So fierce, ambitious, and far-reaching that it makes most other mysteries seem like so many petit fours.

DEAD LAND

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

ISBN: 978-0-06-243592-7

Page Count: 304

Publisher: Morrow/HarperCollins

Review Posted Online: Jan. 27, 2020

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Feb. 15, 2020

Did you like this book?

No Comments Yet

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

A CONSPIRACY OF BONES

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. 23, 2019

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Jan. 15, 2020

Did you like this book?

One protest from an outraged innocent says it all: “This is America. This is Wyoming.”

Our Verdict

  • Our Verdict
  • GET IT

  • New York Times Bestseller

  • IndieBound Bestseller

LONG RANGE

Once again, Wyoming game warden Joe Pickett gets mixed up in a killing whose principal suspect is his old friend Nate Romanowski, whose attempts to live off the grid keep breaking down in a series of felony charges.

If Judge Hewitt hadn’t bent over to pick up a spoon that had fallen from his dinner table, the sniper set up nearly a mile from his house in the gated community of the Eagle Mountain Club would have ended his life. As it was, the victim was Sue Hewitt, leaving the judge alive and free to rail and threaten anyone he suspected of the shooting. Incoming Twelve Sleep County Sheriff Brendan Kapelow’s interest in using the case to promote his political ambitions and the judge’s inability to see further than his nose make them the perfect targets for a frame-up of Nate, who just wants to be left alone in the middle of nowhere to train his falcons and help his bride, Liv Brannon, raise their baby, Kestrel. Nor are the sniper, the sheriff, and the judge Nate’s only enemies. Orlando Panfile has been sent to Wyoming by the Sinaloan drug cartel to avenge the deaths of the four assassins whose careers Nate and Joe ended last time out (Wolf Pack, 2019). So it’s up to Joe, with some timely data from his librarian wife, Marybeth, to hire a lawyer for Nate, make sure he doesn’t bust out of jail before his trial, identify the real sniper, who continues to take an active role in the proceedings, and somehow protect him from a killer who regards Nate’s arrest as an unwelcome complication. That’s quite a tall order for someone who can’t shoot straight, who keeps wrecking his state-issued vehicles, and whose appalling mother-in-law, Missy Vankeuren Hand, has returned from her latest European jaunt to suck up all the oxygen in Twelve Sleep County to hustle some illegal drugs for her cancer-stricken sixth husband. But fans of this outstanding series will know better than to place their money against Joe.

One protest from an outraged innocent says it all: “This is America. This is Wyoming.”

Pub Date: March 3, 2020

ISBN: 978-0-525-53823-3

Page Count: 368

Publisher: Putnam

Review Posted Online: Jan. 13, 2020

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Feb. 1, 2020

Did you like this book?

more