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NO WOODS SO DARK AS THESE

Not so much mysterious as fatalistic, with each revelation leading as inevitably as destiny to the next.

A fourth case soaked in equal parts blood and sadness beckons Ryan DeMarco, former sergeant with the Pennsylvania State Police.

Already mourning his dead son, DeMarco, together with his partner and lover, Jayme Matson, wakes up every morning anguished over the miscarriage she suffered in pursuing their last case in A Long Way Down (2019). But he doesn’t feel he can turn down his old boss Capt. Kyle Bowen’s request for help after a father and his two young sons make a grisly discovery in the woods outside Otter Creek Township: a burned-out car containing two dead women close to the corpse of a naked man pinned to a tree truck with three rods of rebar. It’s hard enough just to identify the corpses; it’s even harder to get leads on Luthor Reddick, the hush-hush online antiques dealer who looks increasingly like the killer; and it’s hardest of all to close the case when at least two of Reddick’s associates are perfectly willing to confess to the murders themselves. As Silvis spins a characteristically atmospheric web, DeMarco can hear the footsteps of Daksh Khatri, the confederate who eluded the dragnet that brought down double murderer Connor McBride, as Khatri, who’s clearly determined to hurt him and Jayme in the worst way possible, draws closer and closer.

Not so much mysterious as fatalistic, with each revelation leading as inevitably as destiny to the next.

Pub Date: Aug. 4, 2020

ISBN: 978-1-4926-6562-5

Page Count: 448

Publisher: Poisoned Pen

Review Posted Online: June 2, 2020

Kirkus Reviews Issue: June 15, 2020

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THINK TWICE

A great premise leads through all the twists you’d expect to a thoroughly muddy final movement.

Sports agent Myron Bolitar meets the Setup Serial Killer, who’s found a highly effective way to keep anyone from connecting the dots.

There’s no arguing with DNA evidence, the ultimate forensic clincher. So when basketball player Greg Downing’s DNA is found on the scene where retired model Cecelia Callister and her son, Clay, were killed, the FBI comes calling on Myron to ask where they can find Greg. Myron’s a reasonable person to ask because Greg was his schoolmate and former client, the man who wooed and won Myron’s girlfriend away from him and made her Emily Downing. Try as he might, though, Myron can’t help much beyond repeating the obvious: Greg died three years ago, and his body was cremated. Since the Feds aren’t about to give up their search, Myron and his partner, financial advisor Win Lockwood, decide they’d better see if they can get ahead of this story by confirming or contradicting the story of Greg’s death. Meantime, a series of interleaved episodes show the killer eliminating a series of primary targets and framing secondary targets so convincingly for the murders, with special thanks to planted DNA, that it never occurs to the police to connect crimes that were so readily solved on their own. Complications arise when Myron’s thrown together with Jeremy Downing, the son he fathered in a pre-wedding tryst with Emily and then passed off as Greg’s, and when the allies of mob boss Joseph “Joey the Toe” Turant, who was locked up four years ago after his DNA-fueled conviction for the murder of Jordan Kravat, decide to lean on Myron to get him to reveal where Greg is.

A great premise leads through all the twists you’d expect to a thoroughly muddy final movement.

Pub Date: May 14, 2024

ISBN: 9781538756317

Page Count: 368

Publisher: Grand Central Publishing

Review Posted Online: March 23, 2024

Kirkus Reviews Issue: April 15, 2024

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THE LAST MURDER AT THE END OF THE WORLD

“Don’t go in the water” takes on new meaning in Turton’s brainy thriller.

It’s doomsday eve on a small Greek island where the last post-apocalyptic community on earth will be destroyed unless a murdered scientist’s secret research can be uncovered.

The rest of the world ended 90 years ago, just as humankind was close to overcoming climate change. Now, a lethal black fog is approaching the island, where 122 villagers live peacefully, albeit with an unreliable female AI voice inside their heads. All but the rebellious woman Emory are content not to question geographical boundaries they are not allowed to cross or mysterious programming that can wipe their memories, make them fall asleep at 8:45 p.m. every night, and die at 60—a bum deal considering the extraordinarily long lives of the three elders, including Niema, the murder victim. A brilliant scientist who in another lifetime was awarded two Nobel Prizes and later devised the barrier blocking the fog, she was 173. Hours after announcing she would reveal hidden truths about the island and the extreme experiments she was conducting to safeguard its future, she was stabbed to death. Solving her murder is key to saving the island. Turton, who specializes in odd, raging conflicts in closed settings—a London manor in The 7 1/2 Deaths of Evelyn Hardcastle (2018); a cursed 17th-century ship in The Devil and the Dark Water (2020)—here takes on a bunch of big themes including the nature of existence and the value of life. H.G. Wells’ The Island of Doctor Moreau, without the monsters, comes to mind. Long and talky and light on characterizations, Turton’s latest is a bit mechanical in the telling, perhaps owing to the AI’s role as narrator. But it’s a fresh twist on dystopian fiction with its share of surprises.

“Don’t go in the water” takes on new meaning in Turton’s brainy thriller.

Pub Date: May 21, 2024

ISBN: 9781728254654

Page Count: 368

Publisher: Sourcebooks Landmark

Review Posted Online: Feb. 17, 2024

Kirkus Reviews Issue: March 15, 2024

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