As in Where the Shadows Lie (2011), Magnus doesn’t shine as a detective, and his fish-out-of-water act could just as easily...

FAR NORTH

Detective Sgt. Magnus Jonson, seconded from Boston to Reykjavík, tackles two cases, one with global consequences, the other striking considerably closer to home.

In the wake of the calamitous financial meltdown that’s paralyzed Iceland, Óskar Gunnarsson, ex-chairman of the Ódinsbanki, has taken himself off to London, but that’s not far enough for whomever shoots him to death. The Metropolitan Police are far from certain that his killer was Icelandic, but they send DS Sharon Piper from Kensington to Reykjavík to liaise with local law enforcement just in case. Magnus is only too eager to work the case even before Inspector Baldur Jakobsson, head of the Violent Crimes Unit, hands it to him. He wastes no time in connecting Gunnarsson’s murder to the suspicious suicide several months earlier of Ódinsbanki manager Gabríel Örn Bergsson. And rightly so, since author Ridpath has already shown Bergsson being killed by his subordinate and lover Harpa Einarsdóttir, whose anger that he swindled her and her father out of their life savings and then threw her under the bus was whipped into a fury by an unlikely crew of agitators: aging punk rocker Sindri Pálsson, fisherman Björn Helgason, London School of Economics student Ísak Samúelsson and laid-off chef Frikki Eiríksson. Whoever pulled the trigger on Gunnarsson, Magnus realizes, has more targets in mind. But despite the Boston cop’s instincts, he’s seriously distracted from the case by disturbing new information about a long-simmering family feud that involves his own Icelandic relatives. Which case will claim his deepest loyalty?

As in Where the Shadows Lie (2011), Magnus doesn’t shine as a detective, and his fish-out-of-water act could just as easily have played out back home in Boston. Even so, his second case is bound to hook readers who wonder about either the fictional or the real-life implications of the Icelandic financial crisis.

Pub Date: Aug. 7, 2012

ISBN: 978-0-312-67504-2

Page Count: 384

Publisher: Minotaur

Review Posted Online: July 22, 2012

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Aug. 1, 2012

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Proficient but eminently predictable. Amid all the time shifts and embedded backstories, the most surprising feature is how...

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THE A LIST

A convicted killer’s list of five people he wants dead runs the gamut from the wife he’s already had murdered to franchise heroine Ali Reynolds.

Back in the day, women came from all over to consult Santa Clarita fertility specialist Dr. Edward Gilchrist. Many of them left his care happily pregnant, never dreaming that the father of the babies they carried was none other than the physician himself, who donated his own sperm rather than that of the handsome, athletic, disease-free men pictured in his scrapbook. When Alexandra Munsey’s son, Evan, is laid low by the kidney disease he’s inherited from his biological father and she returns to Gilchrist in search of the donor’s medical records, the roof begins to fall in on him. By the time it’s done falling, he’s serving a life sentence in Folsom Prison for commissioning the death of his wife, Dawn, the former nurse and sometime egg donor who’d turned on him. With nothing left to lose, Gilchrist tattoos himself with the initials of five people he blames for his fall: Dawn; Leo Manuel Aurelio, the hit man he’d hired to dispose of her; Kaitlyn Todd, the nurse/receptionist who took Dawn’s place; Alex Munsey, whose search for records upset his apple cart; and Ali Reynolds, the TV reporter who’d helped put Alex in touch with the dozen other women who formed the Progeny Project because their children looked just like hers. No matter that Ali’s been out of both California and the news business for years; Gilchrist and his enablers know that revenge can’t possibly be served too cold. Wonder how far down that list they’ll get before Ali, aided once more by Frigg, the methodical but loose-cannon AI first introduced in Duel to the Death (2018), turns on them?

Proficient but eminently predictable. Amid all the time shifts and embedded backstories, the most surprising feature is how little the boundary-challenged AI, who gets into the case more or less inadvertently, differs from your standard human sidekick with issues.

Pub Date: April 2, 2019

ISBN: 978-1-5011-5101-9

Page Count: 352

Publisher: Gallery Books/Simon & Schuster

Review Posted Online: Feb. 19, 2019

Kirkus Reviews Issue: March 1, 2019

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The loose ends that make this the least satisfactory of Joe’s three cases to date still don’t inhibit Box’s gift for nonstop...

WINTERKILL

The latest in an award-winning series set in the Bighorn Mountains (Savage Run, 2002, etc.).

Minutes after Wyoming game warden Joe Pickett arrests Lamar Gardiner, District Supervisor for the Twelve Sleep National Forest, for firing into a herd of elk, killing seven animals and blindly continuing to reload with cigarettes after he runs out of shells, Gardiner manages to handcuff Joe to his steering wheel and bolt off into a winter storm, only to turn up pinned to a tree with a pair of arrows, his throat cut. And things get even messier from that point on. The attack on a federal agent, together with reports that the Nation of the Rocky Mountain Sovereign Citizens has established an encampment in Twelve Sleep, brings gung-ho US Forest Service investigator Melinda Strickland and FBI sharpshooter Dick Munker, a veteran of Waco and Ruby Ridge, to town. Strickland maintains that she’s just trying to get justice for a murdered official, but she seems awfully eager to tie the perp to the Sovereigns. By the time Joe arrests one of Gardiner’s disappointing killers and identifies the other, Strickland and Munker are already planning an all-out attack on the encampment. The prospect is a personal nightmare for Joe, since Jeannie Keeley, the drifter whose abandoned daughter April Joe and his wife have been trying to adopt, has reclaimed April and spirited her off to the dubious shelter of the Sovereigns.

The loose ends that make this the least satisfactory of Joe’s three cases to date still don’t inhibit Box’s gift for nonstop action and his ability to see every side of the most divisive issues in the West.

Pub Date: May 12, 2003

ISBN: 0-399-15045-5

Page Count: 400

Publisher: Putnam

Review Posted Online: May 20, 2010

Kirkus Reviews Issue: April 15, 2003

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