A virtuoso performance even by Connelly’s high standards.

THE LAW OF INNOCENCE

Mickey Haller, the Lincoln Lawyer who’s mostly played second fiddle to his half brother, Harry Bosch, in recent years, gets a most unwelcome star turn when he’s arrested for murder.

The evidence is neck-deep that Haller’s ex-client, chronic con man Sam Scales, was dumped into the trunk of the attorney’s trademark car and then shot to death inside his garage as Haller slept above—or, as prosecutor Dana Berg, a true believer in Haller’s guilt, maintains, watched it all from a lot closer. The noose fits so tightly around Haller’s neck that it’s got to be a frame-up, but why, and by whom? Identifying the most likely perp as Louis Opparizio, a Vegas mobster Haller made look guilty on the stand nine long years ago, doesn’t clear things up. It just leads his law partner, Jennifer Aronson, and his investigator, Cisco Wojciechowski, to the FBI investigation of BioGreen Industries, a firm in which Opparizio owned a major stake, and up against FBI agents Rick Aiello and Dawn Ruth, who make it clear that they have no intention of complying with the subpoena issued by Violet Warfield, the meticulous and fair-minded judge trying the case. As Haller plots his own defense, sometimes from within a jail cell, sometimes when he’s out on bail, he’s haunted by the old adage about how any lawyer who represents himself has a fool for a client. Of course Connelly’s not going to convict his franchise hero of murder; of course Opparizio and the FBI are mixed up in the case; of course there’ll be loose ends left hanging. None of that matters. For sheer courtroom inventiveness and suspense, Haller has never shone brighter.

A virtuoso performance even by Connelly’s high standards.

Pub Date: Nov. 10, 2020

ISBN: 978-0-316-48562-3

Page Count: 400

Publisher: Little, Brown

Review Posted Online: Feb. 10, 2021

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A compelling portrait of a marriage gone desperately sour.

THE MYSTERY OF MRS. CHRISTIE

In December 1926, mystery writer Agatha Christie really did disappear for 11 days. Was it a hoax? Or did her husband resort to foul play?

When Agatha meets Archie on a dance floor in 1912, the obscure yet handsome pilot quickly sweeps her off her feet with his daring. Archie seems smitten with her. Defying her family’s expectations, Agatha consents to marry Archie rather than her intended, the reliable yet boring Reggie Lucy. Although the war keeps them apart, straining their early marriage, Agatha finds meaningful work as a nurse and dispensary assistant, jobs that teach her a lot about poisons, knowledge that helps shape her early short stories and novels. While Agatha’s career flourishes after the war, Archie suffers setback after setback. Determined to keep her man happy, Agatha finds herself cooking elaborate meals, squelching her natural affections for their daughter (after all, Archie must always feel like the most important person in her life), and downplaying her own troubles, including her grief over her mother's death. Nonetheless, Archie grows increasingly morose. In fact, he is away from home the day Agatha disappears. By the time Detective Chief Constable Kenward arrives, Agatha has already been missing for a day. After discovering—and burning—a mysterious letter from Agatha, Archie is less than eager to help the police. His reluctance and arrogance work against him, and soon the police, the newspapers, the Christies’ staff, and even his daughter’s classmates suspect him of harming his wife. Benedict concocts a worthy mystery of her own, as chapters alternate between Archie’s negotiation of the investigation and Agatha’s recounting of their relationship. She keeps the reader guessing: Which narrator is reliable? Who is the real villain?

A compelling portrait of a marriage gone desperately sour.

Pub Date: Dec. 29, 2020

ISBN: N/A

Page Count: 288

Publisher: Sourcebooks Landmark

Review Posted Online: Sept. 30, 2020

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Oct. 15, 2020

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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

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