Suspenseful fare that will resonate in the #MeToo era.



A woman attempts to retrace the steps leading up to her best friend’s sudden disappearance, and all paths lead to a rape that occurred more than a decade ago.

In 2005, 17-year-old Ellen was fascinated with her new neighbors, the bohemian Monktons. Olivia was a celebrated opera singer, her husband, Tony, a talented bassoonist, and their two teenage boys, Nicholas and Daniel, were both musically gifted. But the most fascinating one of all was the ethereally beautiful Sasha, Olivia’s goddaughter, who lived with them. Olivia and Tony regularly threw lavish parties where alcohol flowed freely among the adults and the teenagers, and Ellen eventually became close with Sasha, much to the chagrin of her best friend, Karina, who was pushed to the side. When Daniel was accused of raping Karina, all hell broke loose, and Sasha, Karina, and Ellen all had to testify at his trial. Now he’s out of prison and Sasha has gone missing from the apartment she shares with Ellen. Ellen is terrified that Daniel has carried out the threats he’s made against them in the past, but as she questions their friends and families and revisits the night of the rape, the line between truth and lies begins to blur. The narration moves between past and present and the viewpoints of Ellen, Olivia, and Karina. Olivia’s observations during Daniel’s trial are poignant, as she struggles with the urge to protect her beloved son and the horror that he just might have done what he’s been accused of. Marshall (Friend Request, 2017) knows her way around the complicated, sometimes-fraught nature of female friendship, and she doles out plenty of expertly placed red herrings. The Monktons are like something out of a V.C. Andrews drama: Their foibles affect nearly everyone in their orbit, with disastrous consequences. Ultimately, this road is well-traveled, but Marshall is a competent storyteller, and readers will be mostly content to ride along to the slightly contrived, but satisfying, finale.

Suspenseful fare that will resonate in the #MeToo era.

Pub Date: Sept. 4, 2018

ISBN: 978-1-4789-4856-8

Page Count: 320

Publisher: Grand Central Publishing

Review Posted Online: July 17, 2018

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Aug. 1, 2018

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A kicky, kinky, wildly inventive 21st-century mashup with franker language and a higher body count than Hamlet.

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Manic parodist Moore, fresh off a season in 1947 San Francisco (Noir, 2018), returns with a rare gift for Shakespeare fans who think A Midsummer Night’s Dream would be perfect if only it were a little more madcap.

Cast adrift by pirates together with his apprentice, halfwit giant Drool, and Jeff, his barely less intelligent monkey, Pocket of Dog Snogging upon Ouze, jester to the late King Lear, washes ashore in Shakespeare’s Athens, where Cobweb, a squirrel by day and fairy by night, takes him under her wing and other parts. Soon after he encounters Robin Goodfellow (the Puck), jester to shadow king Oberon, and Nick Bottom and the other clueless mechanicals rehearsing Pyramus and Thisby in a nearby forest before they present it in celebration of the wedding of Theseus, Duke of Athens, to Hippolyta, the captive Amazon queen who’s captured his heart, Pocket (The Serpent of Venice, 2014, etc.) finds Robin fatally shot by an arrow. Suspected briefly of the murder himself, he’s commissioned, first by Hippolyta, then by the unwitting Theseus, to identify the Puck’s killer. Oh, and Egeus, the Duke’s steward, wants him to find and execute Lysander, who’s run off with Egeus’ daughter, Hermia, instead of marrying Helena, who’s in love with Demetrius. As English majors can attest, a remarkable amount of this madness can already be found in Shakespeare’s play. Moore’s contribution is to amp up the couplings, bawdy language, violence, and metatextual analogies between the royals, the fairies, the mechanicals, his own interloping hero, and any number of other plays by the Bard.

A kicky, kinky, wildly inventive 21st-century mashup with franker language and a higher body count than Hamlet.

Pub Date: May 12, 2020

ISBN: 978-0-06-243402-9

Page Count: 288

Publisher: Morrow/HarperCollins

Review Posted Online: Feb. 9, 2020

Kirkus Reviews Issue: March 1, 2020

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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

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