The third in this high-tension series (Shadowed, 2016, etc.) is by far the most complex. Newcomers seeking to understand the...

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BETRAYED

An addicted hacker struggles to return her life to something that passes for normal.

Tina Adler’s problems started when she helped her father steal money belonging to mobster Tony DeMarco and escalated when she helped her lover, Ian Cartwright, steal money from a bank and accidentally shot FBI agent Zeke Chapman in the process. For years she’s been on the run, using false identities and supporting herself with her artwork and jobs in bike shops in out-of-the-way places. Now she’s being questioned by FBI agents who don’t know her true identity. DeMarco had a hit put out on him, and someone’s trying to make it look like it was Tina. She’s built up a semi-trusting relationship with Tracker, another hacker who’s helped her, and she’s a little bit in love with him. Although she’s only recently learned that Tracker is Zeke Chapman, he's always known who she was, and she’s not sure if she can trust him. DeMarco, who never got his money back, hasn’t forgiven Tina for her part in the affair even though she was very young at the time. Now Tina and Tracker are trying to track down whomever is hacking into computers and leaving clues that blame all misdeeds past and present on Tina. They retreat to Miami, which Tina hasn’t called home for 16 years, to join the team of hackers Tracker’s set up to find whomever’s taken the missing money, identify the person who wants DeMarco dead, and figure out who is setting Tina up—probably all the same person. In a world where nothing is what it seems and trusting anyone is dangerous, Tina and Tracker must use all their skills and connections to break loose from the past.

The third in this high-tension series (Shadowed, 2016, etc.) is by far the most complex. Newcomers seeking to understand the weird and dangerous world of the hacking community will have to stay on their toes. The finale will leave everyone wanting more.

Pub Date: April 1, 2017

ISBN: 978-0-7278-8681-1

Page Count: 224

Publisher: Severn House

Review Posted Online: Jan. 23, 2017

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Feb. 1, 2017

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Amateurish, with a twist savvy readers will see coming from a mile away.

THE SILENT PATIENT

A woman accused of shooting her husband six times in the face refuses to speak.

"Alicia Berenson was thirty-three years old when she killed her husband. They had been married for seven years. They were both artists—Alicia was a painter, and Gabriel was a well-known fashion photographer." Michaelides' debut is narrated in the voice of psychotherapist Theo Faber, who applies for a job at the institution where Alicia is incarcerated because he's fascinated with her case and believes he will be able to get her to talk. The narration of the increasingly unrealistic events that follow is interwoven with excerpts from Alicia's diary. Ah, yes, the old interwoven diary trick. When you read Alicia's diary you'll conclude the woman could well have been a novelist instead of a painter because it contains page after page of detailed dialogue, scenes, and conversations quite unlike those in any journal you've ever seen. " 'What's the matter?' 'I can't talk about it on the phone, I need to see you.' 'It's just—I'm not sure I can make it up to Cambridge at the minute.' 'I'll come to you. This afternoon. Okay?' Something in Paul's voice made me agree without thinking about it. He sounded desperate. 'Okay. Are you sure you can't tell me about it now?' 'I'll see you later.' Paul hung up." Wouldn't all this appear in a diary as "Paul wouldn't tell me what was wrong"? An even more improbable entry is the one that pins the tail on the killer. While much of the book is clumsy, contrived, and silly, it is while reading passages of the diary that one may actually find oneself laughing out loud.

Amateurish, with a twist savvy readers will see coming from a mile away.

Pub Date: Feb. 5, 2019

ISBN: 978-1-250-30169-7

Page Count: 304

Publisher: Celadon Books

Review Posted Online: Nov. 4, 2018

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Nov. 15, 2018

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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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