by Jill Orr ‧ RELEASE DATE: April 3, 2018
The laughs keep coming with Riley and her network of all-but-unbelievable co-stars, though the mystery plot could be trimmed...
When a fun but flawed obituary writer investigates her subject, she finds that his death might not be as straightforward as she thought.
The first person Tabitha St. Simon calls when she finds the body of her future father-in-law, Dr. Arthur Davenport, is Riley Ellison, her former co-worker at the Tuttle Corner Library and the Tuttle Times’ latest obituarist. Tabitha’s less concerned with what Riley will write than with what Riley might do for her. She’s seen Riley do some solid informal investigating recently (The Good Byline, 2017), and she’s certain that Riley can clear her fiance, Thad, of complicity in Arthur’s murder, even if it’s Thad’s knife sticking out of Arthur’s chest. Riley isn’t close with bridezilla Tabitha, but she knows that if she wants to give Arthur’s obituary the time and thought it deserves, she should learn all she can about him, especially if that might promote her story from the obituary section to the front page. And Riley welcomes the distraction from her personal life. She’s known around town as the girl whose boyfriend, Ryan, left after years together only to knock up the first girl he met, beautiful and improbably named Ridley, and now both Ryan and Ridley are back in town. Ridley is settling in to give birth any day; Ryan, dedicated enough to future fatherhood, claims that Ridley was a blip and is desperate to get Riley back. Riley’s not interested in giving Ryan a second chance, partly because she can’t believe anyone would leave the perfect Ridley, partly because Riley has a real relationship of her own. Now that she’s been set up with Jay via the hilariously overbearing and invasive matchmaking service Click.com, the two are living their best millennial lives together, evidenced by Riley’s accidental and automatic enrollment in Bestmilleniallife.com, which has brought her together with Personal Success Concierge™ and Beyoncé enthusiast Jenna B.The laughs keep coming with Riley and her network of all-but-unbelievable co-stars, though the mystery plot could be trimmed without abating the otherwise high shine.
Pub Date: April 3, 2018
Page Count: 296
Publisher: Prospect Park Books
Review Posted Online: Jan. 22, 2018
Kirkus Reviews Issue: Feb. 1, 2018
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by Kathy Reichs ‧ RELEASE DATE: March 17, 2020
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
Page Count: 352
Review Posted Online: Dec. 22, 2019
Kirkus Reviews Issue: Jan. 15, 2020
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by James Patterson ‧ RELEASE DATE: Nov. 5, 2003
As in summer movies, a triple dose of violence conceals the absence of real menace when neither victims nor avengers stir...
Dr. Alex Cross has left Metro DC Homicide for the FBI, but it’s business as usual in this laughably rough-hewn fairy tale of modern-day white slavery.
According to reliable sources, more people are being sold into slavery than ever before, and it all seems to be going down on the FBI’s watch. Atlanta ex-reporter Elizabeth Connolly, who looks just like Claudia Schiffer, is the ninth target over the past two years to be abducted by a husband-and-wife pair who travel the country at the behest of the nefarious Pasha Sorokin, the Wolf of the Red Mafiya. The only clues are those deliberately left behind by the kidnappers, who snatch fashion designer Audrey Meek from the King of Prussia Mall in full view of her children, or patrons like Audrey’s purchaser, who ends up releasing her and killing himself. Who you gonna call? Alex Cross, of course. Even though he still hasn’t finished the Agency’s training course, all the higher-ups he runs into, from hardcases who trust him to lickspittles seething with envy, have obviously read his dossier (Four Blind Mice, 2002, etc.), and they know the new guy is “close to psychic,” a “one-man flying squad” who’s already a legend, “like Clarice Starling in the movies.” It’s lucky that Cross’s reputation precedes him, because his fond creator doesn’t give him much to do here but chase suspects identified by obliging tipsters and worry about his family (Alex Jr.’s mother, alarmed at Cross’s dangerous job, is suing for custody) while the Wolf and his cronies—Sterling, Mr. Potter, the Art Director, Sphinx, and the Marvel—kidnap more dishy women (and the occasional gay man) and kill everybody who gets in their way, and quite a few poor souls who don’t.As in summer movies, a triple dose of violence conceals the absence of real menace when neither victims nor avengers stir the slightest sympathy.
Pub Date: Nov. 5, 2003
Page Count: 400
Publisher: Little, Brown
Review Posted Online: May 19, 2010
Kirkus Reviews Issue: Oct. 1, 2003
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