Thriller enthusiasts will want to add this well-sculpted heist drama to their collections.

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In this thriller, a security guard gets involved in a scheme to steal a trio of Matisse sculptures from a museum, a plan that ultimately leads him to fight for his innocence and his life.

Camden Swanson, a San Francisco security guard, admits to a stunningly tall, sexy woman: “I’m a lazy drunk who’s a complete loser.” On behalf of her “clients,” the unnamed woman hires him to be part of an elaborate art theft at the museum where he’s worked for six months. Formerly, Camden wrote for a newspaper in Boston, where he broke a story on a major art heist. Then, in San Francisco, he produced an LSD–fueled article claiming the city was under attack by monkeylike creatures that resulted in the end of his journalism career. Camden’s successful girlfriend, artist Georgia Léveque, supports him, but that gravy train is poised to derail. So the offer of a hefty payment to play a role with other co-workers (including the crushworthy Veronica Zarcarsky) in the robbery of three Matisses is an offer Camden can’t refuse. But before the theft can take place, another robber snags the sculptures. The tall woman’s clients, who believe Camden was part of the operation, are out for payback. Ostrowski, a former resident of both Boston and San Francisco, thoroughly knows the territory the intriguing characters roam. The places range from a hidden foodie gem in Boston’s North End to where the steep slope of Powell Street meets Sutter in the San Francisco fog. The author also worked as a gallery guard, but his name-checking of artists seems excessive, and his estimate of how much a successful young artist can command is unrealistic. Still, humor weaves throughout the smoothly written story. For example, Camden says his wine has an intense black cherry taste “with a hint of clowns on a bright summer day.” But the mood can change quickly. The tension rises in this enjoyable tale as unhappy clients attack, often fatally.

Thriller enthusiasts will want to add this well-sculpted heist drama to their collections.

Pub Date: Sept. 21, 2020

ISBN: 978-1-950301-11-9

Page Count: 374

Publisher: Quill

Review Posted Online: Oct. 30, 2020


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

ISBN: 9780316563765

Page Count: 400

Publisher: Little, Brown

Review Posted Online: Sept. 21, 2023

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Oct. 15, 2023


Jack Ryan is in good hands with Cameron. There’s plenty of action for Clancy fans.

A generic title for Jack Ryan’s umpteenth encounter with mortal danger.

An aide tells President Ryan that he is “the kind of man who creates his own weather,” but that weather tends to be a violent storm. This time, Ryan plans a flight to Argentina but decides to first make a secret stop in Panama to visit President Botero. The secret leaks, of course, resulting in mucho mayhem as Ryan stumbles into the middle of a coup attempt. Meanwhile, the CIA’s Ground Branch kills the Venezuelan Russian assassin Joaquín Gorshkov, incurring the wrath of his batbleep-crazy sister, Sabine Gorshkova. Not much of a family person, she decides to have her younger sister, Blanca, killed and fed to the pigs. Sabine lays blame for her brother’s death on Mary Pat Foley, Director of National Intelligence, and swears claw-hammer vengeance. “I have a special interest in a little bird traveling with the President,” she declares. Oh yes, and a plot is afoot to murder Panama’s president and vice president to “liberate” the country. Russian naval vessels linger near the Panama Canal, ostensibly ready to help should the need arise. Ryan must tread carefully so as not to make the situation worse than it already is. The action-filled tale carries on the late Clancy's tradition, for example including great dollops of detail without hurting the storyline. There's almost enough about the Panama Canal for a Wikipedia entry and yet the facts flow as well as water through the Miraflores Locks. And readers will learn all seven types of weaponry on the Russian destroyer Admiral Chabanenko, aka The Black Terror, and the handy fact that a Bowers Group suppressor needs lithium grease. Bombs explode, bullets fly, and a Panamanian major shows her heroic mettle.

Jack Ryan is in good hands with Cameron. There’s plenty of action for Clancy fans.

Pub Date: Nov. 21, 2023

ISBN: 9780593422847

Page Count: 464

Publisher: Putnam

Review Posted Online: Oct. 7, 2023

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Nov. 1, 2023

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