An engaging series entry with sensational characters and a focused mystery.

IN TWILIGHT'S HUSH

From the A Gabriel McRay Novel series , Vol. 4

In this fourth installment of a thriller series, Los Angeles police detective Gabriel McRay reluctantly works with a psychic to close a missing person cold case.

Gabriel has a troubled history, and most recently, he suffered through torture by a serial killer. In an effort to give him a bit of a break, his superiors hand him a 30-year-old case involving the disappearance of teenager Nancy Lynn Lewicki in 1988. He’s just diving in and reexamining the evidence when he gets an offer of help that he doesn’t want after celebrity TV psychic Carmen Jenette convinces Nancy’s parents to hire her. Although Carmen believes in her own abilities, she feels that her fame has made people think she’s a charlatan, and she hopes that solving Nancy’s case will remedy that. Gabriel, however, remains skeptical even after Carmen insists that he’s a “conduit”—that Nancy is somehow reaching out to the detective from beyond the grave. After Carmen mentions the investigation on her show, someone attacks her, although she’s able to fend them off. Gabriel soon has a break in the case, which leads him to a person of interest, but he eventually realizes that Carmen could prove to be an invaluable asset. Stevens’ character development is exceptional in this installment. Although Carmen initially comes off as pretentious and Gabriel acts churlishly toward her, they’re both shown to be devoted to resolving the mystery. Gabriel’s scene-stealing medical examiner fiancee, Ming Li, and Nancy’s mother, Pauline, whose unwavering optimism counters the protagonist’s somber past, add to the enjoyment. Best of all, the author usefully limits Carmen’s gift—it’s helpful, but it doesn’t simply reveal the culprit. As in preceding installments, Stevens’ concise prose keeps the investigation in the foreground, and plot turns will keep readers’ interest until the final page.

An engaging series entry with sensational characters and a focused mystery.

Pub Date: April 4, 2020

ISBN: 978-0-9970068-2-7

Page Count: 394

Publisher: FYD Media, LLC

Review Posted Online: May 29, 2020

Kirkus Reviews Issue: July 15, 2020

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Crave chills and thrills but don’t have time for a King epic? This will do the job before bedtime. Not that you’ll sleep.

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LATER

Horrormeister King follows a boy’s journey from childhood to adolescence among the dead—and their even creepier living counterparts.

Jamie Conklin sees dead people. Not for very long—they fade away after a week or so—but during that time he can talk to them, ask them questions, and compel them to answer truthfully. His uncanny gift at first seems utterly unrelated to his mother Tia’s work as a literary agent, but the links become disturbingly clear when her star client, Regis Thomas, dies shortly after starting work on the newest entry in his bestselling Roanoke Saga, and Tia and her lover, NYPD Detective Liz Dutton, drive Jamie out to Cobblestone Cottage to encourage the late author to dictate an outline of his latest page-turner so that Tia, who’s fallen on hard times, can write it in his name instead of returning his advance and her cut. Now that she’s seen what Jamie can do, Liz takes it on herself to arrange an interview in which Jamie will ask Kenneth Therriault, a serial bomber who’s just killed himself, where he’s stowed his latest explosive device before it can explode posthumously. His post-mortem encounter with Therriault exacts a high price on Jamie, who now finds himself more haunted than ever, though he never gives up on the everyday experiences in which King roots all his nightmares.

Crave chills and thrills but don’t have time for a King epic? This will do the job before bedtime. Not that you’ll sleep.

Pub Date: March 2, 2021

ISBN: 978-1-7890-9649-1

Page Count: 256

Publisher: Hard Case Crime

Review Posted Online: Dec. 26, 2020

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Jan. 15, 2021

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Densely plotted and replete with incident if you can overlook the insufferable narrator.

WIN

Memo to fans who’ve longed for Windsor Horne Lockwood III, the moneyed, omnicompetent buddy of sports agent Myron Bolitar, to snag a starring role of his own: Beware what you wish for.

Nothing would connect privileged Win with the murder of the reclusive tenant of an exclusive Upper West Side building if the police hadn’t found a painting inside Ry Strauss’ apartment—a Vermeer belonging to Win’s family that was stolen long ago while on loan to Haverford College—along with a monogrammed suitcase belonging to Win himself. The two discoveries tie Win not only to the murder, but to the Jane Street Six, a group of student activists Strauss led even longer ago. The Six’s most notoriously subversive action, the bombing of an empty building in 1973, left several innocents accidentally dead and the law determined to track down the perps. But except for Vanessa Hogan, whom Billy Rowan tearfully visited soon after the bombing to beg her forgiveness for his role in bringing about the death of her son, no one’s seen hide nor hair of the Six ever since. The roots of the outrage go even deeper for Win, whose uncle, Aldrich Powers Lockwood, was killed and whose cousin, Patricia, to whom he’d given that suitcase, was one of 10 women kidnapped, imprisoned, and raped in an unsolved crime. These meaty complications are duly unfolded, and gobs of cash thrown at them, by the ludicrously preening, self-infatuated Win, who announces, “It’s good to be me,” and “I can be charming when I want to be.” As if.

Densely plotted and replete with incident if you can overlook the insufferable narrator.

Pub Date: March 16, 2021

ISBN: 978-1-5387-4821-3

Page Count: 384

Publisher: Grand Central Publishing

Review Posted Online: Dec. 15, 2020

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Jan. 1, 2021

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