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WHAT NEVER HAPPENED

A character-rich, sleep-depriving thriller.

A girl’s life is forever altered when her family is murdered.

Back in 2001, Colette “Coco” Weber and her family were among the very few Black residents of Avalon on California’s Santa Catalina Island. Her mother, a lawyer, and her father, a teacher at the island’s high school, had tired of commuting from the mainland. Coco was a teen looking for adventure when she came home one night to find entirely too much of it: Her parents and her brother, a football star, were all dead. Nineteen years later, Coco, at odds with her actor husband, Micah, returns to Avalon to work on the local paper owned by her college friend Maddy, where she writes offbeat obituaries. Then she learns that the man who was convicted of murdering her family is being released on new DNA evidence. Although she’s inherited her parents’ Avalon house, it’s been occupied by her aunt Gwen, who, thinking of it as her own, switches between loving and hostile. The house is a mess, but Coco, who’s liberated a valuable ring from Micah, plans to use the proceeds from its sale to fix up the place. Soon she’s receiving racist threats and offers to buy her home that make her equally furious. Slowly a pattern emerges: elderly widows who own their own homes have been found dead in unexpected places, the police writing off each case as a natural death. Only her fellow reporter and soon-to-be lover, handsome, rich Noah Bancroft, believes in Coco’s idea that a serial killer is at work. Troubled by panic attacks and her inability to discern what’s real in either past or present, Coco seeks the truth as Covid ravages California.

A character-rich, sleep-depriving thriller.

Pub Date: Aug. 1, 2023

ISBN: 9781662504150

Page Count: 428

Publisher: Thomas & Mercer

Review Posted Online: June 8, 2023

Kirkus Reviews Issue: July 1, 2023

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THE TRUTH ABOUT THE DEVLINS

As an adjunct member says, “You’re not a family, you’re a force.” Exactly, though not in the way you’d expect.

The ne’er-do-well son of a successful Irish American family gets dragged into criminal complications that suggest the rest of the Devlins aren’t exactly the upstanding citizens they appear.

The first 35 years in the life of Thomas “TJ” Devlin have been one disappointment after another to his parents, lawyers who founded a prosperous insurance and reinsurance firm, and his more successful siblings, John and Gabby. A longtime alcoholic who’s been unemployable ever since he did time for an incident involving his ex-girlfriend Carrie’s then 2-year-old daughter, TJ is nominally an investigator for Devlin & Devlin, but everyone knows the post is a sinecure. Things change dramatically when golden-boy John tells TJ that he just killed Neil Lemaire, an accountant for D&D client Runstan Electronics. Their speedy return to the murder scene reveals no corpse, so the brothers breathe easier—until Lemaire turns up shot to death in his car. John’s way of avoiding anything that might jeopardize his status as heir apparent to D&D is to throw TJ under the bus, blaming him for everything John himself has done and adding that you can’t trust anything his brother has said since he’s fallen off the wagon. TJ, who’s maintained his sobriety a day at a time for nearly two years, feels outraged, but neither the police investigating the murder nor his nearest and dearest care about his feelings. Forget the forgettable mystery, whose solution will leave you shrugging instead of gasping, and focus on the circular firing squad of the Devlins, and you’ll have a much better time than TJ.

As an adjunct member says, “You’re not a family, you’re a force.” Exactly, though not in the way you’d expect.

Pub Date: March 26, 2024

ISBN: 9780525539704

Page Count: 384

Publisher: Putnam

Review Posted Online: Jan. 5, 2024

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Feb. 1, 2024

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THREE-INCH TEETH

A tale that’s hard to believe but easy to swallow in a single gulp.

A bear is hunting prey in Wyoming’s Bighorns. And not just any bear.

It’s bad enough that Clay Hutmacher, who manages the Double Diamond Ranch, has lost his son, Clay Jr., to a vicious attack by a grizzly bear. What’s much worse is that Clay Jr.—who’d been about to pop the question to game warden Joe Pickett’s daughter, Sheridan—is only the first of the victims over an exceptionally broad geographical area. Marshal Marvin Bertignolli is clawed and bitten to death over in Hanna. Sgt. Ryan Winner is found bleeding out north of Rawlins. Former Twelve Sleep County prosecutor Dulcie Schalk, one of two survivors of an ambush, doesn’t survive her final encounter. The four experts chosen to kill the grizzly rope Joe into their expedition, but since their quarry keeps turning up far from the last sighting, the most meaningful confrontation the Predator Attack Team has is with a pair of Mama Bears, animal rights activists who demand due process for Tisiphone, as they’ve dubbed the presumed killer. Box, who’s far too canny to leave Tisiphone alone on center stage, follows Joe’s old antagonist Dallas Cates as the ex–rodeo star is released from prison and embarks on his revenge tour, which takes him to Lee Ogburn-Russell, an inventor whose life Dallas saved, and Axel Soledad, a correspondent who shares so many enemies with Dallas that he suggests they go after them together. Franchise fans will appreciate new details about Joe’s complicated family, the obligatory high-country landscapes, and yet another corrupt law enforcer.

A tale that’s hard to believe but easy to swallow in a single gulp.

Pub Date: Feb. 27, 2024

ISBN: 9780593331347

Page Count: 384

Publisher: Putnam

Review Posted Online: Jan. 5, 2024

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Feb. 1, 2024

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