Another terrific addition to this winning medical thriller series starring an indefatigable physician.



An orthopedic surgeon and amateur sleuth investigates the mysterious deaths of a succession of nursing home residents.

Prolific Houston author Bishop continues his charming, addictively suspenseful mystery series with this fourth volume, which finds Dr. Jim Bob Brady uncovering evidence of lethal malpractice at a care facility. It has become a common practice for Pleasant View Nursing Home to refer its most infirm patients to University Hospital for evaluation, with most in their final days and too ill to survive the transfer. The latest patients are two aging women with Alzheimer’s disease referred to Brady by his colleague Dr. James Morgenstern. But upon examination, Brady discovers questionable cognitive abilities and a strange bone trauma. Brady’s sense of justice is alerted that something is indeed awry. The situation becomes especially dire when one woman dies inexplicably on the operating table, followed by other deaths that confound and horrify Brady and his colleagues. This becomes a distressing pattern, and after finding curious autopsy details on both the bodies and the physiology of the brains, Brady goes to the medical director at Pleasant View Nursing Home, Dr. Ted Frazier, for answers. In true form, Brady then digs deeper into the mystery by discreetly investigating the facility and its controversial, experimental brain tissue nerve regenerative treatments. Brady’s adventures in medical justice are reliably co-helmed by his longtime wife of 27 years, Mary Louise. As in previous volumes, she truly grounds her husband both emotionally and psychologically, guiding him toward resolutions he may not have embraced on his own. Key to Bishop’s series success is consistency in narrative technique, readable prose, and strong plotting. As the story progresses and Brady draws closer to the unethical inner machinations of the nursing home, the author is mindful to explain the often intriguing medical terminology in plain speech, together with the various challenges to contemporary medical ethics, ensuring that lay readers don’t get lost in the translation. Brady is at his investigatory best in this entry, even when his life hangs in the balance in the tale’s thrilling showdown, which pits him against the misguided and murderous culprit behind the baffling deaths.

Another terrific addition to this winning medical thriller series starring an indefatigable physician.

Pub Date: June 15, 2021

ISBN: 978-1-73425-116-6

Page Count: 282

Publisher: Mantid Press

Review Posted Online: June 28, 2021

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Aug. 1, 2021

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A well-turned, if predictable, installment in the popular series.


With the United States the “closest [it’s] been to war” in a lifetime, intelligence operative Jack Ryan Jr. faces stiff odds in trying to avert disaster with China.

Trouble with China begins brewing (yet again in the Clancy books) with the rendition of a Chinese scientist and the killing of his American brother, a specialist in machine learning. With a sniper attack on the German outpost of The Campus, Ryan’s “off-the-books” agency, and the downing of an American plane over the South China Sea, U.S. efforts to recover a Chinese undersea glider capable of detecting a $3 billion American stealth submarine are in jeopardy. Things look especially grim with the capture of crash survivor John Clark, Ryan’s boss and a close compadre of his father, President Jack Ryan Sr. With Ryan Sr. still shaken by the abduction of his wife a year ago and Ryan Jr. doubtful of his abilities as a team leader, it's up to intelligence director Mary Pat Foley to calm the waters with her expertise and strong will. One possible outcome is a Chinese attack on Taiwan. In Bentley’s third outing in the series, it takes a while to get past cookie cutter stuff: Many pages go by before the reader knows what all the tense language, chase scenes, and international travel are about. But the book's cool, checkerboard efficiency eventually takes hold. And the streaks of vulnerability that run through the Ryans impart a human dimension that most such thrillers lack. Bentley also takes pains to distinguish the novel from fake fiction: “Unlike in the movies, getting struck by a rifle round moving at several thousand feet per second was not insignificant.”

A well-turned, if predictable, installment in the popular series.

Pub Date: May 23, 2023

ISBN: 9780593422786

Page Count: 432

Publisher: Putnam

Review Posted Online: May 23, 2023

Kirkus Reviews Issue: June 15, 2023

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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

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