More cerebral than Pryor’s earlier cases (The Reluctant Matador, 2015, etc.), but fans will still find plenty of action.

THE PARIS LIBRARIAN

A Paris librarian’s death is just the start of a series of mysterious occurrences.

Former FBI profiler Hugo Marston, who’s working at the U.S. Embassy in Paris and sharing an apartment with his best friend, CIA freelancer Tom Green, is intrigued by a call from Paul Rogers, the director of the American Library in Paris, about an upcoming book sale that may allow Hugo to add to his collection of signed first editions. At the library, Hugo gets Paul’s assistant, Michael Harmuth, to let him into a basement room where Paul is no longer working on his own novel because he’s suddenly died. Despite every appearance of natural death, Hugo has a bad feeling he shares with Lt. Camille Lerens, his friend in the Brigade Criminelle. Camille, who used to be Christophe, humors Hugo by using the death as a training exercise for a CSU team. Hugo knows from his friend Merlyn and her journalist pal Miki about Miki’s plan to write a story about Isabelle Severin, a famous actress who’s rumored to have been a spy and killed a Gestapo officer during World War II. Severin, now descending into dementia, has donated most of her personal papers to the American Library, but Miki wants access to the material she thinks Severin is holding back. Meanwhile, the police finally establish that Paul’s curare poisoning was either suicide or murder. When his girlfriend is found dead, another apparent suicide, Hugo, certain that both deaths are murder, begins to look for a killer among the unlucky pair’s friends and colleagues. The answer may be buried deep in the past, but Hugo’s Sherlock-ian skills serve him well as he hunts a killer.

More cerebral than Pryor’s earlier cases (The Reluctant Matador, 2015, etc.), but fans will still find plenty of action.

Pub Date: Aug. 9, 2016

ISBN: 978-1-633-88177-8

Page Count: 270

Publisher: Seventh Street Books

Review Posted Online: May 18, 2016

Kirkus Reviews Issue: June 1, 2016

Did you like this book?

No Comments Yet

POP GOES THE WEASEL

After a flight in fantasy with When the Wind Blows (1998), Patterson goes to ground with another slash-and-squirm psychokiller page-turner, this one dedicated to “the millions of Alex Cross readers, who so frequently ask, can’t you write faster?” By day, Geoffrey Shafer is a charming, 42-year-old British Embassy paper-pusher with a picture-perfect family and a shady past as an MI-6 secret agent. Come sundown, he swallows a pharmacy of psychoactive pills, gulps three black coffees loaded with sugar, and roams the streets of Washington, D.C., in a battered cab, where, disguised as a black man, he rolls dice to determine which among his black female fares he—ll murder. Afterwards he dumps his naked victims in crime-infested back alleys of black- slum neighborhoods, then sends e-mails boasting of his accomplishments to three other former MI-6 agents involved in a hellish Internet role-playing game. “I sensed I was at the start of another homicide mess,” sighs forensic-psychologist turned homicide-detective Alex Cross. Cross yearns to catch the “Jane Doe murderer” but is thwarted by Det. Chief George Pittman, who assigns sexy Det. Patsy Hampton to investigate Cross and come up with a reason for dismissing him. Meanwhile, Cross’s fiancÇe is kidnaped during a Bermuda vacation, and an anonymous e-mail warns him to back off. He doesn’t, of course, and just when it appears that Patterson is sleep-walking through his story, Cross nabs Shafer minutes after Shafer kills Det. Hampton. During the subsequent high-visibility trail, Shafer manages to make the jury believe that he’s innocent and that Cross was trying to frame him. When all seems lost, a sympathetic British intelligence chief offers to help Cross bring down Shafer, and the other homicidal game-players, during a showdown on the breezy beaches of Jamaica. Kinky mayhem, a cartoonish villain, regular glimpses of the kindly Cross caring for his loved ones, and an ending that spells a sequel: Patterson’s fans couldn’t ask for more.

Pub Date: Oct. 19, 1999

ISBN: 0-316-69328-6

Page Count: 432

Publisher: Little, Brown

Review Posted Online: May 20, 2010

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Aug. 15, 1999

Did you like this book?

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

Did you like this book?

more