King’s latest novel proves he still adores the Travelers, and so will longtime fans.

THICKER THAN THIEVES

From the Travelers series , Vol. 8

This eighth volume of the Travelers series sees the con artist couple attempting to score diamonds while avoiding a showdown between White nationalists and the FBI.

Danny and Genie Briggs are enjoying a retreat in the Florida Keys; at least, those are the grifters’ current names as they prepare a fresh heist. Through a connection, they learn that the Orange Hill Cartel ships $10 million in diamonds twice a year, smuggling them out of Mumbai via stateside Hashemi Wholesale Carpets & Arts. The second-generation Indian American Hashemi siblings—married Zander and recently widowed Nadia—only dabble in crime, but they’re the perfect targets for the Travelers’ unique brand of subterfuge and seduction. Meanwhile, in Summerville, Iowa, White nationalists of the Fatherland Volk ready the deadly next step in their plot to eliminate foreign elements from the United States. Specifically, members Bruce MacBurn, Ray Johnston, and Joe Lang plan to acquire uranium and bomb several buildings, including the Denver Mint and Wright-Patterson Air Force Base. Joe, however, is actually a mole for the FBI’s Counterterrorism Task Force. As he allows the White nationalists to proceed with their plan—and potentially set themselves up for arrest on more severe charges—the Hashemis get tangled up in the scheme and realize they can no longer afford to be amateurs in the smuggling game. King’s fans will relish this smoothly set up con that, like others in the series, has just enough complexity to allow unexpected chaos to occur. His nuanced antiheroes steal the show, as when Danny, in conversation with Genie, expresses his chances of seducing Nadia with the chillingly confident line, “We’re already in love.” The Fatherland Volk members, meanwhile, despicably use racist epithets and discuss blaming their terrorism on Middle Eastern agents. Nadia’s sentimental characterization will keep readers distressed over her fate (“There was nothing wrong with wanting to be touched, wanting to feel that wild happiness, if only for a few moments”). This entry’s mellow finale, memorable cast, and emotional weight may have readers hoping for a direct sequel. That said, the author rarely offers readers what they expect.

King’s latest novel proves he still adores the Travelers, and so will longtime fans.

Pub Date: May 14, 2020

ISBN: 978-1-952711-00-8

Page Count: 217

Publisher: Blurred Lines Press

Review Posted Online: July 8, 2020

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Aug. 15, 2020

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A smart summer escape.

PORTRAIT OF AN UNKNOWN WOMAN

Silva’s latest Gabriel Allon novel is a bit of a throwback—in the best possible way.

One-time assassin and legendary spymaster Gabriel Allon has finally retired. After saying farewell to his friends and colleagues in Israel, he moves with his wife, Chiara, and their two young children to a piano nobile overlooking Venice’s Grand Canal. His plan is to return to the workshop where he learned to restore paintings as an employee—but only after he spends several weeks recovering from the bullet wound that left him dead for several minutes in The Cellist (2021). Of course, no one expects Gabriel to entirely withdraw from the field, and, sure enough, a call from his friend and occasional asset Julian Isherwood sends him racing around the globe on the trail of art forgers who are willing to kill to protect their extremely lucrative enterprise. Silva provides plenty of thrills and, as usual, offers a glimpse into the lifestyles of the outrageously wealthy. In the early books in this series, it was Gabriel’s work as an art restorer that set him apart from other action heroes, and his return to that world is the most rewarding part of this installment. It is true that, at this point in his storied career, Gabriel has become a nearly mythic figure. And Silva is counting on a lot of love—and willing suspension of disbelief—when Gabriel whips up four old master canvases that fool the world’s leading art experts as a lure for the syndicate selling fake paintings. That said, as Silva explains in an author’s note, the art market is rife with secrecy, subterfuge, and wishful thinking, in no small part because it is almost entirely unregulated. And, if anyone can crank out a Titian, a Tintoretto, a Gentileschi, and a Veronese in a matter of days, it’s Gabriel Allon. The author’s longtime fans may breathe a sigh of relief that this entry is relatively free of politics and the pandemic is nowhere in sight.

A smart summer escape.

Pub Date: July 19, 2022

ISBN: 978-0-06-283485-0

Page Count: 448

Publisher: Harper

Review Posted Online: July 19, 2022

Kirkus Reviews Issue: today

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A rarity: a police procedural more deeply invested in the victims than either the killer or the police.

ABANDONED IN DEATH

June 2061 is a perilous time for women in a downtown Manhattan neighborhood who happen to resemble a violent kidnapper’s mother.

The killer doesn’t seem to be trying to hide anything except his own identity. Ten days after snatching bartender Lauren Elder from the street as she walked home, he leaves her body, carefully dressed and made up, with even the gash in her throat meticulously stitched up and beribboned, where it’s sure to be found quickly, along with the chilling label “bad mommy.” When Lt. Eve Dallas and Detective Delia Peabody realize that Anna Hobe, a server at a nearby karaoke bar who disappeared a week ago under similar circumstances, was probably another victim of the same perp, the clock begins ticking down even before they learn that assistant marketing manager Mary Kate Covino has gone missing as well. Dallas, Peabody, and the helpers who’ve made Robb’s long-lived franchise even more distinctive than its futuristic setting race to find the women or identify their kidnapper before he reverts once again to the 5-year-old abandoned by his mother many years ago. The emphasis this time is on investigative procedure, forensics (beginning with the Party Girl perfume and the Toot Sweet moisturizer the murderer uses on the corpses of his victims), and the broader danger women in every generation face from men who just can’t grow up.

A rarity: a police procedural more deeply invested in the victims than either the killer or the police.

Pub Date: Feb. 8, 2022

ISBN: 978-1-2502-7821-0

Page Count: 368

Publisher: St. Martin's

Review Posted Online: Nov. 17, 2021

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Dec. 1, 2021

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