by Marcus Sakey ‧ RELEASE DATE: July 16, 2013
A farsighted thriller about what happens when people really do think differently.
A deadly agent assigned to track down and terminate dangerous, gifted fugitives finds society’s landscape shifting beneath his feet.
What if 1 percent of the world’s children were born with powerful gifts? How would society adapt to their presence? Those are just some of the big questions behind this visceral, inventive thriller by prolific crime writer Sakey (The Two Deaths of Daniel Hayes, 2011, etc.). It’s set in a future where non-neurotypical people (demonized as “twists” by society) are threatening the status quo of the “normal” population with their unique gifts. Divorcé Nick Cooper is a noirish government agent who works for the dully named Department of Analysis and Response in a U.S.–funded agency, Equitable Services. His job is to track down criminals who use their gifts for ill. These aren’t the well-worn tropes of the superhero genre—for example, Cooper’s gift is for predictive analysis, allowing him to see what will happen before it happens and react. It’s a vision that offers up bone-crunching violence and a plausible future that is far more terrifying than it might seem on the surface. We first meet Cooper as he’s engaging an abnorm in a pitched rooftop chase. Before plunging to her death, she warns Cooper, “You can’t stop the future. All you can do is pick a side.” The book is ultimately about a standoff between a terrorist who dubs himself “John Smith,” Cooper, and a woman, Shannon Azzi, who may or may not be on Smith’s side. But in the telling, Sakey pulls off every trick in the book, from staccato dialogue to jaw-dropping plot reversals—he even engages in some worldbuilding by seeding the book with eerie interstitial elements like news reports and advertisements that help portray a world going to hell in real time. It’s a dizzying ride in which the novel’s execution is as nimble as its freaky ideas.A farsighted thriller about what happens when people really do think differently.
Pub Date: July 16, 2013
Page Count: 439
Publisher: Thomas & Mercer
Review Posted Online: Dec. 6, 2015
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BOOK TO SCREEN
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 Karin Slaughter ‧ RELEASE DATE: Sept. 29, 2015
Slaughter (Cop Town, 2014, etc.) is so uncompromising in following her blood trails to the darkest places imaginable that...
Awards & Accolades
Best Books Of 2015
New York Times Bestseller
Twenty-four years after a traumatic disappearance tore a Georgia family apart, Slaughter’s scorching stand-alone picks them up and shreds them all over again.
The Carrolls have never been the same since 19-year-old Julia vanished. After years of fruitlessly pestering the police, her veterinarian father, Sam, killed himself; her librarian mother, Helen, still keeps the girl's bedroom untouched, just in case. Julia’s sisters have been equally scarred. Lydia Delgado has sold herself for drugs countless times, though she’s been clean for years now; Claire Scott has just been paroled after knee-capping her tennis partner for a thoughtless remark. The evening that Claire’s ankle bracelet comes off, her architect husband, Paul, is callously murdered before her eyes and, without a moment's letup, she stumbles on a mountainous cache of snuff porn. Paul’s business partner, Adam Quinn, demands information from Claire and threatens her with dire consequences if she doesn’t deliver. The Dunwoody police prove as ineffectual as ever. FBI agent Fred Nolan is more suavely menacing than helpful. So Lydia and Claire, who’ve grown so far apart that they’re virtual strangers, are unwillingly thrown back on each other for help. Once she’s plunged you into this maelstrom, Slaughter shreds your own nerves along with those of the sisters, not simply by a parade of gruesome revelations—though she supplies them in abundance—but by peeling back layer after layer from beloved family members Claire and Lydia thought they knew. The results are harrowing.Slaughter (Cop Town, 2014, etc.) is so uncompromising in following her blood trails to the darkest places imaginable that she makes most of her high-wire competition look pallid, formulaic, or just plain fake.
Pub Date: Sept. 29, 2015
Page Count: 400
Review Posted Online: June 30, 2015
Kirkus Reviews Issue: July 15, 2015
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