While depicting the realizations of a recovering alcoholic, Rosch skillfully renders a unique story of a missing woman.

My Dead Friend Sarah: A Novel

A woman’s mysterious disappearance, which was foreseen by a recovering alcoholic, makes for a gripping story.

Rosch’s novel revolves around Max’s dream, in which a woman whom he has never met is kidnapped and dies. It isn’t until he recognizes the woman on the streets of New York that he’s certain he’s had a premonition. After reporting his reoccurring dream to the police, who don’t take him seriously, Max decides he must befriend the woman and warn her. He stalks Sarah, a depressed, perhaps even suicidal, event planner, meeting her after Sarah makes the first move.  He blows off his sponsor, Sam, a man with 10 years in recovery who likes to bed young, female AA-newbies. He also lies to his wife, Rachel, who stood by him when he bottomed out, in order to learn more about Sarah—to find out how to gain her trust in order to protect her. Realizing the damage he’s doing to his marriage, Max ends things with Sarah without warning. Sarah’s heartbroken, in denial, and in love with a man she knows stalked her. When Sarah disappears, Max is the first person the police suspect. Sarah says, “Max, I’ve never met someone so sure of their abilities to manipulate the world, and frankly you stink at it,” perfectly summing up the dilemma most addicts face—the desire to be in control of their world while dependent upon a substance or person that makes it entirely impossible to maintain control. As the story progresses, Rosch expertly explores the psychology of an alcoholic and the pillars behind AA, giving Max’s statements credibility while planting the seeds of doubt as to his trustworthiness. The novel tackles sobriety, truth and guilt, engrossing the reader in Max’s whirlwind of problems.  Despite the support of his friends and family, Max questions whether getting drunk might enable him to better cope. Max’s unlikable attributes, including his mistaken assertions, are only off-putting at times; on the whole he’s a well-developed, layered character.

While depicting the realizations of a recovering alcoholic, Rosch skillfully renders a unique story of a missing woman.

Pub Date: April 21, 2012

ISBN: 978-1475198232

Page Count: 228

Publisher: CreateSpace

Review Posted Online: June 21, 2012

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

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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. 10, 2020

Kirkus Reviews Issue: March 1, 2020

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One of the most successful of Box’s increasingly ambitious have-it-all thrillers.


The Wyoming winter brings maverick game warden Joe Pickett poachers, murderers, spies, and some ferocious bad weather.

Seeking a wounded elk and a marauding wolf during a brutal snowstorm, Joe is amazed to discover a human corpse sticking halfway out of a metal outbuilding on the Double Diamond ranch. While he’s conscientiously photographing the crime scene, somebody starts shooting at him. Ranch foreman Clay Hutmacher refuses to say anything about the building’s purpose until he checks with billionaire ranch owner Michael Thompson; Gov. Colter Allen abruptly orders Joe off the case; and departing Twelve Sleep County Sheriff Scott Tibbs, the boss who’d do anything to avoid having Joe make waves, reports that there’s no body at the place he described. Meanwhile, Joe’s old friend Nate Romanowski, an outlaw falconer, is approached by ex–Army Ranger Jason Demo, who’s trying to attract anti-government malcontents to join the secessionist Sovereign Nation, and Joe realizes that his predatory mother-in-law, Missy, is neglecting her fifth or sixth husband, attorney Marcus Hand, who’s dying of pancreatic cancer, to cozy up to Allen, who plans to launch his campaign for reelection at the public library headed by Joe’s wife, Marybeth. What does the death of University of Wyoming engineering professor Zhang Wei, if that’s really who the dead man was, have to do with all of this malfeasance? Like a patient spider, Box plays out plotline after plotline, balancing his sympathies adroitly between anti-establishment libertarians who’ve had enough of the coastal elites and officers sworn to serve and protect their communities, before knotting them all together with a climactic revelation that for better or worse will leave you gasping.

One of the most successful of Box’s increasingly ambitious have-it-all thrillers.

Pub Date: Feb. 28, 2023

ISBN: 9780593331309

Page Count: 368

Publisher: Putnam

Review Posted Online: Jan. 12, 2023

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Feb. 1, 2023

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