As even Lord Peter Wimsey demonstrated, a detective’s entitled to a break during his honeymoon. Expect Rhyme and Company to...

THE BURIAL HOUR

Quadriplegic criminalist Lincoln Rhyme (The Steel Kiss, 2016, etc.) celebrates his nuptials by matching wits with perhaps the most dull-witted of his many opponents: a serial kidnapper whose crimes seem as toothless as they are motiveless.

The first victim, Robert Ellis, is a San Jose media buyer snatched from the streets of New York under the eyes of an unusually perceptive 9-year-old, who not only sees the abduction, but recovers an important piece of evidence—a tiny hangman’s noose—in time to set Rhyme and his allies on the trail to rescue Ellis before he can be properly hanged. A similar noose found at the site where a second victim, Libyan refugee Ali Maziq, was kidnapped outside Naples causes Rhyme to move the honeymoon celebrating his upcoming marriage to his longtime colleague NYPD Detective Amelia Sachs to Italy, where he arrives just in time to watch the first of many tangles between imperious prosecutor Dante Spiro and Ercole Benelli, the enterprising but inexperienced Forestry Corps officer who’s been seconded to the Naples Questura at the request of Detective Inspector Massimo Rossi, who finds the young man keener and quicker than the Carabinieri officer charged with the investigation. From that point on it’s all forensics, all the time, in Rhyme’s quest to catch a culprit calling himself The Composer before he succeeds in killing one of the people he snatches apparently for no better reason than to record the sounds they make. Although hard-core fans of Patricia Cornwell and Kathy Reichs will be duly impressed by Rhyme’s death-on-rats analysis of trace evidence, other readers will miss more sharply distinguished characters, a more memorable villain, and a more coherent plot—particularly once the case takes on aspects of international terrorism and Deaver veers more sharply than convincingly into Homeland territory.

As even Lord Peter Wimsey demonstrated, a detective’s entitled to a break during his honeymoon. Expect Rhyme and Company to be back to fighting strength by next year.

Pub Date: April 11, 2017

ISBN: 978-1-4555-3639-9

Page Count: 480

Publisher: Grand Central Publishing

Review Posted Online: Feb. 21, 2017

Kirkus Reviews Issue: March 1, 2017

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THE BLACK ECHO

Big, brooding debut police thriller by Los Angeles Times crime-reporter Connelly, whose labyrinthine tale of a cop tracking vicious bank-robbers sparks and smolders but never quite catches fire. Connelly shows off his deep knowledge of cop procedure right away, expertly detailing the painstaking examination by LAPD homicide detective Hieronymus (Harry) Bosch of the death-scene of sometime junkie Billy Meadows, whom Bosch knew as a fellow "tunnel rat" in Vietnam and who's now o.d.'d in an abandoned water tunnel. Pushing Meadows's death as murder while his colleagues see it as accidental, Bosch, already a black sheep for his vigilante-like ways, further alienates police brass and is soon shadowed by two nastily clownish Internal Affairs cops wherever he goes—even to FBI headquarters, which Bosch storms after he learns that the Bureau had investigated him for a tunnel-engineered bank robbery that Meadows is implicated in. Assigned to work with beautiful, blond FBI agent Eleanor Wish, who soon shares his bed in an edgy alliance, Bosch comes to suspect that the robbers killed Meadows because the vet pawned some of the loot, and that their subsequent killing of the only witness to the Meadows slaying points to a turned cop. But who? Before Bosch can find out, a trace on the bank-robbery victims points him toward a fortune in smuggled diamonds and the likelihood of a second heist—leading to the blundering death of the IAD cops, the unveiling of one bad cop, an anticipated but too-brief climax in the L.A. sewer tunnels, and, in a twisty anticlimax, the revelation of a second rotten law officer. Swift and sure, with sharp characterizations, but at heart really a tightly wrapped package of cop-thriller cliches, from the hero's Dirty Harry persona to the venal brass, the mad-dog IAD cops, and the not-so-surprising villains. Still, Connelly knows his turf and perhaps he'll map it more freshly next time out.

Pub Date: Jan. 21, 1992

ISBN: 0-316-15361-3

Page Count: 400

Publisher: Little, Brown

Review Posted Online: May 20, 2010

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Nov. 1, 1991

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Proficient but eminently predictable. Amid all the time shifts and embedded backstories, the most surprising feature is how...

THE A LIST

A convicted killer’s list of five people he wants dead runs the gamut from the wife he’s already had murdered to franchise heroine Ali Reynolds.

Back in the day, women came from all over to consult Santa Clarita fertility specialist Dr. Edward Gilchrist. Many of them left his care happily pregnant, never dreaming that the father of the babies they carried was none other than the physician himself, who donated his own sperm rather than that of the handsome, athletic, disease-free men pictured in his scrapbook. When Alexandra Munsey’s son, Evan, is laid low by the kidney disease he’s inherited from his biological father and she returns to Gilchrist in search of the donor’s medical records, the roof begins to fall in on him. By the time it’s done falling, he’s serving a life sentence in Folsom Prison for commissioning the death of his wife, Dawn, the former nurse and sometime egg donor who’d turned on him. With nothing left to lose, Gilchrist tattoos himself with the initials of five people he blames for his fall: Dawn; Leo Manuel Aurelio, the hit man he’d hired to dispose of her; Kaitlyn Todd, the nurse/receptionist who took Dawn’s place; Alex Munsey, whose search for records upset his apple cart; and Ali Reynolds, the TV reporter who’d helped put Alex in touch with the dozen other women who formed the Progeny Project because their children looked just like hers. No matter that Ali’s been out of both California and the news business for years; Gilchrist and his enablers know that revenge can’t possibly be served too cold. Wonder how far down that list they’ll get before Ali, aided once more by Frigg, the methodical but loose-cannon AI first introduced in Duel to the Death (2018), turns on them?

Proficient but eminently predictable. Amid all the time shifts and embedded backstories, the most surprising feature is how little the boundary-challenged AI, who gets into the case more or less inadvertently, differs from your standard human sidekick with issues.

Pub Date: April 2, 2019

ISBN: 978-1-5011-5101-9

Page Count: 352

Publisher: Gallery Books/Simon & Schuster

Review Posted Online: Feb. 19, 2019

Kirkus Reviews Issue: March 1, 2019

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