by Sarah Thornton ‧ RELEASE DATE: Sept. 8, 2020
A riveting thriller with a heroine willing to get her hands dirty to find the answers she seeks.
A white female Australian football coach trying to hide from her past gets swept up in the long-simmering race-based conflicts of the small town she moves to when she tries to help her star player, an Indigenous man.
Clementine Jones is just a part-time Australian football coach in the tiny town of Katinga in Victoria. A white, middle-class one-time corporate lawyer who's fled Sydney, she's trying to escape her past life and live in anonymity in her haven, a little cottage nestled in the hills. But one thing led to another, and now she coaches the Cats, the town’s football team, for a paltry $140 a week. She's an excellent coach, and the team has the chance to go to the finals for the first time in decades. Her star player is Clancy Kennedy, the only Indigenous man on the team, whose pregnant wife is a month from her due date. When he suddenly quits the team and is fired from his job for theft, something doesn’t seem quite right to Clem. But when she tries to get to the bottom of it, she finds that the seemingly bucolic town is one where race tensions run high. Very high. On one side is the Indigenous population, trying to get by and live within a system that devalues them and their history, and on the other is a group of militant and criminal skinhead whites who wield physical violence against people and property as if it were a right. This is a rip-roaring tale that addresses weighty issues head-on: Discrimination, race-baiting, harassment, physical violence, corporate corruption, and criminality all play major roles in the story. First-time author Thornton interweaves all this with on-field action, a combination that propels the story forward addictively and will leave readers eager to read the next installment of this new series.A riveting thriller with a heroine willing to get her hands dirty to find the answers she seeks.
Pub Date: Sept. 8, 2020
Page Count: 320
Review Posted Online: June 16, 2020
Kirkus Reviews Issue: July 1, 2020
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by Michael Connelly ‧ RELEASE DATE: Nov. 7, 2023
The most richly accomplished of the brothers’ pairings to date—and given Connelly’s high standards, that’s saying a lot.
Harry Bosch and the Lincoln Lawyer team up to exonerate a woman who’s already served five years for killing her ex-husband.
The evidence against Lucinda Sanz was so overwhelming that she followed the advice of Frank Silver, the B-grade attorney who’d elbowed his way onto her defense, and pleaded no contest to manslaughter to avoid a life sentence for shooting Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Deputy Roberto Sanz in the back as he stalked out of her yard after their latest argument. But now that her son, Eric, is 13, old enough to get recruited by local gangs, she wants to be out of stir and at his side. So she writes to Mickey Haller, who asks his half-brother for help. After all his years working for the LAPD, Bosch is adamant about not working for a criminal defendant, even though Haller’s already taken him on as an associate so that he can get access to private health insurance and a UCLA medical trial for an experimental cancer treatment. But the habeas corpus hearing Haller’s aiming for isn’t, strictly speaking, a criminal defense proceeding, and even a cursory examination of the forensic evidence raises Bosch’s hackles. Bolstered by Bosch’s discoveries and a state-of-the-art digital reconstruction of the shooting, Haller heads to court to face Assistant Attorney General Hayden Morris, who has a few tricks up his own sleeve. The endlessly resourceful courtroom back-and-forth is furious in its intensity, although Haller eventually upstages Bosch, Morris, and everyone else in sight. What really stands out here, however, is that Connelly never lets you forget, from his title onward, the life-or-death issues behind every move in the game.The most richly accomplished of the brothers’ pairings to date—and given Connelly’s high standards, that’s saying a lot.
Pub Date: Nov. 7, 2023
Page Count: 400
Publisher: Little, Brown
Review Posted Online: Sept. 21, 2023
Kirkus Reviews Issue: Oct. 15, 2023
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by Stephen King ‧ RELEASE DATE: Sept. 5, 2023
Loyal King stans may disagree, but this is a snooze.
A much-beloved author gives a favorite recurring character her own novel.
Holly Gibney made her first appearance in print with a small role in Mr. Mercedes (2014). She played a larger role in The Outsider (2018). And she was the central character in If It Bleeds, a novella in the 2020 collection of the same name. King has said that the character “stole his heart.” Readers adore her, too. One way to look at this book is as several hundred pages of fan service. King offers a lot of callbacks to these earlier works that are undoubtedly a treat for his most loyal devotees. That these easter eggs are meaningless and even befuddling to new readers might make sense in terms of costs and benefits. King isn’t exactly an author desperate to grow his audience; pleasing the people who keep him at the top of the bestseller lists is probably a smart strategy, and this writer achieved the kind of status that whatever he writes is going to be published. Having said all that, it’s possible that even his hardcore fans might find this story a bit slow. There are also issues in terms of style. Much of the language King uses and the cultural references he drops feel a bit creaky. The word slacks occurs with distracting frequency. King uses the phrase keeping it on the down-low in a way that suggests he probably doesn’t understand how this phrase is currently used—and has been used for quite a while. But the biggest problem is that this narrative is framed as a mystery without delivering the pleasures of a mystery. The reader knows who the bad guys are from the start. This can be an effective storytelling device, but in this case, waiting for the private investigator heroine to get to where the reader is at the beginning of the story feels interminable.Loyal King stans may disagree, but this is a snooze.
Pub Date: Sept. 5, 2023
Page Count: 464
Review Posted Online: July 13, 2023
Kirkus Reviews Issue: Aug. 1, 2023
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