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THE FINAL TWIST

Enough surprises, complications, and deceptions for three novels and half a dozen short stories.

A third case—make that flock of cases—for Colter Shaw, who finds lost people for the reward money.

Soon after Shaw finds evidence that, shortly before his death years ago, his father, Ashton, had been on the trail of some kind of damning information the late BlackBridge Corporate Solutions researcher Amos Gahl had gotten on his employer, his long-estranged brother, Russell Shaw, interrupts his own clandestine undercover work and turns up to help Shaw find that information and bring down BlackBridge. Their enemies—BlackBridge founder and CEO Ian Helms, his fixer Ebbitt Droon, grandmotherly killer Irena Braxton, and all the company’s vast resources—are potent, but not nearly as potent as the array of switchbacks Shaw and his brother will have to negotiate as they search for the mysterious Endgame Sanction of 1906. The company’s deep-laid malfeasance is closely entangled with the schemes of BlackBridge client Jonathan Stuart Devereux, head of Banyan Tree Holdings. Along the way, Shaw finds evidence that the family of someone identified only as “SP” is slated for extermination and adds saving them to his to-do list. And undeterred by the firepower arrayed against him, he decides to take on the more traditional job of finding recovering addict Tessy Vasquez for the piddling reward her mother, undocumented, overworked Maria Vasquez, is offering, and his search naturally gets tangled up with everything else. The caseload is every bit as miscellaneous as it sounds, but Deaver spices his kitchen sink with so many red herrings, misleading clues, bait-and-switches, and double-fakes that you’ll be hard-pressed to identify that final twist.

Enough surprises, complications, and deceptions for three novels and half a dozen short stories.

Pub Date: May 11, 2021

ISBN: 978-0-525-53913-1

Page Count: 416

Publisher: Putnam

Review Posted Online: March 16, 2021

Kirkus Reviews Issue: April 1, 2021

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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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THE HOUSE ACROSS THE LAKE

A weird, wild ride.

Celebrity scandal and a haunted lake drive the narrative in this bestselling author’s latest serving of subtly ironic suspense.

Sager’s debut, Final Girls (2017), was fun and beautifully crafted. His most recent novels—Home Before Dark (2020) and Survive the Night (2021) —have been fun and a bit rickety. His new novel fits that mold. Narrator Casey Fletcher grew up watching her mother dazzle audiences, and then she became an actor herself. While she never achieves the “America’s sweetheart” status her mother enjoyed, Casey makes a career out of bit parts in movies and on TV and meatier parts onstage. Then the death of her husband sends her into an alcoholic spiral that ends with her getting fired from a Broadway play. When paparazzi document her substance abuse, her mother exiles her to the family retreat in Vermont. Casey has a dry, droll perspective that persists until circumstances overwhelm her, and if you’re getting a Carrie Fisher vibe from Casey Fletcher, that is almost certainly not an accident. Once in Vermont, she passes the time drinking bourbon and watching the former supermodel and the tech mogul who live across the lake through a pair of binoculars. Casey befriends Katherine Royce after rescuing her when she almost drowns and soon concludes that all is not well in Katherine and Tom’s marriage. Then Katherine disappears….It would be unfair to say too much about what happens next, but creepy coincidences start piling up, and eventually, Casey has to face the possibility that maybe some of the eerie legends about Lake Greene might have some truth to them. Sager certainly delivers a lot of twists, and he ventures into what is, for him, new territory. Are there some things that don’t quite add up at the end? Maybe, but asking that question does nothing but spoil a highly entertaining read.

A weird, wild ride.

Pub Date: June 21, 2022

ISBN: 978-0-593-18319-9

Page Count: 368

Publisher: Dutton

Review Posted Online: March 29, 2022

Kirkus Reviews Issue: April 15, 2022

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