Like most of Liz’s adventures, this one is conscientious and unspectacular, with little suggestion of significant moral or...

CLOSE CALL

In her eighth world-class headache, Liz Carlyle and the rest of MI5 (The Geneva Trap, 2012, etc.) tangle with a ring that deals weapons to the worst kind of people.

As you may have noticed from recent headlines, the Arab Spring didn’t exactly square everything away in the Middle East—certainly not in Liz’s corner of the world. Andy Bokus, head of the CIA in London, delivers the unhappy news that despite the arms embargo to Yemen, someone his agency has code named “Pigot” is smuggling arms there through England, ultimately placing them in the eager hands of jihadis. Even worse, the best intelligence identifies Pigot as Antoine Milraud, a disgraced French ex–intelligence officer whose sense of tradecraft and contacts around the world make him doubly dangerous. Andy’s former deputy, Miles Brookhaven, is patiently extracting information from “Donation,” Yemeni Trade Minister Jamaal Baakrime, but Donation’s leads, slow to come under ideal conditions, grind to a halt when his son is killed. So the best hope for Liz and her French and American counterparts is to stay on Milraud’s tail even though their elusive target is equally slow to incriminate himself or anyone else. Can it get any worse? Indeed it can. The longer Liz stays on the case, the more convinced she becomes that James McManus, Deputy Head of Special Branch in Greater Manchester, is in cahoots with unsavory club owner Lester Jackson, who’s expanding his interests from drugs and prostitution to the arms trade. Liz’s fling with James McManus, who befriended and bedded her when she was seconded long ago to the Merseyside Police, didn’t end well, but she never imagined he’d cross this line. The concatenation of evil threatens not only the new world order, but Liz’s nearest and dearest.

Like most of Liz’s adventures, this one is conscientious and unspectacular, with little suggestion of significant moral or psychological depths below the professionalism. Rimington’s biggest talent lies in her uncanny knack for choosing the hot-button issues to hang her stories on.

Pub Date: Aug. 12, 2014

ISBN: 9781620406168

Page Count: 352

Publisher: Bloomsbury

Review Posted Online: July 14, 2014

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Aug. 1, 2014

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Greed, love, and extrasensory abilities combine in two middling mysteries.

LABYRINTH

Coulter’s treasured FBI agents take on two cases marked by danger and personal involvement.

Dillon Savitch and his wife, Lacey Sherlock, have special abilities that have served them well in law enforcement (Paradox, 2018, etc.). But that doesn't prevent Sherlock’s car from hitting a running man after having been struck by a speeding SUV that runs a red light. The runner, though clearly injured, continues on his way and disappears. Not so the SUV driver, a security engineer for the Bexholt Group, which has ties to government agencies. Sherlock’s own concussion causes memory loss so severe that she doesn’t recognize Savitch or remember their son, Sean. The whole incident seems more suspicious when a blood test from the splatter of the man Sherlock hit reveals that he’s Justice Cummings, an analyst for the CIA. The agency’s refusal to cooperate makes Savitch certain that Bexholt is involved in a deep-laid plot. Meanwhile, Special Agent Griffin Hammersmith is visiting friends who run a cafe in the touristy Virginia town of Gaffers Ridge. Hammersmith, who has psychic abilities, is taken aback when he hears in his mind a woman’s cry for help. Reporter Carson DeSilva, who came to the area to interview a Nobel Prize winner, also has psychic abilities, and she overhears the thoughts of Rafer Bodine, a young man who has apparently kidnapped and possibly murdered three teenage girls. Unluckily, she blurts out her thoughts, and she’s snatched and tied up in a cellar by Bodine. Bodine may be a killer, but he’s also the nephew of the sheriff and the son of the local bigwig. So the sheriff arrests Hammersmith and refuses to accept his FBI credentials. Bodine's mother has psychic powers strong enough to kill, but she meets her match in Hammersmith, DeSilva, Savitch, and Sherlock.

Greed, love, and extrasensory abilities combine in two middling mysteries.

Pub Date: July 30, 2019

ISBN: 978-1-5011-9365-1

Page Count: 512

Publisher: Simon & Schuster

Review Posted Online: July 1, 2019

Kirkus Reviews Issue: July 15, 2019

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Amateurish, with a twist savvy readers will see coming from a mile away.

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THE SILENT PATIENT

A woman accused of shooting her husband six times in the face refuses to speak.

"Alicia Berenson was thirty-three years old when she killed her husband. They had been married for seven years. They were both artists—Alicia was a painter, and Gabriel was a well-known fashion photographer." Michaelides' debut is narrated in the voice of psychotherapist Theo Faber, who applies for a job at the institution where Alicia is incarcerated because he's fascinated with her case and believes he will be able to get her to talk. The narration of the increasingly unrealistic events that follow is interwoven with excerpts from Alicia's diary. Ah, yes, the old interwoven diary trick. When you read Alicia's diary you'll conclude the woman could well have been a novelist instead of a painter because it contains page after page of detailed dialogue, scenes, and conversations quite unlike those in any journal you've ever seen. " 'What's the matter?' 'I can't talk about it on the phone, I need to see you.' 'It's just—I'm not sure I can make it up to Cambridge at the minute.' 'I'll come to you. This afternoon. Okay?' Something in Paul's voice made me agree without thinking about it. He sounded desperate. 'Okay. Are you sure you can't tell me about it now?' 'I'll see you later.' Paul hung up." Wouldn't all this appear in a diary as "Paul wouldn't tell me what was wrong"? An even more improbable entry is the one that pins the tail on the killer. While much of the book is clumsy, contrived, and silly, it is while reading passages of the diary that one may actually find oneself laughing out loud.

Amateurish, with a twist savvy readers will see coming from a mile away.

Pub Date: Feb. 5, 2019

ISBN: 978-1-250-30169-7

Page Count: 304

Publisher: Celadon Books

Review Posted Online: Nov. 4, 2018

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Nov. 15, 2018

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