The action is brutal; the tour of the Bay Area’s sex trade is sordid and sad; and Glass’s quixotic determination to rescue a...

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A harrowing catalog of all the bad things that happen to the two of you and everyone else when you fall in love with a prostitute.

When he’s not working cases for LAPD Robbery-Homicide, Detective Hayden Glass (Boulevard, 2009) is trawling the Web for sex. It’s a time-consuming obsession, not because it’s hard to find, but because he’s never satisfied. One day he happens onto an interactive site featuring a young woman named Cora who invites him, “Come talk to me,” and soon enough he’s tracked her to a seedy hotel in the Tenderloin district of San Francisco. “I’m here for you, Cora,” he tells her, but it’s much less certain that she’s happy he’s in town than that Glass’s SFPD colleagues aren’t. It would be bad enough if Cora were merely an illegal kidnapped as a child and pressed into the sex industry by brothers Ivan and Michael Popovitch, owners of the Diamond and the Candy Cane clubs, respectively. Even worse, the brothers have had a falling out that makes Cora both a pawn and a liability. Worst of all, however, is that she’s unwillingly learned too much about a high-ranking police officer’s personal peccadilloes. So Glass—striking up an uneasy alliance with Officer Lisa Holbrook and Inspector Tony Locatelli of the SFPD and a pair of FBI agents who as usual have their own agenda—struggles to rescue Cora from not only the gangsters who’ve been pimping her but his law-enforcement counterparts who want to kill her.

The action is brutal; the tour of the Bay Area’s sex trade is sordid and sad; and Glass’s quixotic determination to rescue a woman who doesn’t even like him from a fate worse than death never rings quite true. Even so, the soiled hero’s relentless interrogation of his motives for pursuing Cora will make it hard for like-minded readers to put down his odyssey unfinished.

Pub Date: Oct. 1, 2010

ISBN: 978-0-7653-2820-5

Page Count: 320

Publisher: Forge

Review Posted Online: Aug. 12, 2010

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Sept. 1, 2010

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Now that Coben’s added politics to his heady brew, expect sex and religion to join the mix.

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THE BOY FROM THE WOODS

Coben’s latest darkest-suburbs thriller sets a decidedly offbeat detective on the trail of a crime with overtones unmistakably redolent of once and future presidential elections.

Wilde is called Wilde because nobody’s known his real name from the moment a pair of hikers found him foraging for himself in Ramapo Mountain State Forest 24 years ago. Now over 40, he’s had experience as both a lost boy and a private investigator. That makes him an obvious person to help when his godson, Sweet Water High School student Matthew Crimstein, expresses concern to his grandmother, attorney Hester Crimstein, that his bullied classmate Naomi Pine has gone missing. Matthew doesn’t really want anyone to help. He doesn’t even want anyone to notice his agitation. But Hester, taking the time from her criminal defense of financial consultant Simon Greene (Run Away, 2019) to worm the details out of him, asks Wilde to lend a hand, and sure enough, Wilde, unearthing an unsavory backstory that links Naomi to bullying classmate Crash Maynard, whose TV producer father, Dash Maynard, is close friends with reality TV star–turned–presidential hopeful Rusty Eggers, finds Naomi hale and hearty. Everything’s hunky-dory for one week, and then she disappears again. And this time, so does Crash after a brief visit to Matthew in which he tearfully confesses his guilt about the bad stuff he did to Naomi. This second disappearance veers into more obviously criminal territory with the arrival of a ransom note that demands, not money, but the allegedly incriminating videotapes of Rusty Eggers that Dash and Delia Maynard have had squirreled away for 30 years. The tapes link Rusty to a forgotten and forgettable homicide and add a paranoid new ripped-from-the-headlines dimension to the author’s formidable range. Readers who can tune out all the subplots will find the kidnappers easy to spot, but Coben finds room for three climactic surprises, one of them a honey.

Now that Coben’s added politics to his heady brew, expect sex and religion to join the mix.

Pub Date: March 17, 2020

ISBN: 978-1-5387-4814-5

Page Count: 432

Publisher: Grand Central Publishing

Review Posted Online: Dec. 23, 2019

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Jan. 15, 2020

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

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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