by Lee Child ‧ RELEASE DATE: May 1, 2010
In his 14th outing, implausible, irresistible Reacher remains just about the best butt-kicker in thriller-lit.
When a bus full of seniors spins out of control, the obvious recourse is to reach out for Reacher (Gone Tomorrow, 2009, etc.).
On its way to Mt. Rushmore, a bus carrying a load of elderly tourists, plus a ringer, loses to a patch of ice. Reacher’s the ringer. Some 30 years younger than the average age of his fellow passengers, he’s among them by happenstance, a kind of hitchhiker. Reacher—that inveterate nomad, indefatigable Rambo and Galahad for all seasons—finds himself once more in the midst of an authentic mess. Banged up and inoperable, the bus has come to rest in Bolton, S.D., a town buried in snow and heaps of trouble. There’s the biker gang living on its outskirts, making crystal meth. There’s a repellent figure named Plato, a racketeering lowlife, whose philosophy is kill everything on the theory that if it lives, whatever it is, it might at some point have a negative Platonic effect. And then there’s grandmotherly Janet Salter. Sweet, smart, elegant and pound for pound as brave as Reacher, she’s a retired librarian, from Oxford’s Bodleian, no less. She’s also a witness to a grisly murder. Desperate to keep her alive, the Bolton PD has begun to think it might not be able to. Andrew Peterson, the department’s deputy chief, wants to ask Reacher for help. And when his reluctant boss asks why, he says, “I think he’s the sort of guy who sees things five seconds before the rest of the world.” Well, he’s right about that, of course, but even Reacher will be shaken by some of what he sees before exiting Bolton en route to Nowhere, his country of choice.In his 14th outing, implausible, irresistible Reacher remains just about the best butt-kicker in thriller-lit.
Pub Date: May 1, 2010
Page Count: 390
Review Posted Online: Sept. 16, 2010
Kirkus Reviews Issue: April 15, 2010
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by Kathy Reichs ‧ RELEASE DATE: March 17, 2020
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
Page Count: 352
Review Posted Online: Dec. 22, 2019
Kirkus Reviews Issue: Jan. 15, 2020
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by Michael Crichton ‧ RELEASE DATE: May 23, 2017
Falls short of Crichton’s many blockbusters, but fun reading nonetheless, especially for those interested in the early days...
In 1876, professor Edward Cope takes a group of students to the unforgiving American West to hunt for dinosaur fossils, and they make a tremendous discovery.
William Jason Tertullius Johnson, son of a shipbuilder and beneficiary of his father’s largess, isn’t doing very well at Yale when he makes a bet with his archrival (because every young man has one): accompany “the bone professor” Othniel Marsh to the West to dig for dinosaur fossils or pony up $1,000, but Marsh will only let Johnson join if he has a skill they can use. They need a photographer, so Johnson throws himself into the grueling task of learning photography, eventually becoming proficient. When Marsh and the team leave without him, he hitches a ride with another celebrated paleontologist, Marsh’s bitter rival, Edward Cope. Despite warnings about Indian activity, into the Judith badlands they go. It’s a harrowing trip: they weather everything from stampeding buffalo to back-breaking work, but it proves to be worth it after they discover the teeth of what looks to be a giant dinosaur, and it could be the discovery of the century if they can only get them back home safely. When the team gets separated while transporting the bones, Johnson finds himself in Deadwood and must find a way to get the bones home—and stay alive doing it. The manuscript for this novel was discovered in Crichton’s (Pirate Latitudes, 2009, etc.) archives by his wife, Sherri, and predates Jurassic Park (1990), but if readers are looking for the same experience, they may be disappointed: it’s strictly formulaic stuff. Famous folk like the Earp brothers make appearances, and Cope and Marsh, and the feud between them, were very real, although Johnson is the author’s own creation. Crichton takes a sympathetic view of American Indians and their plight, and his appreciation of the American West, and its harsh beauty, is obvious.Falls short of Crichton’s many blockbusters, but fun reading nonetheless, especially for those interested in the early days of American paleontology.
Pub Date: May 23, 2017
Page Count: 320
Review Posted Online: March 6, 2017
Kirkus Reviews Issue: March 15, 2017
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