Intrigue, murder, and vengeance make for a darkly enjoyable read.


A woman’s life takes a stunning turn and a wall comes tumbling down in this tense Cold War spy drama.

In Berlin in 1989, the wall is about to crumble, and Anne Simpson’s husband, Stefan Koehler, goes missing. She is a translator working with refugees from the communist bloc, and he is a piano tuner who travels around Europe with orchestras. Or so he claims. German intelligence service the BND and America’s CIA bring her in for questioning, wrongly thinking she’s protecting him. Soon she begins to learn more about Stefan, whom she had met in the Netherlands a few years ago. She realizes he’s a “gregarious musician with easy charm who collected friends like a beachcomber collects shells, keeping a few, discarding most.” Police find his wallet in a canal and his prized zither in nearby bushes but not his body. Has he been murdered? What’s going on? And why does the BND care? If Stefan is alive, he’s in deep trouble, because he’s believed to be working for the Stasi. She’s told “the dead have a way of showing up. It is only the living who hide.” And she’s quite believable when she wonders, “Can you grieve for someone who betrayed you?” Smart and observant, she notes that the reaction by one of her interrogators is “as false as his toupee. Obvious, uncalled for, and easily put on.” Lurking behind the scenes is the Matchmaker, who specializes in finding women—“American. Divorced. Unhappy,” and possibly having access to Western secrets—who will fall for one of his Romeos. Anne is the perfect fit. “The matchmaker turned love into tradecraft,” a CIA agent tells her. But espionage is an amoral business where duty trumps decency, and “deploring the morality of spies is like deploring violence in boxers.” It’s a sentiment John le Carré would have endorsed, but Anne may have the final word.

Intrigue, murder, and vengeance make for a darkly enjoyable read.

Pub Date: Feb. 1, 2022

ISBN: 978-1-64313-865-7

Page Count: 352

Publisher: Pegasus Crime

Review Posted Online: Jan. 11, 2022

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Feb. 1, 2022

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Colorful characters and solid plotting continue to make this series a pleasure.


Jason Bourne confronts a strange and frightening enemy in the latest entry in the series created by Ludlum and written by Freeman.

Let's face it, Bourne is never going to learn the secrets of his past. In this latest episode, he reunites with Canadian journalist Abbey Laurent, who plays a key part in this fast-moving thriller. He had left her behind two years earlier because “when you're with me, you're in danger….I'm a killer.” For her part, she is known in her profession as “one of the few people who calls out the bullshit on both sides.” A woman is stabbed to death near the Potomac, and Abbey wants to know why. The killing is the work of the Pyramid, a secretive organization that ostensibly fights lies and misinformation around the world but does so with lies of its own. She asks too many questions about the murder and runs afoul of the organization, which ruins her career by planting false stories about her on social media. But worse, the Pyramid wants her dead. “It doesn't matter what's true and what’s a lie,” she’s told. In Iceland, Bourne silently awaits his prey, an evil dude named Lennon who enjoys sharing a surname with the late Beatle, so much so that he even has an evil girlfriend named Yoko. Hero and villain meet several times, each missing or simply passing up chances to kill the other, apparently because they'd rather talk than pull the trigger. As fans know, Bourne has lost all memory of his life before being shot in the head. The CIA doesn’t want him to learn of his past, which is the mystery that drives the series. Meanwhile, he’s a loner by necessity, because “nothing gets you killed faster than trust.” There are odd coincidences, such as Bourne and Abbey meeting again and the hero and the bad guy meeting again and again, but readers won’t mind. Can Abbey Laurent get her life back? Or even survive? Will she have sex with Jason Bourne?

Colorful characters and solid plotting continue to make this series a pleasure.

Pub Date: July 26, 2022

ISBN: 978-0-593-41985-4

Page Count: 384

Publisher: Putnam

Review Posted Online: May 10, 2022

Kirkus Reviews Issue: June 1, 2022

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Greed, love, and extrasensory abilities combine in two middling mysteries.


Coulter’s treasured FBI agents take on two cases marked by danger and personal involvement.

Dillon Savitch and his wife, Lacey Sherlock, have special abilities that have served them well in law enforcement (Paradox, 2018, etc.). But that doesn't prevent Sherlock’s car from hitting a running man after having been struck by a speeding SUV that runs a red light. The runner, though clearly injured, continues on his way and disappears. Not so the SUV driver, a security engineer for the Bexholt Group, which has ties to government agencies. Sherlock’s own concussion causes memory loss so severe that she doesn’t recognize Savitch or remember their son, Sean. The whole incident seems more suspicious when a blood test from the splatter of the man Sherlock hit reveals that he’s Justice Cummings, an analyst for the CIA. The agency’s refusal to cooperate makes Savitch certain that Bexholt is involved in a deep-laid plot. Meanwhile, Special Agent Griffin Hammersmith is visiting friends who run a cafe in the touristy Virginia town of Gaffers Ridge. Hammersmith, who has psychic abilities, is taken aback when he hears in his mind a woman’s cry for help. Reporter Carson DeSilva, who came to the area to interview a Nobel Prize winner, also has psychic abilities, and she overhears the thoughts of Rafer Bodine, a young man who has apparently kidnapped and possibly murdered three teenage girls. Unluckily, she blurts out her thoughts, and she’s snatched and tied up in a cellar by Bodine. Bodine may be a killer, but he’s also the nephew of the sheriff and the son of the local bigwig. So the sheriff arrests Hammersmith and refuses to accept his FBI credentials. Bodine's mother has psychic powers strong enough to kill, but she meets her match in Hammersmith, DeSilva, Savitch, and Sherlock.

Greed, love, and extrasensory abilities combine in two middling mysteries.

Pub Date: July 30, 2019

ISBN: 978-1-5011-9365-1

Page Count: 512

Publisher: Simon & Schuster

Review Posted Online: June 30, 2019

Kirkus Reviews Issue: July 15, 2019

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