A serial killer, a violent abduction, an acrimonious divorce, the hero suspected of murder—and all of it serenely...

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DESPERATE MEASURES

Consumer alert: Sleeping with Stone Barrington (Turbulence, 2018, etc.) can be hazardous to your health.

Moments after accepting his dismissal by model Kelly Smith at the East Side Heliport, Stone literally bumps into pilot Faith Barnacle. He apologizes for jostling her and incidentally salves his wounded ego by giving her a lift back to Midtown, offering her a job as his personal pilot and head of his flight department, and taking her to bed. Since Faith has indicated a limit of three intimate encounters before she dumps any man, Stone stops at two. It’s no big deal, and besides, there are bigger fish to fry. New York is being terrorized by a killer who stalks, strips, rapes, and strangles beautiful blondes, then scrupulously cleans and redresses them and dumps them. Faith is scared, but she’s also independent. Even after Stone provides her with Jimbo, a minder from the security firm Strategic Services, she sneaks out of her Turtle Bay apartment in search of soap and promptly gets kidnapped. Inconsolable, Stone consoles himself with Priscilla Scott, an aspiring divorcée who literally falls into his lap while he’s sitting in a luggage store, and recently widowed Edith Beresford, whose ex-husband had the decency to die before he could change the will leaving her everything. Donald Trask, the hedge fund manager Priscilla is divorcing, is a violent man with a short temper, but Stone is Stone, and although Priscilla gets stabbed to death shortly after the divorce, hours after changing her own will, Stone doesn’t, and NYPD Detective Sean Muldoon (the smart one) and Dante Calabrese (the kid) can’t help regarding him as a prime suspect. Still on the horizon are deputy mayor Caroline Whitehorn and her highly competitive and equally beautiful sister. Anything might happen with them.

A serial killer, a violent abduction, an acrimonious divorce, the hero suspected of murder—and all of it serenely weightless, in the episodic manner of a Road Runner cartoon without the laughs. Who cares what happens to the most alluring woman when the next one is just around the corner?

Pub Date: Oct. 16, 2018

ISBN: 978-0-7352-1922-9

Page Count: 320

Publisher: Putnam

Review Posted Online: July 31, 2018

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Aug. 15, 2018

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Dark and unsettling, this novel’s end arrives abruptly even as readers are still moving at a breakneck speed.

THEN SHE WAS GONE

Ten years after her teenage daughter went missing, a mother begins a new relationship only to discover she can't truly move on until she answers lingering questions about the past.

Laurel Mack’s life stopped in many ways the day her 15-year-old daughter, Ellie, left the house to study at the library and never returned. She drifted away from her other two children, Hanna and Jake, and eventually she and her husband, Paul, divorced. Ten years later, Ellie’s remains and her backpack are found, though the police are unable to determine the reasons for her disappearance and death. After Ellie’s funeral, Laurel begins a relationship with Floyd, a man she meets in a cafe. She's disarmed by Floyd’s charm, but when she meets his young daughter, Poppy, Laurel is startled by her resemblance to Ellie. As the novel progresses, Laurel becomes increasingly determined to learn what happened to Ellie, especially after discovering an odd connection between Poppy’s mother and her daughter even as her relationship with Floyd is becoming more serious. Jewell’s (I Found You, 2017, etc.) latest thriller moves at a brisk pace even as she plays with narrative structure: The book is split into three sections, including a first one which alternates chapters between the time of Ellie’s disappearance and the present and a second section that begins as Laurel and Floyd meet. Both of these sections primarily focus on Laurel. In the third section, Jewell alternates narrators and moments in time: The narrator switches to alternating first-person points of view (told by Poppy’s mother and Floyd) interspersed with third-person narration of Ellie’s experiences and Laurel’s discoveries in the present. All of these devices serve to build palpable tension, but the structure also contributes to how deeply disturbing the story becomes. At times, the characters and the emotional core of the events are almost obscured by such quick maneuvering through the weighty plot.

Dark and unsettling, this novel’s end arrives abruptly even as readers are still moving at a breakneck speed.

Pub Date: April 24, 2018

ISBN: 978-1-5011-5464-5

Page Count: 368

Publisher: Atria

Review Posted Online: Feb. 6, 2018

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Feb. 15, 2018

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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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