by Sara Paretsky ‧ RELEASE DATE: April 21, 2020
So fierce, ambitious, and far-reaching that it makes most other mysteries seem like so many petit fours.
V.I. Warshawski’s search for a homeless woman with a fraught past leads her deep into a series of political conspiracies that stretch over generations and continents.
Bernadine Fouchard, V.I.’s goddaughter, thinks that Lydia Zamir, whose songs about strong women she reveres, was shot dead along with her lover, Hector Palurdo, at a Kansas fundraiser four years ago. She’s only half right. The 17 victims ranch hand Arthur Morton shot in Horsethief Canyon include Palurdo but not Zamir, whom V.I. and Bernie happen to hear banging out haunting tunes on a toy piano under a Chicago railroad viaduct. But they glimpse her only momentarily before the traumatized musician flees and eventually disappears. Soon afterward, Bernie finds herself in trouble when the young man she’s been dating—Leo Prinz, a summer employee of SLICK, the South Lakefront Improvement Council—is murdered and she becomes a person of considerable interest to Sgt. Lenora Pizzello. The search for Lydia Zamir morphs into an investigation of her relationship with Palurdo, an activist against the Pinochet regime in Chile long before he was shot apparently at random. In the meantime, the disappearance of Simon Lensky, one of SLICK’s elected managers, throws a spotlight on the organization’s controversial proposal for a new landfill on the South Side. Everyone in the city seems to have strong opinions about the proposal, from Gifford Taggett, superintendent of the Chicago Park District, to Nobel Prize–winning economist Larry Nieland, to an inveterate protestor known only as Coop, who kicks off the story by vanishing after parking his dog with V.I., to her consternation and the ire of her neighbors and her own two dogs. As usual, Paretsky (Shell Game, 2018, etc.) is less interested in identifying whodunit than in uncovering a monstrous web of evil, and this web is one of her densest and most finely woven ever.So fierce, ambitious, and far-reaching that it makes most other mysteries seem like so many petit fours.
Pub Date: April 21, 2020
Page Count: 304
Review Posted Online: Jan. 26, 2020
Kirkus Reviews Issue: Feb. 15, 2020
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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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