A powerful, thought-provoking, and spellbinding debut; timely, too.

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ROGUE MAGIC

In a world where magic exists but has been brutally suppressed, the heir to the company which made the violent system possible begins to question everything when he's saved by, then falls in love with, a mage.

Awkward Byron Cole has never questioned the “fact” that people who practice magic are a threat to society, and since his family business, Cole Industries, is instrumental to the draconian subjugation of people who have magic, it’s never occurred to him to do so. Everything changes the day his subway train is delayed due to terrorist attacks by mages. When the passengers are routed to the street, an explosion detonates nearby, and an attractive man Byron noticed in his car suddenly produces a magic shield, saving everyone in the vicinity. Since unsanctioned magic is punishable by death, the mage, Levi, is arrested and blamed for the attacks. Yet Byron wonders why he would save them all if he was a terrorist who wanted them dead, Asking the first question leads him down a rabbit hole into a quiet rogue magic world he never knew existed and toward the unthinkable reality as to whom the real public enemy is. Byron is in a unique position to change the world for the better, and when he discovers the horrific plans Cole Industries has for Levi—the sweet, sexy mage who saved his life and to whom he is wildly attracted—as well as the entire magical community, he knows he can’t sit by and do nothing. For the first time in his life he finds the courage to stand up to his uncle and fight for something, risking everyone he loves. Debut author Brisby creates a stunning and sophisticated view of an America manipulated by fear into brutally oppressing its magical population, then offers an inspirational and redemptive social revolution leveraged by a few brave friends finally willing to do the right thing and a romance strong enough to motivate them.

A powerful, thought-provoking, and spellbinding debut; timely, too.

Pub Date: Jan. 30, 2017

ISBN: 978-1-62649-528-9

Page Count: 310

Publisher: Riptide

Review Posted Online: Dec. 26, 2016

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Jan. 15, 2017

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King fans won’t be disappointed, though most will likely prefer the scarier likes of The Shining and It.

THE INSTITUTE

The master of modern horror returns with a loose-knit parapsychological thriller that touches on territory previously explored in Firestarter and Carrie.

Tim Jamieson is a man emphatically not in a hurry. As King’s (The Outsider, 2018, etc.) latest opens, he’s bargaining with a flight attendant to sell his seat on an overbooked run from Tampa to New York. His pockets full, he sticks out his thumb and winds up in the backwater South Carolina town of DuPray (should we hear echoes of “pray”? Or “depraved”?). Turns out he’s a decorated cop, good at his job and at reading others (“You ought to go see Doc Roper,” he tells a local. “There are pills that will brighten your attitude”). Shift the scene to Minneapolis, where young Luke Ellis, precociously brilliant, has been kidnapped by a crack extraction team, his parents brutally murdered so that it looks as if he did it. Luke is spirited off to Maine—this is King, so it’s got to be Maine—and a secret shadow-government lab where similarly conscripted paranormally blessed kids, psychokinetic and telepathic, are made to endure the Skinnerian pain-and-reward methods of the evil Mrs. Sigsby. How to bring the stories of Tim and Luke together? King has never minded detours into the unlikely, but for this one, disbelief must be extra-willingly suspended. In the end, their forces joined, the two and their redneck allies battle the sophisticated secret agents of The Institute in a bloodbath of flying bullets and beams of mental energy (“You’re in the south now, Annie had told these gunned-up interlopers. She had an idea they were about to find out just how true that was"). It’s not King at his best, but he plays on current themes of conspiracy theory, child abuse, the occult, and Deep State malevolence while getting in digs at the current occupant of the White House, to say nothing of shadowy evil masterminds with lisps.

King fans won’t be disappointed, though most will likely prefer the scarier likes of The Shining and It.

Pub Date: Sept. 10, 2019

ISBN: 978-1-9821-1056-7

Page Count: 576

Publisher: Scribner

Review Posted Online: Aug. 4, 2019

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Aug. 15, 2019

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This riveting Gothic thriller explores the limits of love, guilt, and punishment.

THE SHAPE OF NIGHT

Running away from the memory of a New Year’s Eve party gone terribly wrong, food writer Ava Collette escapes Boston for a remote Maine village only to face a haunted house and a murder investigation.

Bestselling author of the Rizzoli & Isles series, Gerritsen (I Know a Secret, 2017, etc.) returns with a spellbinding thriller. The focus stays tightly on the experience of the potential victim, Ava, which enables Gerritsen to spin a tight web. Entangled in her own guilt, Ava isolates herself further and further, avoiding calls from her sister and living alone in the ominous Brodie’s Watch mansion, named for its builder, a shipping master lost to sea more than a hundred years ago. Although Brodie’s Watch initially frightens Ava, the moment she steps over the threshold, she feels inexplicably welcomed. Indeed, she is most welcome, as the shadows in her bedroom coalesce into the shape of a man, a man who may well be the ghost of Capt. Brodie. He stalks the house most nights, seducing Ava into not only the passions of love, but also atonement through punishment meted out for her sins. And so Gerritsen shifts a murder mystery into a Gothic thriller, replete with an unsteady widow’s walk, secret alcove, strange smells, ominous sensations, and the ghost. Even the prologue echoes the dream of Manderley from Du Maurier’s Rebecca. But then a dead body washes ashore, and the police investigation suggests the dead woman was killed before she hit the water. Fearful that her spectral lover may be a real-life murderer, Ava inquires about Charlotte Nielson, the young woman who rented Brodie’s Watch before her and left in an inexplicable hurry. But Ava’s investigation uncovers a disturbing list of dead women, which the townspeople seem to have spackled over. Who are they protecting?

This riveting Gothic thriller explores the limits of love, guilt, and punishment.

Pub Date: Oct. 1, 2019

ISBN: 978-1-9848-2095-2

Page Count: 288

Publisher: Ballantine

Review Posted Online: July 15, 2019

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Aug. 1, 2019

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