Once again, Gaus probes the tension between the self-reliance of the Amish world and the urgencies of the English world with...

THE NAMES OF OUR TEARS

The shooting of a teenage girl rocks the Amish community of Holmes County, Ohio.

Maybe it isn’t just the fine Coblentz chocolate that sends Mervin Byler on his seventh trip this spring to the widow Stutzman’s shop in Walnut Creek. On his way, he encounters the unimaginable: the body of 19-year-old Ruth Zook, shot through the head and lying beneath the hooves of her terrified horse. Just back from the Amish settlement of Pinecraft, near Sarasota, Ruth has spent the past two days in her room, speaking to no one but Emma Wengerd, the shy, haunted child adopted by the Zooks after her family died in a buggy accident. Sheriff Bruce Robertson (Harmless as Doves, 2011, etc.) is desperate for a lead, but the Zooks close ranks. Even local pastor Cal Troyer fails to reach Emma, who can’t cry and can’t pray, but can only sit wordlessly, too angry at God to speak. When fish start to die from the cocaine Ruth dumped from her suitcase into the Zooks’ pond, Robertson knows that it’s drug dealers he’s looking for. But even when Fannie Helmuth, another Amish girl, confesses that she too brought a suitcase full of drugs back from Pinecraft, he has little to go on. All Fannie knows is that she gave the suitcase to an angry-looking woman with dark hair. Frustrated, the sheriff sends Deputy Ricky Niell to Florida to find Jodie Tapp, the young Mennonite waitress who gave Fannie her suitcase. But even if he finds her, can Jodie help the Holmes County Police identify a murderer over 500 miles away?

Once again, Gaus probes the tension between the self-reliance of the Amish world and the urgencies of the English world with depth and sensitivity.

Pub Date: May 28, 2013

ISBN: 978-0-452-29819-4

Page Count: 256

Publisher: Plume

Review Posted Online: March 3, 2013

Kirkus Reviews Issue: March 15, 2013

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POP GOES THE WEASEL

After a flight in fantasy with When the Wind Blows (1998), Patterson goes to ground with another slash-and-squirm psychokiller page-turner, this one dedicated to “the millions of Alex Cross readers, who so frequently ask, can’t you write faster?” By day, Geoffrey Shafer is a charming, 42-year-old British Embassy paper-pusher with a picture-perfect family and a shady past as an MI-6 secret agent. Come sundown, he swallows a pharmacy of psychoactive pills, gulps three black coffees loaded with sugar, and roams the streets of Washington, D.C., in a battered cab, where, disguised as a black man, he rolls dice to determine which among his black female fares he—ll murder. Afterwards he dumps his naked victims in crime-infested back alleys of black- slum neighborhoods, then sends e-mails boasting of his accomplishments to three other former MI-6 agents involved in a hellish Internet role-playing game. “I sensed I was at the start of another homicide mess,” sighs forensic-psychologist turned homicide-detective Alex Cross. Cross yearns to catch the “Jane Doe murderer” but is thwarted by Det. Chief George Pittman, who assigns sexy Det. Patsy Hampton to investigate Cross and come up with a reason for dismissing him. Meanwhile, Cross’s fiancÇe is kidnaped during a Bermuda vacation, and an anonymous e-mail warns him to back off. He doesn’t, of course, and just when it appears that Patterson is sleep-walking through his story, Cross nabs Shafer minutes after Shafer kills Det. Hampton. During the subsequent high-visibility trail, Shafer manages to make the jury believe that he’s innocent and that Cross was trying to frame him. When all seems lost, a sympathetic British intelligence chief offers to help Cross bring down Shafer, and the other homicidal game-players, during a showdown on the breezy beaches of Jamaica. Kinky mayhem, a cartoonish villain, regular glimpses of the kindly Cross caring for his loved ones, and an ending that spells a sequel: Patterson’s fans couldn’t ask for more.

Pub Date: Oct. 19, 1999

ISBN: 0-316-69328-6

Page Count: 432

Publisher: Little, Brown

Review Posted Online: May 20, 2010

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Aug. 15, 1999

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THE SCREWTAPE LETTERS

These letters from some important executive Down Below, to one of the junior devils here on earth, whose job is to corrupt mortals, are witty and written in a breezy style seldom found in religious literature. The author quotes Luther, who said: "The best way to drive out the devil, if he will not yield to texts of Scripture, is to jeer and flout him, for he cannot bear scorn." This the author does most successfully, for by presenting some of our modern and not-so-modern beliefs as emanating from the devil's headquarters, he succeeds in making his reader feel like an ass for ever having believed in such ideas. This kind of presentation gives the author a tremendous advantage over the reader, however, for the more timid reader may feel a sense of guilt after putting down this book. It is a clever book, and for the clever reader, rather than the too-earnest soul.

Pub Date: Jan. 1, 1942

ISBN: 0060652934

Page Count: 53

Publisher: Macmillan

Review Posted Online: Oct. 17, 2011

Kirkus Reviews Issue: June 15, 1943

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