by Robert Rotstein ‧ RELEASE DATE: June 11, 2013
A sinister cult, political payoffs, hard-core sex tapes, stories about child abuse and one of the most stressed-out...
Not content with ruining a Los Angeles law firm financially, a powerful religious cult now seems intent on killing off the firm’s former partners.
Parker Stern was never close to Richard Baxter, and when Rich left Macklin & Cherry and took the lucrative business of the Church of the Sanctified Assembly with him, bringing the firm to its knees, Parker wrote him off. But he can’t refuse to take on his defense when Rich phones him from prison after the Assembly accuses him of embezzling millions—even though Parker’s had an incapacitating case of situational glossophobia that’s prevented him from speaking in court ever since the suicide of his mentor, Harmon Cherry, several weeks ago. When Rich, a former true believer who’s made wild accusations concerning the Assembly’s own sins and insisted that Harmon Cherry was murdered to cover them up, misses his initial court appearance because he’s apparently hanged himself in his cell, Parker wonders if two suicides are two too many—whether both Harmon and Rich were murdered by agents of the Assembly. And when Rich’s father, Raymond, hit by the Assembly with a multimillion-dollar suit over Rich’s estate, asks Parker to take the case, he hands him the perfect base from which to launch his assault against oily PR chief Christopher McCarthy, hired legal gun Louis Frantz, film star–turned-Congressman Lake Knolls and everyone else in LA County. But first-timer Rotstein, an entertainment lawyer, isn’t content with that battle; he spices the mix with Parker’s past as a child actor, his turbulent relationship with his mother, who grabbed his earnings years ago and donated them to the Assembly, and his unlikely and unethical romance with one of the law school students helping him on the case. Not to mention the question of whether he’ll ever be able to raise his voice above a squeak before the bench.A sinister cult, political payoffs, hard-core sex tapes, stories about child abuse and one of the most stressed-out attorneys you’ll ever see. It’s hard to imagine what Rotstein has kept in reserve for the sequel.
Pub Date: June 11, 2013
Page Count: 330
Publisher: Seventh Street Books
Review Posted Online: Oct. 8, 2017
Kirkus Reviews Issue: June 1, 2013
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by Kathy Reichs ‧ RELEASE DATE: March 17, 2020
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
Page Count: 352
Review Posted Online: Dec. 22, 2019
Kirkus Reviews Issue: Jan. 15, 2020
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by James Patterson ‧ RELEASE DATE: Nov. 5, 2003
As in summer movies, a triple dose of violence conceals the absence of real menace when neither victims nor avengers stir...
Dr. Alex Cross has left Metro DC Homicide for the FBI, but it’s business as usual in this laughably rough-hewn fairy tale of modern-day white slavery.
According to reliable sources, more people are being sold into slavery than ever before, and it all seems to be going down on the FBI’s watch. Atlanta ex-reporter Elizabeth Connolly, who looks just like Claudia Schiffer, is the ninth target over the past two years to be abducted by a husband-and-wife pair who travel the country at the behest of the nefarious Pasha Sorokin, the Wolf of the Red Mafiya. The only clues are those deliberately left behind by the kidnappers, who snatch fashion designer Audrey Meek from the King of Prussia Mall in full view of her children, or patrons like Audrey’s purchaser, who ends up releasing her and killing himself. Who you gonna call? Alex Cross, of course. Even though he still hasn’t finished the Agency’s training course, all the higher-ups he runs into, from hardcases who trust him to lickspittles seething with envy, have obviously read his dossier (Four Blind Mice, 2002, etc.), and they know the new guy is “close to psychic,” a “one-man flying squad” who’s already a legend, “like Clarice Starling in the movies.” It’s lucky that Cross’s reputation precedes him, because his fond creator doesn’t give him much to do here but chase suspects identified by obliging tipsters and worry about his family (Alex Jr.’s mother, alarmed at Cross’s dangerous job, is suing for custody) while the Wolf and his cronies—Sterling, Mr. Potter, the Art Director, Sphinx, and the Marvel—kidnap more dishy women (and the occasional gay man) and kill everybody who gets in their way, and quite a few poor souls who don’t.As in summer movies, a triple dose of violence conceals the absence of real menace when neither victims nor avengers stir the slightest sympathy.
Pub Date: Nov. 5, 2003
Page Count: 400
Publisher: Little, Brown
Review Posted Online: May 19, 2010
Kirkus Reviews Issue: Oct. 1, 2003
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