by John Bishop ‧ RELEASE DATE: March 24, 2020
An engrossing and satisfying mystery with a humble Texas physician/sleuth at its heart.
The death of a child shocks a tightly knit community and sparks an intense homicide investigation in this series opener.
Veteran Houston physician and debut author Bishop kicks off a medical thriller series featuring Texas family man and orthopedic surgeon Jim Bob “Doc” Brady. It’s the spring of 1994, and Brady hears a “sickening thud” and the screeching of tires behind his house in what is typically a peaceful neighborhood. He discovers 10-year-old Stevie Huntley, a neighbor’s son, crushed in the street, the victim of a hit-and-run driver. Immediately labeled a vehicular homicide, the case is assigned to local detective Susan Beeson. Without leads, Beeson leans on the Brady family for discreet assistance and insider information on the neighborhood. His conversations reveal that Stevie had a bone fragility disease and raise the suspicion that the homicide was premeditated. And when medical colleague T. Edmund “Ed” Wilson begins acting with uncharacteristic aggression, Brady fears something more nefarious is afloat. Shaken but unbroken by the tragedy, the resilient Doc Brady aims to help police solve a crime that, as things progress, involves genetics, adoptions, and the extended Huntley family along with some heinously dishonorable intentions. Bishop never lets genetic jargon overwhelm the story’s momentum as more suspicious deaths occur and the race to bring the perpetrators to justice becomes everyone’s top priority. Greed—not surprisingly—figures into the plot. Though the action ignites from the opening pages, Bishop incrementally introduces his characters, including Brady’s computer-savvy son, J.J., and the doctor’s wife, Mary Louise, with whom he shares a playful intimacy. Brady is a naturally warmhearted first-person narrator, describing events with urgency while incorporating homespun nuances and clever banter. With a marked absence of gore, graphic violence, or offensive language, this novel gives readers an intriguing puzzle to solve yet not an overly complicated one, opening his readership to a young adult audience as well.An engrossing and satisfying mystery with a humble Texas physician/sleuth at its heart.
Pub Date: March 24, 2020
Page Count: 280
Publisher: Mantid Press
Review Posted Online: May 5, 2020
Review Program: Kirkus Indie
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by Stephen King ‧ RELEASE DATE: Sept. 5, 2023
Loyal King stans may disagree, but this is a snooze.
A much-beloved author gives a favorite recurring character her own novel.
Holly Gibney made her first appearance in print with a small role in Mr. Mercedes (2014). She played a larger role in The Outsider (2018). And she was the central character in If It Bleeds, a novella in the 2020 collection of the same name. King has said that the character “stole his heart.” Readers adore her, too. One way to look at this book is as several hundred pages of fan service. King offers a lot of callbacks to these earlier works that are undoubtedly a treat for his most loyal devotees. That these easter eggs are meaningless and even befuddling to new readers might make sense in terms of costs and benefits. King isn’t exactly an author desperate to grow his audience; pleasing the people who keep him at the top of the bestseller lists is probably a smart strategy, and this writer achieved the kind of status that whatever he writes is going to be published. Having said all that, it’s possible that even his hardcore fans might find this story a bit slow. There are also issues in terms of style. Much of the language King uses and the cultural references he drops feel a bit creaky. The word slacks occurs with distracting frequency. King uses the phrase keeping it on the down-low in a way that suggests he probably doesn’t understand how this phrase is currently used—and has been used for quite a while. But the biggest problem is that this narrative is framed as a mystery without delivering the pleasures of a mystery. The reader knows who the bad guys are from the start. This can be an effective storytelling device, but in this case, waiting for the private investigator heroine to get to where the reader is at the beginning of the story feels interminable.Loyal King stans may disagree, but this is a snooze.
Pub Date: Sept. 5, 2023
Page Count: 464
Review Posted Online: July 13, 2023
Kirkus Reviews Issue: Aug. 1, 2023
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SEEN & HEARD
by Michael Connelly ‧ RELEASE DATE: Nov. 7, 2023
The most richly accomplished of the brothers’ pairings to date—and given Connelly’s high standards, that’s saying a lot.
Harry Bosch and the Lincoln Lawyer team up to exonerate a woman who’s already served five years for killing her ex-husband.
The evidence against Lucinda Sanz was so overwhelming that she followed the advice of Frank Silver, the B-grade attorney who’d elbowed his way onto her defense, and pleaded no contest to manslaughter to avoid a life sentence for shooting Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Deputy Roberto Sanz in the back as he stalked out of her yard after their latest argument. But now that her son, Eric, is 13, old enough to get recruited by local gangs, she wants to be out of stir and at his side. So she writes to Mickey Haller, who asks his half-brother for help. After all his years working for the LAPD, Bosch is adamant about not working for a criminal defendant, even though Haller’s already taken him on as an associate so that he can get access to private health insurance and a UCLA medical trial for an experimental cancer treatment. But the habeas corpus hearing Haller’s aiming for isn’t, strictly speaking, a criminal defense proceeding, and even a cursory examination of the forensic evidence raises Bosch’s hackles. Bolstered by Bosch’s discoveries and a state-of-the-art digital reconstruction of the shooting, Haller heads to court to face Assistant Attorney General Hayden Morris, who has a few tricks up his own sleeve. The endlessly resourceful courtroom back-and-forth is furious in its intensity, although Haller eventually upstages Bosch, Morris, and everyone else in sight. What really stands out here, however, is that Connelly never lets you forget, from his title onward, the life-or-death issues behind every move in the game.The most richly accomplished of the brothers’ pairings to date—and given Connelly’s high standards, that’s saying a lot.
Pub Date: Nov. 7, 2023
Page Count: 400
Publisher: Little, Brown
Review Posted Online: Sept. 21, 2023
Kirkus Reviews Issue: Oct. 15, 2023
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