Next book


The setup is familiar, but Arvin (The Last Goodbye, 2004, etc.) calculates everything—the mystery, the office politics, the...

A murder case that’s just been closed by lethal injection threatens a Nashville prosecutor’s handling of a wide-open case in the present.

Thomas Dennehy is the only lawyer in Tennessee who’s convicted two men, acting independently, of the same wrongful death: Wilson Owens, the hardened 18-year-old who shot grocer Steven Davidson and customer Lucinda Williams during a robbery and has just been executed for their murders; and Charles Bridges, the meth-stoked EMT who sealed the dying customer’s fate when he stuck an air tube down her esophagus and did time for negligent homicide. Now a third man has come forward to claim responsibility: hard con Kwame Jamal Hale, who offers to take the authorities to the never-recovered murder weapon if they don’t believe him. His confession is a supersized roadblock in Dennehy’s quest for the death penalty against Moses Bol, the Sudanese immigrant who allegedly raped and murdered Tamra Hartlett and left her apartment awash in his DNA. As TV commentators debate the morality of the death penalty and the city’s black community butts heads with xenophobic Nationites from Hartlett’s neighborhood, maverick Presbyterian pastor Fiona Towns threatens to torpedo Dennehy’s case by insisting that Bol was with her on the night in question. Given the clouds of uncertainty gathering around his earlier conviction of Owens, Dennehy wonders whether a single juror in Davidson County will ever again vote the needle for the most hardened defendant. But public relations turn out to be the least of his problems when a cunning, murderous enemy takes his activities personally and goes after his cat, his truck and everything else he holds dear.

The setup is familiar, but Arvin (The Last Goodbye, 2004, etc.) calculates everything—the mystery, the office politics, the anti-death-penalty demonstrations, the race riots, the fiendishly escalating threats—so neatly that the whole package is an offer you can’t refuse: the first summer-movie blockbuster of the year.

Pub Date: July 1, 2005

ISBN: 0-06-059634-1

Page Count: 288

Publisher: HarperCollins

Review Posted Online: May 19, 2010

Kirkus Reviews Issue: May 15, 2005

Next book


Forget about solving all these crimes; the signal triumph here is (spoiler) the heroine’s survival.

Another sweltering month in Charlotte, another boatload of mysteries past and present for overworked, overstressed forensic anthropologist Temperance Brennan.

A week after the night she chases but fails to catch a mysterious trespasser outside her town house, some unknown party texts Tempe four images of a corpse that looks as if it’s been chewed by wild hogs, because it has been. Showboat Medical Examiner Margot Heavner makes it clear that, breaking with her department’s earlier practice (The Bone Collection, 2016, etc.), she has no intention of calling in Tempe as a consultant and promptly identifies the faceless body herself as that of a young Asian man. Nettled by several errors in Heavner’s analysis, and even more by her willingness to share the gory details at a press conference, Tempe launches her own investigation, which is not so much off the books as against the books. Heavner isn’t exactly mollified when Tempe, aided by retired police detective Skinny Slidell and a host of experts, puts a name to the dead man. But the hints of other crimes Tempe’s identification uncovers, particularly crimes against children, spur her on to redouble her efforts despite the new M.E.’s splenetic outbursts. Before he died, it seems, Felix Vodyanov was linked to a passenger ferry that sank in 1994, an even earlier U.S. government project to research biological agents that could control human behavior, the hinky spiritual retreat Sparkling Waters, the dark web site DeepUnder, and the disappearances of at least four schoolchildren, two of whom have also turned up dead. And why on earth was Vodyanov carrying Tempe’s own contact information? The mounting evidence of ever more and ever worse skulduggery will pull Tempe deeper and deeper down what even she sees as a rabbit hole before she confronts a ringleader implicated in “Drugs. Fraud. Breaking and entering. Arson. Kidnapping. How does attempted murder sound?”

Forget about solving all these crimes; the signal triumph here is (spoiler) the heroine’s survival.

Pub Date: March 17, 2020

ISBN: 978-1-9821-3888-2

Page Count: 352

Publisher: Scribner

Review Posted Online: Dec. 22, 2019

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Jan. 15, 2020

Next book


A suspenseful, professional-grade north country procedural whose heroine, a deft mix of compassion and attitude, would be...

Box takes another break from his highly successful Joe Pickett series (Stone Cold, 2014, etc.) for a stand-alone about a police detective, a developmentally delayed boy, and a package everyone in North Dakota wants to grab.

Cassandra Dewell can’t leave Montana’s Lewis and Clark County fast enough for her new job as chief investigator for Jon Kirkbride, sheriff of Bakken County. She leaves behind no memories worth keeping: her husband is dead, her boss has made no bones about disliking her, and she’s looking forward to new responsibilities and the higher salary underwritten by North Dakota’s sudden oil boom. But Bakken County has its own issues. For one thing, it’s cold—a whole lot colder than the coldest weather Cassie’s ever imagined. For another, the job she turns out to have been hired for—leading an investigation her new boss doesn’t feel he can entrust to his own force—makes her queasy. The biggest problem, though, is one she doesn’t know about until it slaps her in the face. A fatal car accident that was anything but accidental has jarred loose a stash of methamphetamines and cash that’s become the center of a battle between the Sons of Freedom, Bakken County’s traditional drug sellers, and MS-13, the Salvadorian upstarts who are muscling in on their territory. It’s a setup that leaves scant room for law enforcement officers or for Kyle Westergaard, the 12-year-old paperboy damaged since birth by fetal alcohol syndrome, who’s walked away from the wreck with a prize all too many people would kill for.

A suspenseful, professional-grade north country procedural whose heroine, a deft mix of compassion and attitude, would be welcome to return and tie up the gaping loose end Box leaves. The unrelenting cold makes this the perfect beach read.

Pub Date: July 28, 2015

ISBN: 978-0-312-58321-7

Page Count: 272

Publisher: Minotaur

Review Posted Online: April 21, 2015

Kirkus Reviews Issue: May 15, 2015

Close Quickview