A complex, entertaining whodunit.

READ REVIEW

Saving Paradise

In the latest thriller from Bond (The Last Savanna, 2013, etc.), an Afghanistan War veteran–turned-surfer risks his life and freedom to search for a journalist’s murderer.

When Pono Hawkins finds surfing-magazine correspondent Sylvia Gordon’s lifeless body floating off the shore of Oahu, police quickly determine that she was murdered, but then promptly change their minds and rule it an accidental drowning. Pono makes it his mission to find the woman’s killer, and his quest takes him into a world of political and corporate corruption. As he weeds through lies, suspects and threats, the police eventually agree that the journalist was indeed murdered—and they accuse the twice-jailed Pono, who soon finds himself on the run. More murders follow. Bond’s lusciously convoluted story provides myriad suspects and motives. At one point, near the beginning of the story, Pono lists Sylvia Gordon’s probable killers and has trouble eliminating any one of them. On multiple occasions, Pono believes someone is a murderer, changes his mind and then reverts back after uncovering new information. As a result, he distrusts nearly everyone, and readers likely will, too. Bond skillfully adds new elements to the mystery, including several energy corporations and no less than three femmes fatales: Angie, Sylvia’s Maui friend; Kim, a cop responsible for one of Pono’s trips to prison; and Charity, a receptionist for a company called WindPower. Other characters are more dependable, such as Pono’s fellow veterans—most notably, the technologically savvy Mitchell—as well as Pono’s cat, Puma, and surfing dachshund, Mojo. But his most persuasive relationship is with Sylvia, a woman he can’t stop thinking about, even though he never knew her when she was alive. In the end, readers may find it nearly impossible to guess the killer, but they’ll enjoy the trip.

A complex, entertaining whodunit.

Pub Date: Nov. 20, 2012

ISBN: 978-1627040013

Page Count: 302

Publisher: Mandevilla Press

Review Posted Online: April 26, 2013

Did you like this book?

No Comments Yet

Archer will be a great series character for fans of crime fiction. Let’s hope the cigarettes don’t kill him.

ONE GOOD DEED

Thriller writer Baldacci (A Minute to Midnight, 2019, etc.) launches a new detective series starring World War II combat vet Aloysius Archer.

In 1949, Archer is paroled from Carderock Prison (he was innocent) and must report regularly to his parole officer, Ernestine Crabtree (she’s “damn fine-looking”). Parole terms forbid his visiting bars or loose women, which could become a problem. Trouble starts when businessman Hank Pittleman offers Archer $100 to recover a ’47 Cadillac that’s collateral for a debt owed by Lucas Tuttle, who readily agrees he owes the money. But Tuttle wants his daughter Jackie back—she’s Pittleman’s girlfriend, and she won’t return to Daddy. Archer finds the car, but it’s been torched. With no collateral to collect, he may have to return his hundred bucks. Meanwhile, Crabtree gets Archer the only job available, butchering hogs at the slaughterhouse. He’d killed plenty of men in combat, and now he needs peace. The Pittleman job doesn’t provide that peace, but at least it doesn’t involve bashing hogs’ brains in. People wind up dead and Archer becomes a suspect. So he noses around and shows that he might have the chops to be a good private investigator, a shamus. This is an era when gals have gams, guys say dang and keep extra Lucky Strikes in their hatbands, and a Lady Liberty half-dollar buys a good meal. The dialogue has a '40s noir feel: “And don’t trust nobody.…I don’t care how damn pretty they are.” There’s adult entertainment at the Cat’s Meow, cheap grub at the Checkered Past, and just enough clichés to prove that no one’s highfalutin. Readers will like Archer. He’s a talented man who enjoys detective stories, won’t keep ill-gotten gains, and respects women. All signs suggest a sequel where he hangs out a shamus shingle.

Archer will be a great series character for fans of crime fiction. Let’s hope the cigarettes don’t kill him.

Pub Date: July 9, 2019

ISBN: 978-1-5387-5056-8

Page Count: 432

Publisher: Grand Central Publishing

Review Posted Online: Nov. 14, 2019

Did you like this book?

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

Did you like this book?

No Comments Yet
more