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HERE WE LIE

A wrenching tale of broken friendship and shattered dreams.

After her father dies of cancer, leaving behind a life insurance payout, Megan Mazeros pulls up stakes in Kansas and tries to start over as a student at a posh women’s college in Connecticut. Her new life, however, might just ruin her.

Nursing her grief, and some shame at having helped her father to his final peace, Megan arrives in Scofield late, in the dark, and with no idea how to get to Keale College. Luckily, she stumbles upon charismatic Joe Natolo, a local man who never went to college but finds Megan intriguing, unlike most of the privileged women at the school on the hill. Megan settles into her studies, tolerating her overachieving roommate and seeing Joe around town. After her roommate’s suicide attempt, Megan finds she has a new roommate: Lauren Mabrey, reckless daughter of a revered U.S. senator from Connecticut and an overbearing mother. Reeling after her mother broke up her romance with a drug dealer, Lauren is on her last chance at Keale. Lauren and Megan become fast friends, telling each other their deepest secrets and a few lies, and Megan finds herself spending holidays with the Mabreys. One fateful summer, however, a violent encounter snaps every thread, leaving only one friend finishing her degree. With each chapter shifting perspective between Lauren and Megan, DeBoard (The Mourning Hours, 2016, etc.) lets each woman’s story reflect and distort the other’s, deftly angling the mirror of truth to show each woman’s best side. Fourteen years later, what happened that summer night is still unspoken, and the friends have gone their separate ways, but when Megan sees a woman on television accusing Sen. Mabrey of sexual assault, she knows she must break the silence even if it means giving up all hope of ever reconciling with Lauren.

A wrenching tale of broken friendship and shattered dreams.

Pub Date: Jan. 23, 2018

ISBN: 978-0-7783-3026-4

Page Count: 368

Publisher: Park Row Books

Review Posted Online: Oct. 30, 2017

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Nov. 15, 2017

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DEVOLUTION

A tasty, if not always tasteful, tale of supernatural mayhem that fans of King and Crichton alike will enjoy.

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  • New York Times Bestseller

Are we not men? We are—well, ask Bigfoot, as Brooks does in this delightful yarn, following on his bestseller World War Z(2006).

A zombie apocalypse is one thing. A volcanic eruption is quite another, for, as the journalist who does a framing voice-over narration for Brooks’ latest puts it, when Mount Rainier popped its cork, “it was the psychological aspect, the hyperbole-fueled hysteria that had ended up killing the most people.” Maybe, but the sasquatches whom the volcano displaced contributed to the statistics, too, if only out of self-defense. Brooks places the epicenter of the Bigfoot war in a high-tech hideaway populated by the kind of people you might find in a Jurassic Park franchise: the schmo who doesn’t know how to do much of anything but tries anyway, the well-intentioned bleeding heart, the know-it-all intellectual who turns out to know the wrong things, the immigrant with a tough backstory and an instinct for survival. Indeed, the novel does double duty as a survival manual, packed full of good advice—for instance, try not to get wounded, for “injury turns you from a giver to a taker. Taking up our resources, our time to care for you.” Brooks presents a case for making room for Bigfoot in the world while peppering his narrative with timely social criticism about bad behavior on the human side of the conflict: The explosion of Rainier might have been better forecast had the president not slashed the budget of the U.S. Geological Survey, leading to “immediate suspension of the National Volcano Early Warning System,” and there’s always someone around looking to monetize the natural disaster and the sasquatch-y onslaught that follows. Brooks is a pro at building suspense even if it plays out in some rather spectacularly yucky episodes, one involving a short spear that takes its name from “the sucking sound of pulling it out of the dead man’s heart and lungs.” Grossness aside, it puts you right there on the scene.

A tasty, if not always tasteful, tale of supernatural mayhem that fans of King and Crichton alike will enjoy.

Pub Date: June 16, 2020

ISBN: 978-1-9848-2678-7

Page Count: 304

Publisher: Del Rey/Ballantine

Review Posted Online: Feb. 9, 2020

Kirkus Reviews Issue: March 1, 2020

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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

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