiction with a strong dose of inspiration and morality will enjoy this outing.

READ REVIEW

THE CONCEALERS

A fledgling reporter works to uncover her father’s true identity in the second novel of Kaufman’s (The Collectibles, 2010, etc.) trilogy.

Katherine Kelly, enrolled in journalism school, is not one to let an interesting story slip away. So when she decides that she wants to know who her father is, her mother realizes that she cannot keep the secret any longer. When Katherine finally meets Preston Wilson, he seems to be all she could hope for: intelligent, kind, generous with his wealth and pleased to include his newfound daughter in his life. As she gets to know him, however, she learns that Preston may not be so perfect. He doesn’t give enough attention to his wife or young son, and he seems to be shirking his responsibilities to “The Collectibles,” a group of people whom he promised to help (in the first book of this series). Meanwhile, Katherine’s first reporting job leads her to a complex fraud investigation, to which some of Preston’s employees may be linked. As she digs further, she begins to wonder whether her father is also part of the scandal—and whether she should pursue the story. Since this is the second book in a trilogy, it asks more questions than it answers, leaving most resolutions for the last volume. Also, it may be difficult for some readers to become engaged in The Collectibles characters if they haven’t read the first book. Katherine, though, makes an appealing lead—ambitious and headstrong, with a kind heart and a desire to do the right thing. In this case, the “right” thing isn’t clear, making her storyline interestingly unpredictable. The author also deftly manages the large cast of characters, so it’s easy to keep track of who’s who.

Readers who like their fiction with a strong dose of inspiration and morality will enjoy this outing.

Pub Date: Sept. 9, 2013

ISBN: 978-0982587362

Page Count: 404

Publisher: Downstream Publishing LLC.

Review Posted Online: Sept. 10, 2013

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Oct. 1, 2013

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A lackluster and underdeveloped story.

INVISIBLE GIRL

The disappearance of a teenage girl disrupts the lives of her former therapist, his family, and a lonely neighbor.

Seventeen-year-old Saffyre Maddox has been in therapy with Roan Fours, a child psychologist, for three years for self-harming after the deaths of her parents. When Roan suggests Saffyre is ready to move on, she feels betrayed and begins following Roan and spying on his wife, Cate, and two teenage children. She learns Roan is having an affair but also that multiple sexual assaults are taking place in his neighborhood. When Saffyre disappears after her blood is found by the apartments across the street from Roan’s house, Owen Pick, one of Roan and Cate’s neighbors, is arrested and jailed based on his history of visiting incel websites after having been placed on leave from his job following sexual misconduct complaints. At the same time, Cate becomes suspicious of Roan’s lies and where their son, Josh, is sneaking out to. Jewell’s latest domestic thriller features an array of characters set in a posh London neighborhood but struggles to create any real tension regarding Saffyre’s disappearance. The themes of sexual assault and incel culture are only marginally developed despite the key part each plays in the story. As such, even with these subjects, Jewell's latest is not nearly as dark as her earlier novels. This might be a welcome change if the characters had emotional depth or unique narrative voices, but they too are only superficially realized.

A lackluster and underdeveloped story.

Pub Date: Oct. 13, 2020

ISBN: 978-1-982137-33-5

Page Count: 368

Publisher: Atria

Review Posted Online: July 14, 2020

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Aug. 1, 2020

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The solution is maddeningly simple but the construction, simply masterful.

ONE BY ONE

Our contemporary Agatha Christie offers up her version of And Then There Were None when 11 people are stranded in a ritzy ski chalet and begin dying one by one.

By the numbers, the streaming app Snoop is devastatingly successful, and the company is on the cusp of a major buyout—if the shareholders vote to take this route. The founders, Topher and Eva, are torn, and the other three shareholders are being courted to choose sides. Most of the pressure falls on Liz, an awkward outlier when compared with the glamorous, beautiful people who head up the company. Though she doesn't work directly for Snoop anymore, Liz is included in the leadership retreat: It's her and eight other board members at a lush, remote French ski chalet for a little powder, a little pampering, and a little back-channel business. Erin and Danny, the caretakers of the chalet, notice tension among the members of the Snoop group from the beginning, but overall it seems like just another wealthy, entitled corporate gathering. The weather on top of the mountain grows increasingly dangerous, and when nine people go out to ski and only eight return, fear and suspicion begin to grow. Then there's an avalanche, and the chalet is cut off from contact with the outside world. Soon, another group member dies, apparently poisoned, and then another is murdered because of something she saw. The survivors must split up to search for help before there's no one left. Alternating chapters between Liz's and Erin’s points of view, Ware does what she does best: Gives us a familiar locked-door mystery setup and lets the tension and suspicion marinate until they reach fever pitch. Another win for Ware and her adaptations of classic mystery traditions.

The solution is maddeningly simple but the construction, simply masterful.

Pub Date: Sept. 8, 2020

ISBN: 978-1-5011-8881-7

Page Count: 384

Publisher: Scout Press/Simon & Schuster

Review Posted Online: June 17, 2020

Kirkus Reviews Issue: July 1, 2020

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