A thrilling follow-up to one of the more auspicious detective-series debuts in recent memory.

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RIGHTEOUS

From the IQ series , Vol. 2

The game’s afoot once again for 20-something genius sleuth Isaiah Quintabe, who has two cases to deal with: one leading him to mayhem in Las Vegas, the other to the man responsible for his brother’s death.

Things are pretty much as we left them with Isaiah in Ide’s acclaimed debut mystery/thriller, IQ (2016). He’s still leading a mostly solitary life in his East Long Beach, California, neighborhood, using his agile intellect to help old ladies find lost jewelry, chase away abusive ex-husbands, or deal with volatile gang members who think he’s too smart for his own good. The one case he’d most like to crack involves the hit-and-run death of his beloved older brother, Marcus. Just as he’s finally figured out that Marcus’ death was no accident, IQ gets a call from drop-dead-gorgeous Sarita Van, his late brother’s one-time fiancee, who's now a high-powered attorney. She wants him to find her younger sister, Janine, a Vegas-based club DJ who shares a gambling addiction with her ne’er-do-well boyfriend, Benny. They’re on the run from Leo, a vicious loan shark, whose collector in chief is a 7-foot-tall, broad-shouldered, dead-eyed Canadian named Balthazar. Isaiah’s only backup on this mission is his short-fused but dauntless neighborhood buddy, Dodson, whose own plate is full trying to make his food truck profitable and waiting for his wife to give birth to their first child. Once on the Vegas strip, this post-Millennial Holmes and Watson get far more than they bargained for as they have to fight and think their way through waves of Chinese mob muscle led by a baleful sex trafficker leaning heavily on Sarita and Janine’s craven, corrupt father. Ide weaves the often antic events of this case in tandem with Isaiah’s lonesome inquiry into his brother’s death; a pursuit that leads him to the sinister Seb Habimana, an East African refugee who’s made his mark in Isaiah’s hood in shady real estate dealings and shadier money laundering operations. The plots of these separate cases collide as much as they interweave, and Ide can sometimes go a little too long and deep on background info. But he keeps your head in the game throughout with his witty style and edgy storytelling, both of which show greater assurance than in his first novel—and even bigger potential for the future.

A thrilling follow-up to one of the more auspicious detective-series debuts in recent memory.

Pub Date: Oct. 17, 2017

ISBN: 978-0-316-26777-9

Page Count: 336

Publisher: Mulholland Books/Little, Brown

Review Posted Online: Aug. 6, 2017

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Aug. 15, 2017

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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

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An appealing new heroine, a fast-moving plot, and a memorably nightmarish family make this one of Box’s best.

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THE BITTERROOTS

The creator of Wyoming Fish and Game Warden Joe Pickett (Wolf Pack, 2019, etc.) launches a new series starring a female private eye who messes with a powerful family and makes everyone involved rue the day.

Cassie Dewell’s been taking a monthly retainer from Bozeman attorney Rachel Mitchell for investigations of one sort and another, but she really doesn’t want to look into the case of Rachel’s newest client. That’s partly because Blake Kleinsasser, the fourth-generation firstborn of a well-established ranching family who moved to New York and made his own bundle before returning back home, comes across as a repellent jerk and partly because all the evidence indicates that he raped Franny Porché, his 15-year-old niece. And there’s plenty of evidence, from a rape kit showing his DNA to a lengthy, plausible statement from Franny. But Cassie owes Rachel, and Rachel tells her she doesn’t have to dig up exculpatory evidence, just follow the trail where it leads so that she can close off every other possibility. So Cassie agrees even though there’s an even more compelling reason not to: The Kleinsassers—Horst II and Margaret and their three other children, John Wayne, Rand, and Cheyenne, Franny’s thrice-divorced mother—are not only toxic, but viperishly dangerous to Blake and now Cassie. Everyone in Lochsa County, from Sheriff Ben Wagy on down, is in their pockets, and everyone Cassie talks to, from the Kleinsassers to the local law, finds new ways to make her life miserable. But Cassie, an ex-cop single mother, isn’t one to back down, especially since she wonders why anyone would take all the trouble to stop an investigation of a case that was as rock-solid as this one’s supposed to be.

An appealing new heroine, a fast-moving plot, and a memorably nightmarish family make this one of Box’s best.

Pub Date: Aug. 13, 2019

ISBN: 978-1-250-05105-9

Page Count: 320

Publisher: Minotaur

Review Posted Online: May 27, 2019

Kirkus Reviews Issue: June 15, 2019

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