A sad case of sequelitis. Next year?

TURN A BLIND EYE

William Warwick, newly promoted to Inspector Warwick, finds that putting away the drug lord he caught in Hidden in Plain Sight (2020) may not be as easy as he thought.

The good news is that tea importer Assem Rashidi, who imports a lot more than tea, is finally in custody and that nefarious financier Miles Faulkner is on the run. The bad news is that no one can find any trace of Faulkner’s ill-gotten fortune, including his fabulous collection of old-master paintings, and that Rashidi’s engaged Booth Watson, Queen’s Counsel, as his barrister. What chance does oleaginous Watson have against Crown Prosecutor Sir Julian Warwick, William’s father, and his junior, William’s sister Grace, with William himself as star witness? Quite a good chance, as it turns out in the trial that unfolds over much of this tale’s first half. The complications that follow—WPC Nicola Bailey, assigned to watch over DS Jerry Summers, a suspected underworld contact, gets so close to her target that they end up in bed, and Faulkner survives reports of his death and cremation to attend his own funeral, the beneficiary of some plastic surgery so expert that the only attendee to give him a second glance is Booth Watson, QC—are both more shapeless and more flatly incredible. The swirl of criminal intrigue culminates in a second trial when William finally swoops down on Jerry Summers, but this one, even though the legal talent on both sides is exactly the same, is a lot less compelling than the first. Archer, who makes every page readable even when the events he’s recounting are least credible, provides a nice coda concerning one of those old masters.

A sad case of sequelitis. Next year?

Pub Date: April 13, 2021

ISBN: 978-1-2502-0080-8

Page Count: 352

Publisher: St. Martin's

Review Posted Online: Jan. 13, 2021

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Feb. 1, 2021

Did you like this book?

No Comments Yet

A top-class cozy infused with dry wit and charming characters who draw you in and leave you wanting more, please.

THE THURSDAY MURDER CLUB

Four residents of Coopers Chase, a British retirement village, compete with the police to solve a murder in this debut novel.

The Thursday Murder Club started out with a group of septuagenarians working on old murder cases culled from the files of club founder Elizabeth’s friend Penny Gray, a former police officer who's now comatose in the village's nursing home. Elizabeth used to have an unspecified job, possibly as a spy, that has left her with a large network of helpful sources. Joyce is a former nurse who chronicles their deeds. Psychiatrist Ibrahim Arif and well-known political firebrand Ron Ritchie complete the group. They charm Police Constable Donna De Freitas, who, visiting to give a talk on safety at Coopers Chase, finds the residents sharp as tacks. Built with drug money on the grounds of a convent, Coopers Chase is a high-end development conceived by loathsome Ian Ventham and maintained by dangerous crook Tony Curran, who’s about to be fired and replaced with wary but willing Bogdan Jankowski. Ventham has big plans for the future—as soon as he’s removed the nuns' bodies from the cemetery. When Curran is murdered, DCI Chris Hudson gets the case, but Elizabeth uses her influence to get the ambitious De Freitas included, giving the Thursday Club a police source. What follows is a fascinating primer in detection as British TV personality Osman allows the members to use their diverse skills to solve a series of interconnected crimes.

A top-class cozy infused with dry wit and charming characters who draw you in and leave you wanting more, please.

Pub Date: Sept. 22, 2020

ISBN: 978-1-98-488096-3

Page Count: 368

Publisher: Pamela Dorman/Viking

Review Posted Online: July 1, 2020

Kirkus Reviews Issue: July 15, 2020

Did you like this book?

Slow moving and richly layered.

THE SEARCHER

A retired cop takes one last case in this stand-alone novel from the creator of the Dublin Murder Squad.

Originally from North Carolina, Cal Hooper has spent the last 30 years in Chicago. “A small place. A small town in a small country”: That’s what he’s searching for when he moves to the West of Ireland. His daughter is grown, his wife has left him, so Cal is on his own—until a kid named Trey starts hanging around. Trey’s brother is missing. Everyone believes that Brendan has run off just like his father did, but Trey thinks there’s more to the story than just another young man leaving his family behind in search of money and excitement in the city. Trey wants the police detective who just emigrated from America to find out what’s really happened to Brendan. French is deploying a well-worn trope here—in fact, she’s deploying a few. Cal is a new arrival to an insular community, and he’s about to discover that he didn’t leave crime and violence behind when he left the big city. Cal is a complex enough character, though, and it turns out that the mystery he’s trying to solve is less shocking than what he ultimately discovers. French's latest is neither fast-paced nor action-packed, and it has as much to do with Cal’s inner life as it does with finding Brendan. Much of what mystery readers are looking for in terms of action is squeezed into the last third of the novel, and the morally ambiguous ending may be unsatisfying for some. But French’s fans have surely come to expect imperfect allegiance to genre conventions, and the author does, ultimately, deliver plenty of twists, shocking revelations, and truly chilling moments.

Slow moving and richly layered.

Pub Date: Oct. 6, 2020

ISBN: 978-0-73-522465-0

Page Count: 464

Publisher: Viking

Review Posted Online: July 14, 2020

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Aug. 1, 2020

Did you like this book?

more