Next book


Apart from constructing a serviceable plot, Lupica mimics the heroine’s voice, much less distinctive than those of Parker’s...

Sunny Randall, the Boston PI who’s waited years longer for resurrection than Parker’s franchise heroes Spenser and Jesse Stone, is back in action thanks to sportswriter/YA specialist Lupica (No Slam Dunk, 2018, etc.).

About the only thing that prevents Sunny from retying the knot with her ex-husband, saloonkeeper and Mafia scion Richie Burke, is her inability to commit—that and his getting shot in the back. He’s not dead, and there are those who think that sparing his life was deliberate, but a muttered remark by his shooter, “sins of the father,” makes him seriously spooked about his father, Desmond Burke, who’s rumored to be on the brink of a major move into the city’s illegal gun trade. Not to worry: The next victim is Desmond’s brother Peter, whose days of high-volume bookmaking are ended when he’s shot to death in the park around the Chestnut Hill Reservoir. It’s clear that somebody has a serious grudge against the Burke family, clear that Desmond and Felix, his surviving brother, would prefer to take care of the matter themselves, and clear that Sunny’s going to horn in anyway, arousing the ire of both the Burkes and Albert Antonioni, the mobster who, retired to Rhode Island after trying to kill Sunny, still seems to keep popping up wherever Sunny looks in this case. Antonioni soldier Joseph Marchetti beats up Sunny, and someone kills the top soldiers in both the Burke and the Antonioni camps and shoots up Felix’s house for good measure. No wonder Sunny (Spare Change, 2008, etc.) feels “as if most of the people I need to talk might be dead or in jail.”

Apart from constructing a serviceable plot, Lupica mimics the heroine’s voice, much less distinctive than those of Parker’s other leads, with ease. If all hands sling around a fair amount of gratuitous attitude, well, that’s just like Parker too.

Pub Date: Nov. 27, 2018

ISBN: 978-0-525-53536-2

Page Count: 336

Publisher: Putnam

Review Posted Online: Aug. 20, 2018

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Sept. 15, 2018

Next book


Forget about solving all these crimes; the signal triumph here is (spoiler) the heroine’s survival.

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. 22, 2019

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Jan. 15, 2020

Next book


Irritatingly trite woman-in-periler from lawyer-turned-novelist Baldacci. Moving away from the White House and the white-shoe Washington law firms of his previous bestsellers (Absolute Power, 1996; Total Control, 1997), Baldacci comes up with LuAnn Tyler, a spunky, impossibly beautiful, white-trash truck stop waitress with a no-good husband and a terminally cute infant daughter in tow. Some months after the birth of Lisa, LuAnn gets a phone call summoning her to a make-shift office in an unrented storefront of the local shopping mall. There, she gets a Faustian offer from a Mr. Jackson, a monomaniacal, cross-dressing manipulator who apparently knows the winning numbers in the national lottery before the numbers are drawn. It seems that LuAnn fits the media profile of what a lottery winner should be—poor, undereducated but proud—and if she's willing to buy the right ticket at the right time and transfer most of her winnings to Jackson, she'll be able to retire in luxury. Jackson fails to inform her, however, that if she refuses his offer, he'll have her killed. Before that can happen, as luck would have it, LuAnn barely escapes death when one of husband Duane's drug deals goes bad. She hops on a first-class Amtrak sleeper to Manhattan with a hired executioner in pursuit. But executioner Charlie, one of Jackson's paid handlers, can't help but hear wedding bells when he sees LuAnn cooing with her daughter. Alas, a winning $100- million lottery drawing complicates things. Jackson spirits LuAnn and Lisa away to Sweden, with Charlie in pursuit. Never fear. Not only will LuAnn escape a series of increasingly violent predicaments, but she'll also outwit Jackson, pay an enormous tax bill to the IRS, and have enough left over to honeymoon in Switzerland. Too preposterous to work as feminine wish-fulfillment, too formulaic to be suspenseful. (Book-of-the-Month Club main selection)

Pub Date: Dec. 2, 1997

ISBN: 0-446-52259-7

Page Count: 528

Publisher: N/A

Review Posted Online: May 19, 2010

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Oct. 15, 1997

Close Quickview