A well-written novel, but the intricate plot teeters precariously on a rash of bad decisions made by otherwise street-smart...

THE NIGHT CHARTER

A beautiful former combat medic takes on Miami's bad guys in Hawken's (Tequila Sunset, 2014, etc.) tale of honor, betrayal, and international intrigue.

Camaro Espinoza fled New York after killing five evil men (we never learn any more about this; maybe in a later volume?) and ended up in Miami, where she’s built a business as a charter boat operator. She takes the Annabel—a 50-foot fishing boat—out in the deep seas around the port city for fishing groups by day or by night. When Parker Story, a down-on-his-luck ex-con who's trying to lift himself and his 14-year-old daughter, Lauren, out of poverty, shows up with a proposition, Camaro is sure there’s a catch, and she’s right: Story’s acting as frontman for the mean-spirited Matt, another former convict. Matt and his cronies have been hired to smuggle a man out of Cuba. Only problem is that Matt, who was involved in a pawnshop robbery in which three men died, is being watched by a Miami Police detective. Although she has misgivings, Camaro decides to go through with the pickup in order to help Story, but when she does, everything goes sideways, and she soon finds herself on the run with a teenager in tow and both the police and bad guys on her trail. Hawken’s a good writer, and, except for an occasional creative verb, he keeps his prose lean. And Camaro is a worthy protagonist, someone who will resonate with readers over many volumes. However, there are some stumbles in the plotting. For example, Camaro seems much too smart to get involved with Story’s scheme, and her violent nature is somewhat puzzling. It’s also implausible that the powerful men who hire Matt and his crew would resort to a two-bit criminal rather than simply doing it themselves.

A well-written novel, but the intricate plot teeters precariously on a rash of bad decisions made by otherwise street-smart people.

Pub Date: Dec. 8, 2015

ISBN: 978-0-316-29921-3

Page Count: 336

Publisher: Mulholland Books/Little, Brown

Review Posted Online: Sept. 3, 2015

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Sept. 15, 2015

Did you like this book?

No Comments Yet

Joe’s fifth case is his best balanced, most deeply felt and most mystifying to date: an absolute must.

OUT OF RANGE

Crime-fighting Wyoming game warden Joe Pickett outdoes himself during a temporary transfer from sleepy Saddlestring to fashionable Jackson Hole.

Will Jensen, the Jackson game warden, was a great guy and a model warden, but once his wife left him six months ago, he spiraled into madness and suicide, and now Joe’s been called to replace him. The transition is anything but smooth. There’s no question of Joe’s family coming with him, so he’s reduced to hoping he can get a signal for the cell-phone calls he squeezes into his busy schedule. En route to his new posting, Joe has to pursue a marauding grizzly. He arrives to meet a formidable series of challenges. Cantankerous outfitter Smoke Van Horn wants to go on attracting elk with illegal salt licks without the new warden’s interference. Animal Liberation Network activist Pi Stevenson wants him to publicize her cause and adopt a vegan diet. Developer Don Ennis wants to open a housing development for millionaires who like their meat free of additives. Ennis’s trophy wife Stella simply wants Joe—and he wants her back. As he wrestles with these demands, and with a supervisor riled over Joe’s track record of destroying government property in pursuit of bad guys (Trophy Hunt, 2004, etc.), Joe slowly becomes convinced that Will did not kill himself.

Joe’s fifth case is his best balanced, most deeply felt and most mystifying to date: an absolute must.

Pub Date: May 5, 2005

ISBN: 0-399-15291-1

Page Count: 320

Publisher: Putnam

Review Posted Online: May 20, 2010

Kirkus Reviews Issue: April 1, 2005

Did you like this book?

No Comments Yet

An undisciplined but powerfully lacerating story, by an author who knows every block of the neighborhood and every hair on...

MYSTIC RIVER

After five adventures for Boston shamus Patrick Kenzie and his off-again lover Angela Gennaro (Prayers for Rain, 1999, etc.), Lehane tries his hand at a crossover novel that’s as dark as any of Patrick’s cases.

Even the 1975 prologue is bleak. Sean Devine and Jimmy Marcus are playing, or fighting, outside Sean’s parents’ house in the Point neighborhood of East Buckingham when a car pulls up, one of the two men inside flashes a badge, and Sean and Jimmy’s friend Dave Boyle gets bundled inside, allegedly to be driven home to his mother for a scolding but actually to get kidnapped. Though Dave escapes after a few days, he never really outlives his ordeal, and 25 years later it’s Jimmy’s turn to join him in hell when his daughter Katie is shot and beaten to death in the wilds of Pen Park, and State Trooper Sean, just returned from suspension, gets assigned to the case. Sean knows that both Dave and Jimmy have been in more than their share of trouble in the past. And he’s got an especially close eye on Jimmy, whose marriage brought him close to the aptly named Savage family and who’s done hard time for robbery. It would be just like Jimmy, Sean knows, to ignore his friend’s official efforts and go after the killer himself. But Sean would be a lot more worried if he knew what Dave’s wife Celeste knows: that hours after catching sight of Katie in the last bar she visited on the night of her death, Dave staggered home covered with somebody else’s blood. Burrowing deep into his three sorry heroes and the hundred ties that bind them unbearably close, Lehane weaves such a spellbinding tale that it’s easy to overlook the ramshackle mystery behind it all.

An undisciplined but powerfully lacerating story, by an author who knows every block of the neighborhood and every hair on his characters’ heads.

Pub Date: Jan. 30, 2001

ISBN: 0-688-16316-5

Page Count: 416

Publisher: Morrow/HarperCollins

Review Posted Online: May 20, 2010

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Dec. 15, 2000

Did you like this book?

No Comments Yet
more