NO SAFE GROUND

Fans of Pomeroy’s Abby Silvernale (Cold Moon Home, 2007, etc.) will welcome another strong heroine who must overcome...

A middle-aged veteran’s quiet life ends when his daughter begs him for help.

Once he’d served in Special Forces, Reynolds Packard could never settle down. Leaving his wife and young daughter Vida behind, he spent years as a long-haul trucker. Now, he works as a limo driver and lives in a neglected, filthy house in a small New York town near his only friend, his cousin Mitch, a retired state trooper who wants to be known as Millie. Vida turns up AWOL after being wounded with her roommate, Haley Flynn, in an IED incident in Iraq. It’s not that she’s afraid of going back. Despite some memory loss, she remembers that the man who shot Haley as they lay injured was an American soldier. She wants Pack to help get more information before she goes to the police with her patchy story. When she gets no encouragement from him, she takes off during the night with his pistol, heading for the VA hospital in Albany where she seeks the medic who was Haley’s boyfriend. The medic is not much help, but Haley’s mother, who lives nearby, is happy to take in Vida and talk about Haley. When Mrs. Flynn is brutally murdered, Vida plans to make a run for Canada. She ends up hiding from the police in an Albany State dorm, where Pack tracks her down and offers to help. Now, Pack and Vida must worry about the Army, the police and a ruthless killer who wants to shut Vida up for good.

Fans of Pomeroy’s Abby Silvernale (Cold Moon Home, 2007, etc.) will welcome another strong heroine who must overcome physical and mental challenges to survive.

Pub Date: Feb. 15, 2013

ISBN: 978-1-4328-2682-6

Page Count: 340

Publisher: Five Star/Gale Cengage

Review Posted Online: Dec. 23, 2012

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Jan. 15, 2013

A CONSPIRACY OF BONES

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

THE BIG BAD WOLF

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

ISBN: 0-316-60290-6

Page Count: 400

Publisher: Little, Brown

Review Posted Online: May 19, 2010

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Oct. 1, 2003

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