ANGELS FLIGHT

The murder of a high-profile civil rights lawyer is just the trigger for another far-ranging case for L.A. cop Harry Bosch (Trunk Music, 1997, etc.). Howard Elias was widely known as the man who made a good living by suing the LAPD. So now that he's been shot, along with inoffensive cleaning woman Catalina Perez, aboard an otherwise empty inclined railway car, cops all over the city are cheering. What's not to like? wonders Bosch. Only two things: the likelihood that Elias was helped to his grave by one of the hundreds of officers now toasting his death, and the certainty that the public will scream coverup and react in riotous fury if Bosch turns up anybody but a fellow cop as a suspect. Under pressure to satisfy Deputy Chief Irvin Irving, who's determined to put his own Rainbow Coalition p.r. spin on every development, and to work peacefully with the Internal Affairs officers he's been saddled with, Bosch soon focuses on Elias's latest client: Michael Harris, the scruffy suspect who maintains that his confession in the murder of pre-teen Stacey Kincaid had been beaten out of him by cops who jumped on their first slim lead that came their way. But even as Bosch is turning up evidence that indicates Harris might be innocent after all—many sordid, though unsurprising, revelations here—the net is closing around his former partner Frankie Sheehan, a Robbery-Homicide detective on the Harris case who'd already caught the eye of Internal Affairs when he killed a suspect in an earlier case. Bosch sweats to exonerate his old friend and find a substitute killer, but Deputy Chief Irving, who can't forget O.J. and Rodney King, is just not that interested in getting Sheehan off the hook. Reliable suspense on a grand scale, though the half-hearted attention to the suspects and Harry's perfunctory domestic troubles, as well as the lack of a powerfully mysterious center, make this the most routine of Connelly's eight world-class thrillers.

Pub Date: Jan. 1, 1999

ISBN: 0-316-15219-6

Page Count: 400

Publisher: Little, Brown

Review Posted Online: May 20, 2010

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Oct. 15, 1998

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Dark and unsettling, this novel’s end arrives abruptly even as readers are still moving at a breakneck speed.

THEN SHE WAS GONE

Ten years after her teenage daughter went missing, a mother begins a new relationship only to discover she can't truly move on until she answers lingering questions about the past.

Laurel Mack’s life stopped in many ways the day her 15-year-old daughter, Ellie, left the house to study at the library and never returned. She drifted away from her other two children, Hanna and Jake, and eventually she and her husband, Paul, divorced. Ten years later, Ellie’s remains and her backpack are found, though the police are unable to determine the reasons for her disappearance and death. After Ellie’s funeral, Laurel begins a relationship with Floyd, a man she meets in a cafe. She's disarmed by Floyd’s charm, but when she meets his young daughter, Poppy, Laurel is startled by her resemblance to Ellie. As the novel progresses, Laurel becomes increasingly determined to learn what happened to Ellie, especially after discovering an odd connection between Poppy’s mother and her daughter even as her relationship with Floyd is becoming more serious. Jewell’s (I Found You, 2017, etc.) latest thriller moves at a brisk pace even as she plays with narrative structure: The book is split into three sections, including a first one which alternates chapters between the time of Ellie’s disappearance and the present and a second section that begins as Laurel and Floyd meet. Both of these sections primarily focus on Laurel. In the third section, Jewell alternates narrators and moments in time: The narrator switches to alternating first-person points of view (told by Poppy’s mother and Floyd) interspersed with third-person narration of Ellie’s experiences and Laurel’s discoveries in the present. All of these devices serve to build palpable tension, but the structure also contributes to how deeply disturbing the story becomes. At times, the characters and the emotional core of the events are almost obscured by such quick maneuvering through the weighty plot.

Dark and unsettling, this novel’s end arrives abruptly even as readers are still moving at a breakneck speed.

Pub Date: April 24, 2018

ISBN: 978-1-5011-5464-5

Page Count: 368

Publisher: Atria

Review Posted Online: Feb. 6, 2018

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Feb. 15, 2018

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Amateurish, with a twist savvy readers will see coming from a mile away.

THE SILENT PATIENT

A woman accused of shooting her husband six times in the face refuses to speak.

"Alicia Berenson was thirty-three years old when she killed her husband. They had been married for seven years. They were both artists—Alicia was a painter, and Gabriel was a well-known fashion photographer." Michaelides' debut is narrated in the voice of psychotherapist Theo Faber, who applies for a job at the institution where Alicia is incarcerated because he's fascinated with her case and believes he will be able to get her to talk. The narration of the increasingly unrealistic events that follow is interwoven with excerpts from Alicia's diary. Ah, yes, the old interwoven diary trick. When you read Alicia's diary you'll conclude the woman could well have been a novelist instead of a painter because it contains page after page of detailed dialogue, scenes, and conversations quite unlike those in any journal you've ever seen. " 'What's the matter?' 'I can't talk about it on the phone, I need to see you.' 'It's just—I'm not sure I can make it up to Cambridge at the minute.' 'I'll come to you. This afternoon. Okay?' Something in Paul's voice made me agree without thinking about it. He sounded desperate. 'Okay. Are you sure you can't tell me about it now?' 'I'll see you later.' Paul hung up." Wouldn't all this appear in a diary as "Paul wouldn't tell me what was wrong"? An even more improbable entry is the one that pins the tail on the killer. While much of the book is clumsy, contrived, and silly, it is while reading passages of the diary that one may actually find oneself laughing out loud.

Amateurish, with a twist savvy readers will see coming from a mile away.

Pub Date: Feb. 5, 2019

ISBN: 978-1-250-30169-7

Page Count: 304

Publisher: Celadon Books

Review Posted Online: Nov. 4, 2018

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Nov. 15, 2018

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