A compelling story of healing, both human and animal.



From Fisher (He Trots The Air, 2011, etc.), a humble and harrowing novel about horse abuse.

Fisher’s latest novel follows an ensemble cast employed at the McCutcheon Equine Insurance Agency in rural Virginia. The insurance agency, owned by Cary McCutcheon and his wife, Pam, investigates and prosecutes those who commit crimes against horses. Soon into the novel, readers meet Tim Lomax, an Army veteran who has recently returned from Afghanistan to his home in Virginia. Lomax is having trouble adjusting to civilian life, which his paralyzing symptoms of PTSD make worse. McCutcheon decides to give Lomax a chance, hiring him to work on his ranch. Not long after Lomax starts working for McCutcheon, a colt shows up on the outskirts of the ranch. The colt shows clear signs of soring, a form of torture inflicted upon horses to give them the recognized Tennessee Walking Horse gait. While rehabbing the colt, McCutcheon and his crew begin to investigate the people who perpetrated the crime, welcoming Lomax to the case. Fisher’s brief novel takes a stand against animal cruelty and horse abuse without being heavy-handed or dry. Her characters speak for themselves, allowing the message to naturally come across in their words. Lomax’s PTSD and the emotional demons that torment the abused colt are subtly complementary, illustrating how horses and humans can heal one another. Readers might wish for more time with Fisher’s down-to-earth, inspiring characters and to learn more about their healing work. If there’s one fault with Fisher’s novel, it’s that it could be a bit more accessible for readers approaching it with little to no knowledge about the equestrian world. Secondary characters are introduced along with their titles, but it might be unclear to some readers what exactly their functions are within a horse agency (or even what a horse agency is). Still, Fisher’s moving tale doesn’t flood the reader with overly technical language, and readers will be easily immersed.

A compelling story of healing, both human and animal.

Pub Date: April 24, 2014

ISBN: 978-1494959777

Page Count: 146

Publisher: CreateSpace

Review Posted Online: Sept. 5, 2014

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Great storytelling, a quirky hero, and a quirkier plot make this a winner for adventure fans.


FBI Special Agent Aloysius Pendergast finds evil afoot in his latest action-filled adventure (Verses for the Dead, 2018, etc.).

Imagine Florida beachcombers’ shock when they discover a shoe with a severed foot inside. Soon they see dozens more feet, all in identical shoes, bobbing toward the beach. Police and FBI ultimately count more than a hundred of them washing up on Sanibel and Captiva Islands' tranquil shores. Pendergast teams up with the junior Special Agent Armstrong Coldmoon to investigate this strange phenomenon. Oceanographers use a supercomputer to analyze Gulf currents and attempt to determine where the feet entered the ocean. Were they dumped off a ship or an island? Does each one represent a homicide? Analysts examine chemical residues and pollen, even the angle of each foot’s amputation, but the puzzle defies all explanation. Attention focuses on Cuba, where “something terrible was happening” in front of a coastal prison, and on China, the apparent source of the shoes. The clever plot is “a most baffling case indeed” for the brilliant Pendergast, but it’s the type of problem he thrives on. He’s hardly a stereotypical FBI agent, given for example his lemon-colored silk suit, his Panama hat, and his legendary insistence on working alone—until now. Pendergast rarely blinks—perhaps, someone surmises, he’s part reptile. But equally odd is Constance Greene, his “extraordinarily beautiful,” smart, and sarcastic young “ward” who has “eyes that had seen everything and, as a result, were surprised by nothing.” Coldmoon is more down to earth: part Lakota, part Italian, and “every inch a Fed.” Add in murderous drug dealers, an intrepid newspaper reporter, coyotes crossing the U.S.–Mexico border, and a pissed-off wannabe graphic novelist, and you have a thoroughly entertaining cast of characters. There is plenty of suspense, and the action gets bloody.

Great storytelling, a quirky hero, and a quirkier plot make this a winner for adventure fans.

Pub Date: Feb. 4, 2020

ISBN: 978-1-5387-4725-4

Page Count: 368

Publisher: Grand Central Publishing

Review Posted Online: Jan. 13, 2020

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Feb. 1, 2020

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Professionally entertaining, with lots of realistically frustrating false hopes—though it’s hard to worry very much about...


Lucas Davenport goes west.

But first he goes south, called from his home in Minnesota to the Louisiana swamp where hired killer Clayton Deese buried at least five people (the total is actually higher) before coming a cropper seven months ago with his latest target, Howell Paine. Things went sideways, sending Paine to the hospital and sentencing Deese to an ankle monitor he sliced through three days ago. Local FBI agent Sandro Tremanty, discovering Deese’s absence, wants help from the U.S. marshals in rounding up his quarry so that he can implicate loan shark Roger Smith, who’d hired him to hurt Paine and send a warning to his other debtors. And there’s another reason the feds would like to get Deese off the streets: His experiments in homicide have given him a taste for human flesh. Soon enough, Lucas, together with marshals Rae Givens and Bob Matees, has picked up Deese’s trail, which leads first to Marina Del Rey, where he’s joined his half brother, Marion Beauchamps, and Jayden Nast, “a guy with guns, who hates cops,” in a brutal home-invasion crew. Conscientious detective work brings Lucas and the LAPD within a whisker of catching Deese, but he slips away from them and heads to Las Vegas with Genesis Cox, the blonde he’s picked up, and John Rogers Cole, another accomplice. Deese and his cohort must constantly pull new jobs to support their gambling and drug habits, and it’s hard to imagine their eluding the law for very long. But there are deeper threats to their racket. Roger Smith, who knows plenty about Deese, realizes he has every reason to get rid of him, and there turns out to be no honor among the thieves closer to home either.

Professionally entertaining, with lots of realistically frustrating false hopes—though it’s hard to worry very much about the leading question here: Will the franchise hero (Twisted Prey, 2018, etc.) succeed in bringing the crooks to justice before they wipe each other off the face of the Earth?

Pub Date: April 13, 2019

ISBN: 978-0-525-53658-1

Page Count: 400

Publisher: Putnam

Review Posted Online: Feb. 17, 2019

Kirkus Reviews Issue: March 1, 2019

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