Next book

ANY MEANS NECESSARY

Leona's back! Lock the henhouse!

Leona Lindberg returns to wreak her peculiar havoc.

In the second installment of her adventures, Leona, a detective in the Violent Crimes Division of the Stockholm Police, continues her pursuit of a life outside all social conventions. In her first adventure (Leona: The Die Is Cast, 2017), she became aware that a conventional life was not for her and that nothing should be allowed to stand between her and her vision of freedom. That story then detailed her efforts to secure the kind of money she needed to step away from her life, an effort that cost her marriage, nearly cost her job, and contributed to the death of her son. Undeterred by these setbacks, Leona is back on her quest. But residual complications dog her steps now: She owes money to the gangster Armand; her relationships with her ex-husband and her daughter are frayed; she has been instructed to seek therapy (Leona! Therapy!); and her new boss, Alexandra, has assigned her the interrogation of a terrorist suspect. Leona's repayment scheme is quite ingenious: She runs a seminar in police practices and attitudes for midlevel career criminals, instructing them in ways to avoid detection and arrest. She is an excellent pedagogue, and her analyses of social issues as they impact criminals are fresh and acute. But the seminars alone can't generate the kind of money Leona needs, so using the attendees as a recruiting base, she puts together a gang and trains them for a truly major score. Meanwhile, the terrorist suspect is giving her fits, Armand has upped the pressure, and her boss's bosses are demanding answers. Much mayhem ensues. As a character, Leona asks a lot of the reader. She is savvy, decisive, and resourceful, in many ways admirable, but she is also relentlessly selfish, willing to inflict pain and misery to get what she wants. Her goal, which is a sort of socially dissociated island paradise, seems petty and ignoble. She differs from typical noir antiheroes—she's not a disappointed idealist but rather an amoral pragmatist. But never mind. This installment is more completely plotted and more involving than the first, and if Leona seems a little inhuman, well that's Leona being Leona.

Leona's back! Lock the henhouse!

Pub Date: Feb. 12, 2019

ISBN: 978-1-59051-884-7

Page Count: 464

Publisher: Other Press

Review Posted Online: Oct. 27, 2018

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Nov. 15, 2018

Next book

A CONSPIRACY OF BONES

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

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. 22, 2019

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Jan. 15, 2020

Next book

THE WINNER

Irritatingly trite woman-in-periler from lawyer-turned-novelist Baldacci. Moving away from the White House and the white-shoe Washington law firms of his previous bestsellers (Absolute Power, 1996; Total Control, 1997), Baldacci comes up with LuAnn Tyler, a spunky, impossibly beautiful, white-trash truck stop waitress with a no-good husband and a terminally cute infant daughter in tow. Some months after the birth of Lisa, LuAnn gets a phone call summoning her to a make-shift office in an unrented storefront of the local shopping mall. There, she gets a Faustian offer from a Mr. Jackson, a monomaniacal, cross-dressing manipulator who apparently knows the winning numbers in the national lottery before the numbers are drawn. It seems that LuAnn fits the media profile of what a lottery winner should be—poor, undereducated but proud—and if she's willing to buy the right ticket at the right time and transfer most of her winnings to Jackson, she'll be able to retire in luxury. Jackson fails to inform her, however, that if she refuses his offer, he'll have her killed. Before that can happen, as luck would have it, LuAnn barely escapes death when one of husband Duane's drug deals goes bad. She hops on a first-class Amtrak sleeper to Manhattan with a hired executioner in pursuit. But executioner Charlie, one of Jackson's paid handlers, can't help but hear wedding bells when he sees LuAnn cooing with her daughter. Alas, a winning $100- million lottery drawing complicates things. Jackson spirits LuAnn and Lisa away to Sweden, with Charlie in pursuit. Never fear. Not only will LuAnn escape a series of increasingly violent predicaments, but she'll also outwit Jackson, pay an enormous tax bill to the IRS, and have enough left over to honeymoon in Switzerland. Too preposterous to work as feminine wish-fulfillment, too formulaic to be suspenseful. (Book-of-the-Month Club main selection)

Pub Date: Dec. 2, 1997

ISBN: 0-446-52259-7

Page Count: 528

Publisher: N/A

Review Posted Online: May 19, 2010

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Oct. 15, 1997

Close Quickview