Fans will enjoy the excitement and action of the clever pair’s newest cases and be very surprised indeed by some of their...

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STONE COLD, STONE DEAD

A daring sleuthing duo’s wish for a peaceful life is not to be.

Patrick Gillard and his wife, Ingrid Langley, have been together since their teens. Patrick, an army veteran, has worked for MI5 and the National Crime Agency. More recently, he’s been embedded with the Avon and Somerset police in order to be near the home he shares with Ingrid, their five children, and his recently widowed mother. Ingrid, an author with an uncanny knack for uncovering crimes, works as a police consultant. The couple’s relatively quiet interregnum ends when MI5 informs Patrick that a nasty case from their past (Murders.com, 2017, etc.) is coming back to haunt them in the person of Julian Mannering—formerly Sir Julian, until he was involved in murder and other crimes—who’s now thought to be taking up new criminal enterprises. Patrick’s mother, Elspeth, still reeling from her husband’s death, is harassed by a couple, claiming to be involved with a London-based church group, who want to move into her house, a former church property attached to Patrick’s home. When Mannering is found dead, the supercilious DI on the case assumes he died of natural causes until the pathologist confirms Ingrid’s suggestion that he was shot three times. The harassment of Elspeth blossoms into vandalism and attacks on Patrick’s children. Are these connected to the police suspicions of Mannering and a former MP who may have joined his criminal enterprises? Since nothing rouses Patrick to anger more than attacks on his family and friends, he and Ingrid set out to untangle the ties between harassment, murder, and Mannering’s criminal activities. Murder and mayhem ensue when they start digging, but Patrick welcomes the chance to take down the ruthless criminals whatever the cost to him and his family.

Fans will enjoy the excitement and action of the clever pair’s newest cases and be very surprised indeed by some of their solutions.

Pub Date: Oct. 1, 2018

ISBN: 978-0-7278-8815-0

Page Count: 208

Publisher: Severn House

Review Posted Online: July 31, 2018

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Aug. 15, 2018

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Forget about solving all these crimes; the signal triumph here is (spoiler) the heroine’s survival.

A CONSPIRACY OF BONES

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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An appealing new heroine, a fast-moving plot, and a memorably nightmarish family make this one of Box’s best.

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THE BITTERROOTS

The creator of Wyoming Fish and Game Warden Joe Pickett (Wolf Pack, 2019, etc.) launches a new series starring a female private eye who messes with a powerful family and makes everyone involved rue the day.

Cassie Dewell’s been taking a monthly retainer from Bozeman attorney Rachel Mitchell for investigations of one sort and another, but she really doesn’t want to look into the case of Rachel’s newest client. That’s partly because Blake Kleinsasser, the fourth-generation firstborn of a well-established ranching family who moved to New York and made his own bundle before returning back home, comes across as a repellent jerk and partly because all the evidence indicates that he raped Franny Porché, his 15-year-old niece. And there’s plenty of evidence, from a rape kit showing his DNA to a lengthy, plausible statement from Franny. But Cassie owes Rachel, and Rachel tells her she doesn’t have to dig up exculpatory evidence, just follow the trail where it leads so that she can close off every other possibility. So Cassie agrees even though there’s an even more compelling reason not to: The Kleinsassers—Horst II and Margaret and their three other children, John Wayne, Rand, and Cheyenne, Franny’s thrice-divorced mother—are not only toxic, but viperishly dangerous to Blake and now Cassie. Everyone in Lochsa County, from Sheriff Ben Wagy on down, is in their pockets, and everyone Cassie talks to, from the Kleinsassers to the local law, finds new ways to make her life miserable. But Cassie, an ex-cop single mother, isn’t one to back down, especially since she wonders why anyone would take all the trouble to stop an investigation of a case that was as rock-solid as this one’s supposed to be.

An appealing new heroine, a fast-moving plot, and a memorably nightmarish family make this one of Box’s best.

Pub Date: Aug. 13, 2019

ISBN: 978-1-250-05105-9

Page Count: 320

Publisher: Minotaur

Review Posted Online: May 27, 2019

Kirkus Reviews Issue: June 15, 2019

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