Fans will bite their nails to the quick while they wait for all the characters who know bits and pieces of the story to pool...

I'LL WALK ALONE

According to Clark’s unique take on identity theft, the thief doesn’t just want to steal your money but to ruin your credibility, snatch your son and take your life.

Interior designer Alexandra Moreland’s son disappeared from his stroller two years ago while Tiffany Shields, the babysitter Zan had hurriedly arranged to watch him, dozed nearby. Matthew’s trail has long gone cold until his fifth birthday, when a tabloid newspaper publishes a photograph of Zan removing him from his stroller. In a flash, all the friends who’ve stood by her for the past two years turn on her. Her ex, Ted Carpenter, the publicist she’d split up with before she ever knew she was pregnant, winds up their dinner at the Four Seasons by accusing her of kidnapping his son. Architect Kevin Wilson, a prospective client who’s been about to choose her designs over those of her former boss Bartley Longe, begins to waver. Bartley, who never forgave Zan for leaving his shop to set up her own, spews venom into NYPD ears. So does Tiffany, frantic to take this opportunity to defend herself against all the innuendo she’s endured. Even Zan’s friends Alvirah and Willy Meehan, long familiar to the Clark faithful (The Lottery Winner, 1994, etc.), speculate whether she could have stolen Matthew during one of her mysterious blackouts. Only her loyal assistant, Josh Green, sticks by her side, and even he wonders who ordered the bolts of fabric that have begun to arrive at their office even though she swears she didn’t order them. Meanwhile, Toby Grissom, who hasn’t long to live, flies in from Texas to search for his daughter, Brittany La Monte, an aspiring actress and makeup expert who came to New York to make her fortune but disappeared shortly before Matthew.

Fans will bite their nails to the quick while they wait for all the characters who know bits and pieces of the story to pool their knowledge before the malefactor can strike again. Experts on identity theft will marvel that no matter what raw material goes into the Clark hopper, it all comes out looking much the same.

Pub Date: April 5, 2011

ISBN: 978-1-4391-8096-9

Page Count: 304

Publisher: Simon & Schuster

Review Posted Online: April 4, 2011

Kirkus Reviews Issue: March 15, 2011

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A tasty, if not always tasteful, tale of supernatural mayhem that fans of King and Crichton alike will enjoy.

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  • New York Times Bestseller

DEVOLUTION

Are we not men? We are—well, ask Bigfoot, as Brooks does in this delightful yarn, following on his bestseller World War Z (2006).

A zombie apocalypse is one thing. A volcanic eruption is quite another, for, as the journalist who does a framing voice-over narration for Brooks’ latest puts it, when Mount Rainier popped its cork, “it was the psychological aspect, the hyperbole-fueled hysteria that had ended up killing the most people.” Maybe, but the sasquatches whom the volcano displaced contributed to the statistics, too, if only out of self-defense. Brooks places the epicenter of the Bigfoot war in a high-tech hideaway populated by the kind of people you might find in a Jurassic Park franchise: the schmo who doesn’t know how to do much of anything but tries anyway, the well-intentioned bleeding heart, the know-it-all intellectual who turns out to know the wrong things, the immigrant with a tough backstory and an instinct for survival. Indeed, the novel does double duty as a survival manual, packed full of good advice—for instance, try not to get wounded, for “injury turns you from a giver to a taker. Taking up our resources, our time to care for you.” Brooks presents a case for making room for Bigfoot in the world while peppering his narrative with timely social criticism about bad behavior on the human side of the conflict: The explosion of Rainier might have been better forecast had the president not slashed the budget of the U.S. Geological Survey, leading to “immediate suspension of the National Volcano Early Warning System,” and there’s always someone around looking to monetize the natural disaster and the sasquatch-y onslaught that follows. Brooks is a pro at building suspense even if it plays out in some rather spectacularly yucky episodes, one involving a short spear that takes its name from “the sucking sound of pulling it out of the dead man’s heart and lungs.” Grossness aside, it puts you right there on the scene.

A tasty, if not always tasteful, tale of supernatural mayhem that fans of King and Crichton alike will enjoy.

Pub Date: June 16, 2020

ISBN: 978-1-9848-2678-7

Page Count: 304

Publisher: Del Rey/Ballantine

Review Posted Online: Feb. 10, 2020

Kirkus Reviews Issue: March 1, 2020

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The characters are paper thin, the plot twists mostly telegraphed, but the betting here is that the Baldacci army will once...

DELIVER US FROM EVIL

In Baldacci’s 19th (True Blue, 2009, etc.), boy and girl monster-hunters meet cute.

Evan Waller, aka Fadir Kuchin, aka “the Butcher of Kiev,” aka “the Ukrainian psychopath,” is one of those deep-dyed villains a certain kind of fiction can’t do without. Serving with distinction as part of the Soviet Union’s KGB, he joyfully and indiscriminately killed thousands. Now, many years later, posing as a successful businessman, he’s vacationing in Provence where, unbeknownst to him, two separate clandestine operations are being mounted by people who do not regard him with favor. Reggie Campion—28 and gorgeous—spearheads the first, an ad hoc group of monster-hunting vigilantes. Studly, tall Shaw (no first name supplied) is point guard for a rival team, shadowy enough to leave the matter of its origin ambiguous. While their respective teams reconnoiter and jockey for position, studly boy meets gorgeous girl. Monster-hunters are famous for having trust issues, but clearly these are drawn to each other in the time-honored Hollywood fashion. Shaw saves Reggie’s life. She returns the favor. The attraction deepens and heats up to the point where team-members on both sides grow unsettled by the loss of focus, singularly inopportune since, as monsters go, Waller rises to the second coming of Caligula—ample testimony furnished by a six-page, unsparingly detailed torture scene. In the end, the stalkers strike, bullets fly, screams curdle the blood, love has its innings and a monster does what a monster’s got to do.

The characters are paper thin, the plot twists mostly telegraphed, but the betting here is that the Baldacci army will once again show the stuff it’s made of.

Pub Date: April 20, 2010

ISBN: 978-0-446-56408-3

Page Count: 416

Publisher: Avon A/HarperCollins

Review Posted Online: Feb. 4, 2011

Kirkus Reviews Issue: April 15, 2010

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