Boyarsky’s weightless complications expertly combine menace with bling, making the heroine’s adventures both nightmarish and...

THE BEQUEST

Back from an eventful trip to London (The Swap, 2017), legal office manager Nicole Graves finds her homecoming to LA just as replete with criminal mischief, some of it from quite unexpected sources.

Now that Nicole’s back, somebody—make that she—can finally check on Robert Blair, who hasn’t shown up at his job as investigator for Bascomb, Rice, Smith & Di Angelo for five days. She finds him fatally shot in his swanky home in the Hollywood Hills, a setting that provides more surprise than his death. But Nicole’s bewilderment over how Robert could have afforded such palatial digs rapidly gives way to bigger, more intimate questions when she realizes he’s kept detailed files on her, named her as beneficiary of the company’s modest life insurance policy, and indeed left her his considerable estate. Naturally, the press, led by the vultures of Extra Hot News, camp outside her home and office, and in the absence of Ronald Reinhardt, the mysterious British agent who romanced her in London but has now vanished except for the robo-bouquets that keep arriving from him, Nicole is grateful for the attentions of architect Josh Mulhern, whose private emails to other correspondents she duly forgives herself for reading, and she is suspicious of the motives of skirt-chasing new BRS&D partner Rick Sargosian. Nicole’s place gets broken into, she’s pointedly asked to take some time off from her publicity-shy firm, and when she decides to search Robert’s home on her own, she’s kidnapped by another pair who’ve had exactly the same idea. Her sister keeps warning her that she has to be careful about whom to trust, but never fear: Nicole always trusts exactly the right people. Whew.

Boyarsky’s weightless complications expertly combine menace with bling, making the heroine’s adventures both nightmarish and dreamy.

Pub Date: Aug. 15, 2017

ISBN: 978-1-61153-190-9

Page Count: 230

Publisher: Light Messages

Review Posted Online: June 6, 2017

Kirkus Reviews Issue: June 15, 2017

Did you like this book?

No Comments Yet

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

A CONSPIRACY OF BONES

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. 23, 2019

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Jan. 15, 2020

Did you like this book?

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

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

Did you like this book?

more