by Peter Heller ‧ RELEASE DATE: Aug. 24, 2021
There's danger at the end of the line in this unconventional mystery.
A fishing adventure turns dark as night.
Fisherman’s noir isn’t a genre, but maybe it should be. The high-end Colorado resort at the heart of this soulful mystery offers some of the best angling in the country, with waters seemingly carved out of Eden. It's a nice getaway from the persistent strains of Covid-19. But something’s not right. The neighbor upstream likes to shoot at visitors who get too close to his property. Guests disappear for stretches at a time and return acting as if they’re survived a horrible trauma. And the manager seems to have a fast-and-loose relationship with the truth. The new guide, a grief-stricken 25-year-old named Jack, happens to be a keen observer with an eye for the out of the ordinary. He also happens to be falling in love with Alison K., the famous but effortlessly earthy singer he's been assigned to guide through a week of good fishing. This is an unconventional mystery, an unconventional romance, and an unconventional adventure, creepy and spiritual in equal measure. Jack has a thing for eighth-century Chinese poetry. He describes one of his favorite poets as “an aficionado of loss and also of nature, which Jack could relate to.” Jack has lost both his mother and his best friend, and he blames himself for both deaths. He escapes through reading and fishing. But this is no escape, unless you’re the reader. The author clearly knows his way around a river; the long, descriptive passages create a vivid sense of place and action even if they may puzzle those of us who don’t know a mayfly from a riffle. By the time Jack and Alison encounter a young woman running down the road in a hospital gown in a scene right out of the sinister noir Kiss Me Deadly, they’re in too deep, and they’re too curious, to quit the dangerous puzzle before them. You might feel the same.There's danger at the end of the line in this unconventional mystery.
Pub Date: Aug. 24, 2021
Page Count: 272
Review Posted Online: June 28, 2021
Kirkus Reviews Issue: July 15, 2021
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by Max Brooks ‧ RELEASE DATE: June 16, 2020
A tasty, if not always tasteful, tale of supernatural mayhem that fans of King and Crichton alike will enjoy.
Awards & Accolades
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
Page Count: 304
Publisher: Del Rey/Ballantine
Review Posted Online: Feb. 9, 2020
Kirkus Reviews Issue: March 1, 2020
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BOOK TO SCREEN
by Don Bentley ‧ RELEASE DATE: Sept. 5, 2023
Lots of violent action with little payoff.
Jack Ryan Jr. is back to risk life and limb in saving a teenage girl from international killers while his father, U.S. President Jack Ryan Sr., figures out what to do with Iran’s clandestine uranium enrichment facility, hidden in a mine.
Junior, head of the secret intelligence outfit The Campus, which was functionally wiped out in Tom Clancy Flash Point (2023), is heading across Texas to a rendezvous with his fiancee, Lisanne Robertson, a one-armed former Marine and cop. He’s waylaid by the aftermath of a multi-vehicle accident that he discovers resulted from a gun attack that left a driver hanging on for life, and now puts Jack in the crosshairs of the gunmen. A tip leads him to a 4 a.m. meeting with Amanda, a single mom whose impetuous daughter, Bella, has run off with her highly undesirable boyfriend only to be abducted by the baddies. Meanwhile...in the nation’s capital, American surveillance has determined that Iran is on the cusp of nuclear armament. The only way to stop them is unleashing an unpiloted and untested super plane with massive destructive power. The book’s treatment of Iran’s “existential threat to the entire globe” as a subplot is rather curious, to say the least. You keep waiting for Bentley to connect the two stories, but that happens only superficially. Late in the book, we are told as an afterthought that Iran’s immediate threat had been “mitigated.” Unfortunately, there is no mitigation of the novel’s hackneyed prose—"The analytical portion of Jack’s brain couldn’t help but be impressed.”Lots of violent action with little payoff.
Pub Date: Sept. 5, 2023
Page Count: 512
Review Posted Online: Aug. 12, 2023
Kirkus Reviews Issue: Sept. 1, 2023
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