Next book

THE DAY OF THE DEAD

Though its climax couldn’t possibly live up to the harrowing story it ends, French’s legion of fans will rejoice that she’s...

French closes the saga of consulting psychologist Frieda Klein with the story of a criminology student who, casting around for a topic for her dissertation, chooses “In the Footsteps of Dr. Klein,” a choice that turns her life into a nightmare.

Lola Hayes has no idea what to write about for her final paper at the University of London’s Guildhall College. Her lazy adviser, hearing her say, “I’d much rather write about people than ideas or science,” directs her: “You want a person?...Here’s a person. Have you ever heard of Frieda Klein?” Lola hasn’t, but she reads up on Frieda, talks to her archenemy, Guildhall profiler professor Hal Bradshaw, and eventually tracks her down. That’s no mean feat in itself, since Frieda, pursued once more by monumentally patient serial killer Dean Reeve, has gone into hiding, and even her closest friends don’t know or won’t say where. Apart from his earlier track record, there’s good reason for Frieda to fear Reeve, who’s started to kill more or less random people in order to flush her out of hiding so she can protect the next innocent. One victim is found after his car crashes through a shop window; another’s bicycle is struck by a hit-and-run driver; a third turns up dead on Hampstead Heath. DC Dan Quarry and his new boss, DCI Bill Dugdale, have yet to realize that Dean Reeve is behind the latest round of mayhem. After Frieda agrees to take in Lola, she agrees to meet Reeve alone in a place he’s picked, and Lola, frantic to prevent what she sees as Frieda’s suicidal acquiescence, acts to protect her. Ungrateful Frieda promises her: “One day you’ll want to get in a time machine, come back and stop yourself doing what you did today.” If anything, that turns out to be an understatement.

Though its climax couldn’t possibly live up to the harrowing story it ends, French’s legion of fans will rejoice that she’s capped her memorable week of thrillers (Sunday Silence, 2017, etc.) with this nerve-shredding eighth day.

Pub Date: July 24, 2018

ISBN: 978-0-06-267670-2

Page Count: 416

Publisher: Morrow/HarperCollins

Review Posted Online: April 2, 2018

Kirkus Reviews Issue: April 15, 2018

Next book

A CONSPIRACY OF BONES

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

THE WINNER

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