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THE MAN FROM GRIFFINTOWN

A protagonist’s invisibility ignites a distinctive thriller jampacked with plot.

A Canadian man’s sudden, unexplained invisibility makes him a target for countries determined to abuse his new powers of stealth in this debut thriller.

Georges Delson wakes up one morning to realize that he’s invisible. The Montreal native at first takes advantage of others’ inability to see him by stealing valuables. But when he humiliates despised former employers—called X , Y, and Z—he catches unwanted attention. His ex-bosses and the authorities pinpoint Georges as the possible culprit. He nonetheless finds an empathetic soul in Stéphane Laroche, a “good-looking” single female police captain who investigates cases involving unseen assailants (and whom he meets when he slips into her home one night while she’s drinking Grand Marnier). Others are less friendly: X, along with CIA and Russian agents, want Georges’ presumed technology or “formula” that makes him invisible. Georges soon learns that he had been an unwitting participant in an experiment, and one particular country later turns him into a type of covert agent primarily used for assassinations. As years pass, a sinister project creates Georges clones to carry out terrorist acts. Stéphane, whose feelings for Georges gradually deepen, searches for this elusive man whose life may be in danger. She also dodges attempts on her life, as she’s aware of Georges’ invisibility, and joins others in hunting whoever is behind the terrorist strikes. Markus’ book collects a trilogy, originally published in French, and the overall story is seamless and sharply paced, though generally somber. Book 1 is the strongest, as it focuses on Georges and learning the perks—and pitfalls—of his initially mysterious condition. The narrative becomes much denser by Book 2, as it expands to additional countries beyond Canada and to global concerns such as climate change. The final book organically shifts further toward SF, including a significant time jump and advanced artificial intelligence. The ending, however, introduces startling new elements that suggest a sequel more than they offer resolution.

A protagonist’s invisibility ignites a distinctive thriller jampacked with plot.

Pub Date: N/A

ISBN: N/A

Page Count: 425

Publisher: Manuscript

Review Posted Online: March 26, 2020

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HOME IS WHERE THE BODIES ARE

Answers are hard to come by in this twisting tale designed to trick and delight.

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Three siblings on very different paths learn that their family home may be haunted by secrets.

Eldest daughter Beth is alone with her fading mother as she takes her final breath and says something about Beth’s long-departed brother and sister, who may not have disappeared forever. Beth is still reeling from the loss of her mother when her estranged siblings show up. Michael, the youngest, hasn’t been home since their father’s disappearance seven years ago. In the meantime, he’s outgrown his siblings, trading his share of the family troubles for a high-paying job in San Jose. Nicole, the middle child, has been overpowered by addiction and prioritized tuning out reality over any sense of responsibility, much to Beth’s disgust. Though their mother’s death marks an ending for the family, it’s also a beginning, as the three siblings realize when they find a disturbing videotape among their parents’ belongings. The video, from 1999, sheds suspicion on their father’s disappearance, linking it to a long-unsolved neighborhood mystery. Was it just a series of unfortunate circumstances that broke the family apart, or does something more sinister underlie the sadness they’ve all found in life? In chapters that rotate among the family’s first-person narratives, the siblings take turns digging up stories and secrets in their search for solace.

Answers are hard to come by in this twisting tale designed to trick and delight.

Pub Date: April 30, 2024

ISBN: 9798212182843

Page Count: 270

Publisher: Blackstone

Review Posted Online: Feb. 3, 2024

Kirkus Reviews Issue: March 1, 2024

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IDENTITY

Roberts revisits a favorite theme: The power of community can defeat a great evil.

After escaping from a serial killer, a woman tries to reclaim her life.

After a childhood as an Army brat, Morgan Albright is determined to put down roots. She bought a small house in the perfect neighborhood outside of Baltimore, living with a friend and working two jobs to make ends meet. Morgan’s life is happy and fulfilling, and she is making progress on her financial and career goals. Her perfect world is shattered when someone breaks into her home and murders her roommate. At first, the police assume it was a random act of violence, but after discovering the killer stole Morgan’s identity and her entire savings, they realize the crime fits the profile of a serial killer named Gavin Rozwell. The police inform Morgan that her roommate was simply in the wrong place at the wrong time; she was the real intended target. Morgan’s grief, coupled with the financial devastation from the identity theft, leaves her no choice but to return home to Vermont to live with her mother and grandmother. Morgan reconnects with her family and rebuilds her life, including landing the perfect job and falling in love. The police and FBI pursue Gavin, who continues to stalk and kill women, each time leaving a reminder at the crime scene that shows he’s fixated on Morgan as the one who got away. Roberts shows Gavin’s slow descent into obsession and madness as the inverse of Morgan’s healing journey back to herself and her community. The novel highlights Morgan’s preparations for the inevitable final countdown with Gavin, but the lack of immediacy and urgency of the threat makes for a subdued, restrained thriller.

Roberts revisits a favorite theme: The power of community can defeat a great evil.

Pub Date: May 23, 2023

ISBN: 9781250284112

Page Count: 448

Publisher: St. Martin's

Review Posted Online: March 27, 2023

Kirkus Reviews Issue: April 15, 2023

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