“Don’t have much of a personality, if you ask me,” a sheriff from another Texas town says of the criminal mastermind. Amen...



Enmon, a veteran of the Houston PD and the Secret Service, debuts with a procedural about the kidnapping of a mayor’s daughter—among others.

Katrina Wallace isn’t close to her parents, and they might not have called the Dallas police at all when she went missing if her father hadn’t been looking to use the mayor’s office as a launch pad for Congress and didn’t want any distractions. Whatever their motives, the Wallaces make the right choice in doing an end run around Missing Persons and going to the Criminal Intelligence Unit. Sgt. Terry Andrews assigns his two best detectives, Franklin Pierce and Roberto Soliz, to the case, and they go at it hammer and tongs, noting the surprising appearance of a Bible among the vociferously atheist Katrina’s personal effects and following the trail of “Wormwood,” a single word highlighted in the book, to a group of men with identical tattoos who’ve gotten them at the behest of the prophet Brother John. Katrina, meanwhile, hasn’t been twiddling her thumbs. Bundled into a vehicle and driven through the night, she ends up drugged and disoriented at a compound where all the men are called Brother, most of the women are called Sister, and those who aren’t are raped and impregnated with the offspring Brother John and his followers are convinced will save the world. Katrina doesn’t intend to take this kind of treatment lying down. The premise of religious zealots victimizing innocent women is more overheated than original, and Enmon doesn’t develop his characters—cops, victims, or villains—enough to thicken the pot. But readers looking to kill a few hours wondering whether Frank and Rob will find Katrina before she’s consigned to the burial place of the cult’s earlier victims will find Enmon a foursquare conductor.

“Don’t have much of a personality, if you ask me,” a sheriff from another Texas town says of the criminal mastermind. Amen all around.

Pub Date: April 10, 2018

ISBN: 978-1-68331-553-7

Page Count: 288

Publisher: Crooked Lane

Review Posted Online: Feb. 6, 2018

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Feb. 15, 2018

Did you like this book?

No Comments Yet

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?


Patterson's thrillers (Virgin, 1980; Black Market, 1986) have plummeted in quality since his promising debut in The Thomas Berryman Number (1976)—with this latest being the sorriest yet: a clanky and witless policer about a criminal mastermind and the cop sworn to take him down. Aside from watching sympathetic homicide dick John ("Stef") Stefanovich comeing to terms with a wheelchair-bound life—legacy of a shotgun blast to the back by drug-and-gun-running archfiend Alexandre St.-Germain—the major interest here lies in marvelling at the author's trashing of fiction convention. The whopper comes early: although St.-Germain is explicity described as being machine-gunned to death by three vigilante cops in a swank brothel (". . .a submachine gun blast nearly ripped off the head of Alexandre St.-Germain"; "The mobster's head and most of his neck had been savaged by the machine-gun volley. The body looked desecrated. . ."), before you know it this latter-day Moriarty is stepping unscathed out of an airplane. What gives? Authorial cheating, that's what—thinly glossed over with some mumbling later on about a "body double." Not that St.-Germain's ersatz death generated much suspense anyway, with subsequent action focusing on, among other items, the gory killings of assorted mob bosses by one of the vigilante cops, and Stef's viewing of pornographic tapes confiscated from that brothel. But readers generous enough to plod on will get to read about the newly Lazarus-ized St.-Germain's crass efforts to revitalize and consolidate the world's crime syndicates ("the Midnight Club"), Stef's predictable tumble for a sexy true-crime writer, and how (isn't one miracle enough for Patterson?) at book's end Stef walks again and gets to embrace a rogue cop who's murdered several people. Ironsides with a badge and a lobotomy.

Pub Date: Jan. 23, 1988

ISBN: 0446676411

Page Count: 384

Publisher: Little, Brown

Review Posted Online: Oct. 3, 2011

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Jan. 1, 1988

Did you like this book?

No Comments Yet