Slow and occasionally jumbled but ultimately rewarding.



Terrorists in Rio de Janeiro target citizens for a series of cyberattacks and assassinations in Trigueiro’s debut thriller.

A few people in Brazil receiving “death warnings” via email or social networking becomes decidedly grimmer when motorcycle gunmen kill the ones named in the messages. When the story hits the media, anyone getting such a warning calls the cops, who suspect that the so-called terrorists are using spyware to steal people’s info. The Federal Police put Matheus Erming, head of computer forensics, on the case, and he quickly sees a similarity between the spyware and a hack used by local gangs to steal bank passwords. But someone might be thinking Matheus is getting too close to the truth: His mother, Gloria, and older brother, João Paulo, think they’re being followed. Sure enough, they both later vanish, and Matheus becomes desperate to find the culprits and save his family. Trigueiro’s novel, originally published in Portuguese, is a meticulously paced story that keeps its protagonist firmly planted in his own professional field. Most scenes feature Matheus in front of a computer or discussing ways to track down the “crackers” to lead police to whomever is spearheading the breaches and murders. The story does, however, have flashes of action, also with Matheus, a biker whose choice of ride makes the inevitable confrontation with the biker killers for hire predictable but undeniably entertaining. Trigueiro’s strength lies in developing character relationships, starting with Matheus and his obvious affinity for partner Luana. Nuanced traits help bring supporting characters to life, including João Paulo, whose blindness from a robber’s gunshot years ago is a source of guilt for Matheus, and young Guilherme, burdened by a death warning and his hapless father, a struggling alcoholic. The ending, while providing readers with a character(s) to blame, is a bit muddled, since it’s not wholly clear why the plan was even initiated. Nevertheless, there’s an impressive twist—not the mastermind’s identity but the fact that a seemingly innocent person will have no choice but to accept some responsibility for the diabolical goings-on.

Slow and occasionally jumbled but ultimately rewarding.

Pub Date: Dec. 20, 2014

ISBN: 978-1505229745

Page Count: 430

Publisher: CreateSpace

Review Posted Online: Jan. 12, 2015

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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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A suspenseful, professional-grade north country procedural whose heroine, a deft mix of compassion and attitude, would be...


Box takes another break from his highly successful Joe Pickett series (Stone Cold, 2014, etc.) for a stand-alone about a police detective, a developmentally delayed boy, and a package everyone in North Dakota wants to grab.

Cassandra Dewell can’t leave Montana’s Lewis and Clark County fast enough for her new job as chief investigator for Jon Kirkbride, sheriff of Bakken County. She leaves behind no memories worth keeping: her husband is dead, her boss has made no bones about disliking her, and she’s looking forward to new responsibilities and the higher salary underwritten by North Dakota’s sudden oil boom. But Bakken County has its own issues. For one thing, it’s cold—a whole lot colder than the coldest weather Cassie’s ever imagined. For another, the job she turns out to have been hired for—leading an investigation her new boss doesn’t feel he can entrust to his own force—makes her queasy. The biggest problem, though, is one she doesn’t know about until it slaps her in the face. A fatal car accident that was anything but accidental has jarred loose a stash of methamphetamines and cash that’s become the center of a battle between the Sons of Freedom, Bakken County’s traditional drug sellers, and MS-13, the Salvadorian upstarts who are muscling in on their territory. It’s a setup that leaves scant room for law enforcement officers or for Kyle Westergaard, the 12-year-old paperboy damaged since birth by fetal alcohol syndrome, who’s walked away from the wreck with a prize all too many people would kill for.

A suspenseful, professional-grade north country procedural whose heroine, a deft mix of compassion and attitude, would be welcome to return and tie up the gaping loose end Box leaves. The unrelenting cold makes this the perfect beach read.

Pub Date: July 28, 2015

ISBN: 978-0-312-58321-7

Page Count: 272

Publisher: Minotaur

Review Posted Online: April 22, 2015

Kirkus Reviews Issue: May 15, 2015

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