An overstuffed melodrama that’s all bark and not much bite.


It’s sink or swim when two troubled, love-struck Cincinnati FBI agents dive headfirst into the choppy waters of a drug and child-pornography ring.

Special Agent Griffin “Decker” Davenport is in a coma after he was shot during an undercover sting of human traffickers, and Special Agent Kate Coppola, new to Cincinnati, has been sitting by his side. Sparks between the two fly as soon as he wakes up, and, along with a large team of investigators, they’re on the cusp of blowing a human (specifically children) trafficking ring wide open. Meanwhile, 18-year-old Mallory Martin dreams of escape from the monster that has kept her prisoner and who, when she was only 12, dubbed her Sunshine Suzie, forcing her to “perform” in porn films. There’s only one problem: her 9-year-old sister, Macy. The drug dealer and pornographer who calls himself the Professor warns Mallory that if she tries to escape, he’ll make sure Macy will be forced to do the same things as Mallory, and Mallory would rather die than see that happen. Agents Coppola and Davenport, along with a giant cast of characters, sift through the many (many) clues while the Professor, with the authorities closing in, starts tying up loose ends, including Agent Davenport. Rose (Alone in the Dark, 2016, etc.) explores the dark subject matter with sensitivity, but Kate and Decker’s love-at-first-sight attraction, though steamy, often descends into the silly: Decker frequently gets aroused by Kate just walking into the room. However, kudos should be given for a valiant attempt to round out so many characters. Long stretches of dialogue punctuated by mild action do not make a thrilling read, and new readers will be lost, but fans of the Cincinnati series will probably be happy to see the return of favorite characters. Even a truly vile bad guy can’t give this thriller a jolt.

An overstuffed melodrama that’s all bark and not much bite.

Pub Date: Feb. 7, 2017

ISBN: 978-0-399-58306-3

Page Count: 640

Publisher: Berkley

Review Posted Online: Nov. 22, 2016

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Dec. 1, 2016

Did you like this book?

No Comments Yet

With frank language and patient plotting, this gangly teen crush grows into a confident adult love affair.


Eleven years ago, he broke her heart. But he doesn’t know why she never forgave him.

Toggling between past and present, two love stories unfold simultaneously. In the first, Macy Sorensen meets and falls in love with the boy next door, Elliot Petropoulos, in the closet of her dad’s vacation home, where they hide out to discuss their favorite books. In the second, Macy is working as a doctor and engaged to a single father, and she hasn’t spoken to Elliot since their breakup. But a chance encounter forces her to confront the truth: what happened to make Macy stop speaking to Elliot? Ultimately, they’re separated not by time or physical remoteness but by emotional distance—Elliot and Macy always kept their relationship casual because they went to different schools. And as a teen, Macy has more to worry about than which girl Elliot is taking to the prom. After losing her mother at a young age, Macy is navigating her teenage years without a female role model, relying on the time-stamped notes her mother left in her father’s care for guidance. In the present day, Macy’s father is dead as well. She throws herself into her work and rarely comes up for air, not even to plan her upcoming wedding. Since Macy is still living with her fiance while grappling with her feelings for Elliot, the flashbacks offer steamy moments, tender revelations, and sweetly awkward confessions while Macy makes peace with her past and decides her future.

With frank language and patient plotting, this gangly teen crush grows into a confident adult love affair.

Pub Date: April 10, 2018

ISBN: 978-1-5011-2801-1

Page Count: 416

Publisher: Gallery Books/Simon & Schuster

Review Posted Online: Jan. 23, 2018

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Feb. 1, 2018

Did you like this book?

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. 23, 2019

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Jan. 15, 2020

Did you like this book?