by Laurie Stevens ‧ RELEASE DATE: April 4, 2020
An engaging series entry with sensational characters and a focused mystery.
Awards & Accolades
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
Page Count: 394
Publisher: FYD Media, LLC
Review Posted Online: May 29, 2020
Kirkus Reviews Issue: July 15, 2020
Review Program: Kirkus Indie
Share your opinion of this book
by Graham Brown ‧ RELEASE DATE: Sept. 5, 2023
A worthy addition to an entertaining series.
Danger abounds in the 20th ocean adventure in Cussler’s NUMA Files series.
Kurt Austin and Joe Zavala “find trouble the way a prize bloodhound finds a scent,” and this time they find it in the seas near Nassau. There, the National Underwater and Marine Agency training ship Edison responds to a mayday call from the MV Heron saying that they're under attack. The ship at first appears to be empty, but once the rescuers explore inside, a group of crazed men attacks them. The crazies are victims of Martin Colon, formerly of Cuban Intelligence and now VP of Ostrom Airship Corporation. The guy’s a bad dude with a serious grudge against the United States. He and his henchmen have injected the Heron’s crew with tiny microchips, electromagnetic sensors half the size of an average grain of pollen. If you get jabbed with this, your brain imprints and blindly obeys the first voice you hear. And if you’re told to kill your friends, you’ll kill them if you can. So now that Colon has successfully tested the weapon on individuals, he’s ready to go big time. And what better device for spreading the dust-sized chips in the billions than to disperse them from his luxury airship the Condor? It’s as big as an ocean liner and lifts with helium, so no fair comparing it to the hydrogen-hindered Hindenburg. Imagine a craft larger than the Empire State Building that lands “as soft as a feather.” Indeed, it’s “a world-class ocean liner plowing the skies.” NUMA sends people to inspect the Condor on the pretext that they might want to purchase a similar airship. To put it mildly, exciting action ensues. Can the NUMA crew head off a psyops attack that would cause mass madness and chaos? Though readers can guess the answer, they’ll enjoy seeing the heroes at work in this fast-moving yarn.A worthy addition to an entertaining series.
Pub Date: Sept. 5, 2023
Page Count: 416
Review Posted Online: July 13, 2023
Kirkus Reviews Issue: Aug. 1, 2023
Share your opinion of this book
by David Baldacci ‧ RELEASE DATE: Oct. 11, 2022
Fascinating main characters and a clever plot add up to an exciting read.
A thriller with bloody murders and plenty of suspects and featuring an unlikely partnership between two FBI investigators.
FBI consultant Amos Decker has a lot on his mind. The huge fellow once played for the Cleveland Browns in the NFL until he received a catastrophic brain injury, leaving him with synesthesia; he sees death as electric blue. More pertinent to the plot, he also has hyperthymesia, or spontaneous and highly accurate recall. On the one hand, his memories can be horrible. He’d once come home to find his wife and daughter murdered, dead in pools of blood. Later, he listens helplessly on the telephone while his ex-partner shoots herself in the mouth. On the other hand, his memory helps him solve every case he's given. Now he's sent to Florida with a brand-new partner, Special Agent Frederica White, to investigate the murder of a federal judge. Both partners are pissed at their last-minute pairing, and they immediately see themselves as a bad fit. White is a diminutive Black single mother of two who has a double black belt in karate “because I hate getting my ass kicked.” (The author doesn't mention Decker's race, but since he's being contrasted with his new partner in every way, perhaps readers are expected to see him as White. Clarity would be nice.) Their case is strange: Judge Julia Cummins was stabbed 10 times and her face covered with a mask, while her bodyguard was shot to death. Decker and White puzzle over the “very contrarian crime scene” where two murders seem to have been committed by two different people in the same place. The plot gets complex, with suspects galore. But the interpersonal dynamic between Decker and White is just as interesting as the solution to the murders, which doesn't come easily. At first, they’d like to be done with each other and go their separate ways. But as they work together, their mutual respect rises and—alas—the tension between them fades almost completely. The pair will make a great series duo, especially if a bit of that initial tension between them returns. And Baldacci shouldn’t give Decker a pass on his tortured memories, because readers enjoy suffering heroes. It's not enough that his near-perfect recall helps him in his job.Fascinating main characters and a clever plot add up to an exciting read.
Pub Date: Oct. 11, 2022
Page Count: 448
Publisher: Grand Central Publishing
Review Posted Online: Sept. 13, 2022
Kirkus Reviews Issue: Oct. 1, 2022
Share your opinion of this book
Hey there, book lover.
We’re glad you found a book that interests you!