by M.D. Grayson ‧ RELEASE DATE: Sept. 15, 2022
An entertaining and engagingly complicated joyride.
Awards & Accolades
A valuable painting, a friend in trouble, a dangerous loan shark, and an elaborate con game fuel Grayson’s sixth mystery novel in a series.
Kate Morgan, owner of a small independent movie studio, has a problem. She’s close to wrapping up production of the film Fade to Crimson, which is shooting in Seattle, but the project has been running low on funds. Unbeknown to her, Ray LeGrande—her boyfriend and the movie’s director—took it upon himself to find a temporary solution: He stole a valuable painting belonging to Kate’s father and used it as collateral for a 90-day loan of $500,000 in cash. Unfortunately, the lender is Billy Thorne, son of notorious loan shark Frank Thorne. Now time is running out, and Kate turns to private investigator Danny Logan for help. An initial investigative foray confirms what Danny and his partner, Toni Blair, suspect—that the Thornes are determined to keep the painting and sell it at auction. Logan Private Investigations calls upon the services of Henry Parker, con artist extraordinaire, who happens to have a personal score to settle with Thorne; he’s more than happy to set up an extravagant ruse to retrieve the painting before Kate’s father discovers it’s missing. Grayson, a fine storyteller, notes in his acknowledgements that he was inspired to become a writer after viewing the classic 1973 film The Sting, and here he creates his own intriguingly clever caper. Although readers are in on the secrets behind most of the deception, they’ll still find a few surprises in store. Lurking in the shadows of the narrative is a character with the capacity to torpedo the whole operation, which adds an additional layer of suspense. Overall, this page-turner is a bit light on character development, but it’s propelled by a steady supply of plot twists. Grayson meticulously crafts the hustle to create an enjoyable romp, and it all leads to a satisfyingly explosive conclusion—and a final tease to keep readers guessing.An entertaining and engagingly complicated joyride.
Pub Date: Sept. 15, 2022
Page Count: 238
Publisher: Cedar Coast Press
Review Posted Online: Aug. 19, 2022
Kirkus Reviews Issue: Oct. 1, 2022
Review Program: Kirkus Indie
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by Michael Connelly ‧ RELEASE DATE: Nov. 7, 2023
The most richly accomplished of the brothers’ pairings to date—and given Connelly’s high standards, that’s saying a lot.
Harry Bosch and the Lincoln Lawyer team up to exonerate a woman who’s already served five years for killing her ex-husband.
The evidence against Lucinda Sanz was so overwhelming that she followed the advice of Frank Silver, the B-grade attorney who’d elbowed his way onto her defense, and pleaded no contest to manslaughter to avoid a life sentence for shooting Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Deputy Roberto Sanz in the back as he stalked out of her yard after their latest argument. But now that her son, Eric, is 13, old enough to get recruited by local gangs, she wants to be out of stir and at his side. So she writes to Mickey Haller, who asks his half-brother for help. After all his years working for the LAPD, Bosch is adamant about not working for a criminal defendant, even though Haller’s already taken him on as an associate so that he can get access to private health insurance and a UCLA medical trial for an experimental cancer treatment. But the habeas corpus hearing Haller’s aiming for isn’t, strictly speaking, a criminal defense proceeding, and even a cursory examination of the forensic evidence raises Bosch’s hackles. Bolstered by Bosch’s discoveries and a state-of-the-art digital reconstruction of the shooting, Haller heads to court to face Assistant Attorney General Hayden Morris, who has a few tricks up his own sleeve. The endlessly resourceful courtroom back-and-forth is furious in its intensity, although Haller eventually upstages Bosch, Morris, and everyone else in sight. What really stands out here, however, is that Connelly never lets you forget, from his title onward, the life-or-death issues behind every move in the game.The most richly accomplished of the brothers’ pairings to date—and given Connelly’s high standards, that’s saying a lot.
Pub Date: Nov. 7, 2023
Page Count: 400
Publisher: Little, Brown
Review Posted Online: Sept. 21, 2023
Kirkus Reviews Issue: Oct. 15, 2023
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by Kathy Reichs ‧ RELEASE DATE: March 17, 2020
Forget about solving all these crimes; the signal triumph here is (spoiler) the heroine’s survival.
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
Page Count: 352
Review Posted Online: Dec. 22, 2019
Kirkus Reviews Issue: Jan. 15, 2020
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