A fever dream of the monsters lurking beneath the suburban surface. Not even Mister Rogers would want these neighbors.

Humdrum domestic stresses hatch a flock of wildly florid complications.

Portland ad writer Adam Cooper, fired from his job at Lostine Windows for watching explicit videos at his workplace, is serving as a stay-at-home dad for his 7-month-old daughter, Maddie, while his wife, Sarah, struggles to pump milk each day during her downtime at César Chávez Elementary. Sarah’s unsought role as the family breadwinner is complicated by the unwelcome attention she gets from wealthy, entitled Chávez principal Evie Kemp, whose son, software engineer Crispin Kemp, has just been dumped by the Coopers’ neighbor Ali Washington, a receptionist and aspiring graphic designer who’s started to feel creepy about Crispin’s attentions. Ali’s shivers are the first sign that this apparently quotidian Oregon soap opera is being driven by some seriously dark energy. Ali has taken to posing in her bedroom window late at night to give Adam a private striptease. Crispin, who’s waiting to become a billionaire when Amazon acquires Logicstyx, the company he’s helped steer into the stratosphere, is disturbed in ways his mother can face only to the extent of thinking, “Crispin had gotten carried away again.” Sarah’s hiding secrets just as explosive as those of her husband and her next-door neighbor and the neighbor’s ex-lover. Ultimately, Adam’s ill-judged attempts to protect the wife who’s turned away from him ignite a full-blown blaze. Lane’s fragmentary narrative is constantly jumpy—not just when he’s shifting from one character’s point of view to the next, but even within single sentences like “Marriage is a scoreboard.”

A fever dream of the monsters lurking beneath the suburban surface. Not even Mister Rogers would want these neighbors.

Pub Date: Sept. 5, 2023

ISBN: 9781639104734

Page Count: 272

Publisher: Crooked Lane

Review Posted Online: June 8, 2023

Kirkus Reviews Issue: July 1, 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

ISBN: 9780316563765

Page Count: 400

Publisher: Little, Brown

Review Posted Online: Sept. 21, 2023

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Oct. 15, 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

ISBN: 9781668016138

Page Count: 464

Publisher: Scribner

Review Posted Online: July 13, 2023

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Aug. 1, 2023

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