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

ACT OF NEGLIGENCE

A DOC BRADY MYSTERY

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 smart summer escape.

PORTRAIT OF AN UNKNOWN WOMAN

Silva’s latest Gabriel Allon novel is a bit of a throwback—in the best possible way.

One-time assassin and legendary spymaster Gabriel Allon has finally retired. After saying farewell to his friends and colleagues in Israel, he moves with his wife, Chiara, and their two young children to a piano nobile overlooking Venice’s Grand Canal. His plan is to return to the workshop where he learned to restore paintings as an employee—but only after he spends several weeks recovering from the bullet wound that left him dead for several minutes in The Cellist (2021). Of course, no one expects Gabriel to entirely withdraw from the field, and, sure enough, a call from his friend and occasional asset Julian Isherwood sends him racing around the globe on the trail of art forgers who are willing to kill to protect their extremely lucrative enterprise. Silva provides plenty of thrills and, as usual, offers a glimpse into the lifestyles of the outrageously wealthy. In the early books in this series, it was Gabriel’s work as an art restorer that set him apart from other action heroes, and his return to that world is the most rewarding part of this installment. It is true that, at this point in his storied career, Gabriel has become a nearly mythic figure. And Silva is counting on a lot of love—and willing suspension of disbelief—when Gabriel whips up four old master canvases that fool the world’s leading art experts as a lure for the syndicate selling fake paintings. That said, as Silva explains in an author’s note, the art market is rife with secrecy, subterfuge, and wishful thinking, in no small part because it is almost entirely unregulated. And, if anyone can crank out a Titian, a Tintoretto, a Gentileschi, and a Veronese in a matter of days, it’s Gabriel Allon. The author’s longtime fans may breathe a sigh of relief that this entry is relatively free of politics and the pandemic is nowhere in sight.

A smart summer escape.

Pub Date: July 19, 2022

ISBN: 978-0-06-283485-0

Page Count: 448

Publisher: Harper

Review Posted Online: July 19, 2022

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Aug. 15, 2022

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A unique story of transcendent love.

LAYLA

An aimless young musician meets the girl of his dreams only to have his newfound happiness threatened by several inexplicable—and possibly supernatural—events.

The story opens as Leeds Gabriel meets with a detective while his girlfriend, Layla, is restrained in a room one flight above them. Through the interview, readers learn that Leeds was wasting both his time and his musical talent playing backup for a small-town wedding troupe called Garrett’s Band when he spied Layla dancing her heart out to their mediocre music at a wedding. When Leeds approaches Layla, their connection is both instant and intense. A blissful courtship follows, but then Leeds makes the mistake of posting a picture of himself with Layla on social media. A former girlfriend–turned-stalker wastes no time in finding and attacking Layla. Layla spends months recovering in a hospital, and it seems the girl Leeds fell for might be forever changed. Gone is her special spark, her quirkiness, and the connection that had entranced Leeds months before. In a last-ditch effort to save their relationship, he brings Layla back to the bed-and-breakfast where they first met. When they get there, though, Leeds meets Willow, another guest, and finds himself drawn to her in spite of himself. As events unfold, it becomes clear that Willow will either be the key to saving Leeds’ relationship with Layla or the catalyst that finally extinguishes the last shreds of their epic romance. Told entirely from Leeds’ point of view, the author’s first foray into paranormal romance does not disappoint. Peppered with elements of mystery, psychological thriller, and contemporary romance, the novel explores questions about how quickly true love can develop, as well as the conflicts that can imperil even the strongest connections. Despite a limited cast of characters and very few setting changes, the narrative manages to remain both fast-paced and engaging. The conclusion leaves a few too many loose ends, but the chemistry between the characters and unexpected twists throughout make for a satisfying read.

A unique story of transcendent love.

Pub Date: Dec. 8, 2020

ISBN: 978-1-5420-0017-8

Page Count: 301

Publisher: Montlake Romance

Review Posted Online: Sept. 16, 2020

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Oct. 1, 2020

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