Kaldis' sixth case (Mykonos After Midnight, 2013, etc.) offers a lively, gritty plot, an abundance of local color and two...

SONS OF SPARTA

A rugged region of Greece harbors rough and vengeful crime syndicates. Is veteran Inspector Kaldis tough enough to break them?

Detective Yianni Kouros is summoned by his uncle to the remote region of Mani in Southern Greece, where lawlessness is common and family bonds are tight. Uncle, who formerly ran a small criminal empire, is about to sell his land to a developer in light of a recent tourist boom that threatens to change the nature of the area drastically. Shortly after absorbing this remarkable news, Kouros gets a call in Athens from his cousin Mangas reporting that Uncle has died after his car ran off the road. Kouros is immediately worried that it's the start of a bloody clan war. "Time to speak to the chief"—that is, his boss, Andreas Kaldis. Not one to mince words or avoid confrontation, Kaldis, who heads the country's Special Crime Division, immediately confronts Orestes, Mani's criminal alpha dog, who makes a point of snubbing him. At Uncle's funeral, Kouros is shocked to see his grieving cousin Calliope challenge her brothers to seek vengeance via a bristling poem she delivers at her father's grave. Tassos Stamatos, chief homicide investigator for the Cyclades islands, recommends that Andreas steer clear of Orestes, but that's hardly his style; when he learns that Uncle was poisoned, his course is set. Kouros, meanwhile, seeks to befriend Uncle's mates in the local tavern and elsewhere. Both lawmen are surprised by the identity of the killer.

Kaldis' sixth case (Mykonos After Midnight, 2013, etc.) offers a lively, gritty plot, an abundance of local color and two righteous heroes.

Pub Date: Oct. 7, 2014

ISBN: 978-1-4642-0314-5

Page Count: 254

Publisher: Poisoned Pen

Review Posted Online: Oct. 9, 2014

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Oct. 15, 2014

Did you like this book?

No Comments Yet

Forget about solving all these crimes; the signal triumph here is (spoiler) the heroine’s survival.

A CONSPIRACY OF BONES

Another sweltering month in Charlotte, another boatload of mysteries past and present for overworked, overstressed forensic anthropologist Temperance Brennan.

A week after the night she chases but fails to catch a mysterious trespasser outside her town house, some unknown party texts Tempe four images of a corpse that looks as if it’s been chewed by wild hogs, because it has been. Showboat Medical Examiner Margot Heavner makes it clear that, breaking with her department’s earlier practice (The Bone Collection, 2016, etc.), she has no intention of calling in Tempe as a consultant and promptly identifies the faceless body herself as that of a young Asian man. Nettled by several errors in Heavner’s analysis, and even more by her willingness to share the gory details at a press conference, Tempe launches her own investigation, which is not so much off the books as against the books. Heavner isn’t exactly mollified when Tempe, aided by retired police detective Skinny Slidell and a host of experts, puts a name to the dead man. But the hints of other crimes Tempe’s identification uncovers, particularly crimes against children, spur her on to redouble her efforts despite the new M.E.’s splenetic outbursts. Before he died, it seems, Felix Vodyanov was linked to a passenger ferry that sank in 1994, an even earlier U.S. government project to research biological agents that could control human behavior, the hinky spiritual retreat Sparkling Waters, the dark web site DeepUnder, and the disappearances of at least four schoolchildren, two of whom have also turned up dead. And why on earth was Vodyanov carrying Tempe’s own contact information? The mounting evidence of ever more and ever worse skulduggery will pull Tempe deeper and deeper down what even she sees as a rabbit hole before she confronts a ringleader implicated in “Drugs. Fraud. Breaking and entering. Arson. Kidnapping. How does attempted murder sound?”

Forget about solving all these crimes; the signal triumph here is (spoiler) the heroine’s survival.

Pub Date: March 17, 2020

ISBN: 978-1-9821-3888-2

Page Count: 352

Publisher: Scribner

Review Posted Online: Dec. 23, 2019

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Jan. 15, 2020

Did you like this book?

A suspenseful, professional-grade north country procedural whose heroine, a deft mix of compassion and attitude, would be...

BADLANDS

Box takes another break from his highly successful Joe Pickett series (Stone Cold, 2014, etc.) for a stand-alone about a police detective, a developmentally delayed boy, and a package everyone in North Dakota wants to grab.

Cassandra Dewell can’t leave Montana’s Lewis and Clark County fast enough for her new job as chief investigator for Jon Kirkbride, sheriff of Bakken County. She leaves behind no memories worth keeping: her husband is dead, her boss has made no bones about disliking her, and she’s looking forward to new responsibilities and the higher salary underwritten by North Dakota’s sudden oil boom. But Bakken County has its own issues. For one thing, it’s cold—a whole lot colder than the coldest weather Cassie’s ever imagined. For another, the job she turns out to have been hired for—leading an investigation her new boss doesn’t feel he can entrust to his own force—makes her queasy. The biggest problem, though, is one she doesn’t know about until it slaps her in the face. A fatal car accident that was anything but accidental has jarred loose a stash of methamphetamines and cash that’s become the center of a battle between the Sons of Freedom, Bakken County’s traditional drug sellers, and MS-13, the Salvadorian upstarts who are muscling in on their territory. It’s a setup that leaves scant room for law enforcement officers or for Kyle Westergaard, the 12-year-old paperboy damaged since birth by fetal alcohol syndrome, who’s walked away from the wreck with a prize all too many people would kill for.

A suspenseful, professional-grade north country procedural whose heroine, a deft mix of compassion and attitude, would be welcome to return and tie up the gaping loose end Box leaves. The unrelenting cold makes this the perfect beach read.

Pub Date: July 28, 2015

ISBN: 978-0-312-58321-7

Page Count: 272

Publisher: Minotaur

Review Posted Online: April 22, 2015

Kirkus Reviews Issue: May 15, 2015

Did you like this book?

more