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

THE MIDNIGHT LOCK

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. 29, 2021

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Oct. 15, 2021

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The book isn’t compelling or believable as a thriller, but the author has potential in other directions.

THE HOUSE IN THE PINES

Years after a young woman's sudden death in her best friend’s kitchen, a viral video reopens questions left unanswered.

Still struggling to emerge from the wake of the tragedy she witnessed the summer before she left for college, Maya Edwards has built a life for herself with a nice guy named Dan and has vowed to stop using Klonopin to manage anxiety and insomnia. Then “Girl Dies on Camera” appears on social media. In it, a young woman pitches over dead at a table in a diner in Maya’s hometown of Pittsfield, Massachusetts. As Maya sees to her horror, the woman was with Frank Bellamy, an older man/weirdo she dated that terrible senior summer. Frank was present when her best friend, Aubrey West, died the same way as the woman in the video, with no cause ever determined. Maya’s always thought Frank had something to do with it. Now she's sure and takes a trip home to see what she can find out. As a thriller, Reyes’ debut is weak. The suspense is minimal, with no sense that Frank is coming for Maya or that it actually matters whether these crimes are solved. In fact, the main threat to Maya’s well-being is the difficulty of Klonopin withdrawal and the heavy drinking she is doing to get through it, endangering her relationship with Dan, and the most interesting storyline concerns Maya’s mother and father. Brenda Edwards met Jairo Ek Basurto while on a missionary trip in Guatemala; he was murdered at the age of 22 before Brenda even knew she was pregnant. He left behind an uncompleted manuscript which Maya translated around the time she met Frank but then stuffed in a drawer; it turns out to have inspiration for her now. One of the most interesting conversations in the novel is between Maya and her mother, discussing the manuscript and the idea that our souls have a “true home” elsewhere. One would rather read a book about Brenda and Maya and skip Frank and his house in the pines altogether.

The book isn’t compelling or believable as a thriller, but the author has potential in other directions.

Pub Date: Jan. 3, 2023

ISBN: 978-0-593-18671-8

Page Count: 336

Publisher: Dutton

Review Posted Online: yesterday

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A moody tone hangs like a cloud over the alarming but vague danger awaiting the world.

THE HOUSE AT THE END OF THE WORLD

A tragedy has sent a young artist into seclusion. A potential apocalypse may be enough to bring her back.

For the past two years, 10 months, and 18 days, Katie’s lived in darkness, on retreat from her former life as a rising artist after a personal tragedy eclipsed any happiness she believed possible. Jacob’s Ladder, a remote island named by a former resident for its potential as a stairway to heaven, offers Katie the chance to hide from the rest of the world, merely existing, not healing. She lives each day trying to fulfill what she’s called “the Promise” to those in the life she once knew, though a promise of what is not clear. The closest neighboring islands, Oak Haven and Ringrock, are equally cloistered. Though Katie’s realtor has suggested that Ringrock is some sort of Environmental Protection Agency research station, Katie’s cynicism makes her suspect something more nefarious. The protagonist's remote world and the author’s moody writing are disrupted one night by the startling appearance of drones and the suspicious behavior of a fox Katie’s dubbed Michael J. The wary canine serves as a harbinger of potential danger, and Katie responds by arming herself to the hilt when unexpected guests descend on Jacob’s Ladder. While the true purpose of these visitors is unclear, Katie senses that the greater world is at the precipice of permanent collapse and that she may be the only one who can prevent the impending apocalypse.

A moody tone hangs like a cloud over the alarming but vague danger awaiting the world.

Pub Date: Jan. 24, 2023

ISBN: 978-1-6625-0044-2

Page Count: 416

Publisher: Thomas & Mercer

Review Posted Online: Nov. 16, 2022

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Dec. 1, 2022

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