THE MIDNIGHT LOCK

In the end, everyone will agree that there’s no other detective under the midnight moon like Lincoln Rhyme.

Quadriplegic ex-cop criminalist Lincoln Rhyme’s latest larger-than-life quarry is a man who invades the apartments of sleeping women and ignores their bodies, preferring to mess with their heads.

Chagrined that Rhyme’s expert testimony ends up persuading several jurors that gangster Viktor Buryak is actually innocent of the murder of laundromat chain owner Alekos Gregorios, Alonzo Rodriguez, head of the Detective Bureau, orders the NYPD to sever all ties with outside contractors, imperiling not only Rhyme’s long and fruitful association with the department, but maybe even his marriage to Detective Amelia Sachs. The timing of this announcement is especially unfortunate because Rhyme has just begun to work on identifying the Locksmith, who’s broken into the homes of fashion marketer and influencer Annabelle Talese and two earlier victims, rearranged their tchotchkes, helped himself to a snack, left behind an unsettling note on a page from the tabloid Daily Herald, and locked the door behind him on his exit. The Locksmith, whose point of view Deaver periodically enters, goes on to commit two more break-ins without violence, leaving Rhyme increasingly frustrated and readers wondering if anybody else will ever get killed. The news that Averell Whittaker, longtime publisher of the Herald, is liquidating the scandal sheet to fund a foundation on journalistic ethics may seem to add a more homely dimension to the Locksmith’s spree. But what Whittaker’s plans really add are new layers of criminal complications that take a hundred pages to wind down. Some readers will be aghast in admiration at the nonstop revelations, others impatient for every last T to be crossed so that they can turn the last page and get to sleep before dawn.

In the end, everyone will agree that there’s no other detective under the midnight moon like Lincoln Rhyme.

Pub Date: Nov. 30, 2021

ISBN: 978-0-525-53600-0

Page Count: 448

Publisher: Putnam

Review Posted Online: Sept. 28, 2021

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Oct. 15, 2021

THE ATLAS MANEUVER

Speculators who haven’t been put off by bitcoin’s recent crash will enjoy this walk—well, run—on the wild side.

Cotton Malone, who just can’t stay retired from international intrigue, joins the mad dance of competitors for a fortune in bitcoin.

So many people have forgotten about the horde of gold the retreating Japanese hid on Luzon Island in the Philippines that it’s not at all clear who has legal title to it. That’s perfect for Robert Citrone, the retired CIA overseer of the Black Eagle Trust, which has used the gold to fund covert operations around the world. Just as Derrick Koger, the European station chief for the CIA, is pulling Malone away from his Copenhagen bookstore to help him investigate possible misdeeds swirling around Luxembourg’s Bank of St. George and its ruthless chief operating officer, Catherine Gledhill, other interested parties turn up in often surprising connections. Freelance assassin Kyra Lhota executes Armenian oligarch Samvel Yerevan and moves on to her next target. Malone’s sometime lover Cassiopeia Vitt is snatched by high-ranking Japanese security chief Aiko Ejima. His former lover Suzy Baldwin resurfaces as Kelly Austin, BSG’s director of special technology, who’s concealing secrets from Malone and the rest of the world. They’re all on the trail of a fabulous cache of bitcoin that in the absence of any legal records of ownership will belong, like the Luzon gold, to anyone who can track it down and grab it. The grandly scaled complications that follow feature countless broken alliances and the deaths of a fearsome number of nonfranchise characters. An extended author’s note explains what’s historically accurate (quite a bit, as it turns out) and what’s fabricated (quite a bit more).

Speculators who haven’t been put off by bitcoin’s recent crash will enjoy this walk—well, run—on the wild side.

Pub Date: Feb. 20, 2024

ISBN: 9781538721032

Page Count: 400

Publisher: Grand Central Publishing

Review Posted Online: Dec. 16, 2023

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Jan. 15, 2024

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THE FURY

More style than substance.

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Michaelides takes a literary turn in his latest novel, employing an unreliable narrator, the structure of classical drama, and a self-conscious eye to dismantling the locked-room mystery.

The novel starts off with a murder, and with seven people trapped on an isolated Greek island lashed by a "wild, unpredictable Greek wind." The narrator, soon established as Elliot Chase, then zooms out to address the reader directly, introducing the players—most importantly movie star Lana Farrar. We meet her husband, Jason Miller, her son, Leo, and her friend Kate Crosby, a theater actress. We learn about her rise to fame and her older first husband, Otto Krantz, a Hollywood producer. We learn about Kate’s possibly stalling career and Leo’s plan to apply to acting schools against his mother’s wishes. We learn about Jason’s obsession with guns. And in fragments and shards, we learn about Elliot: his painful childhood; his May–September relationship with an older female writer, now dead; his passion for the theater, where he learned “to change everything about [himself]” to fit in. Though he isn't present in every scene, he conveys each piece of the story leading up to the murder as if he were an omniscient narrator, capable of accessing every character's interior perspective. When he gets to the climax, there is, indeed, a shooting. There is, indeed, a motive. And there is, of course, a twist. The atmosphere of the novel, set mostly on this wild Greek island, echoes strongly the classical tragedies of Greece. The characters are types. The emotions are operatic. And the tragedy, of course, leads us to question the idea of fate. Michaelides seems also to be dipping into the world of Edgar Allan Poe, offering an unreliable narrator who feels more like a literary exercise. As an exploration of genre, it’s really quite fascinating. As a thriller, it’s not particularly surprising.

More style than substance.

Pub Date: Jan. 16, 2024

ISBN: 9781250758989

Page Count: 320

Publisher: Celadon Books

Review Posted Online: Oct. 7, 2023

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Nov. 1, 2023

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