A disturbingly violent portrayal of a systemic problem that will leave you sympathetic but unsatisfied.


Despite the title, a crime reporter’s deeply disturbing past comes back to haunt her.

Sawyer Brooks and her two sisters all bear psychological scars from years of living with sexually abusive parents. Sawyer, who’s made a name for herself as a crime reporter, is covering the case of the Black Wigs, a cadre of female vigilantes wreaking revenge on unconvicted rapists by kidnapping and humiliating them. Sawyer’s sympathetic to their cause, but when men start to turn up dead, she fears that a copycat is at work and uses all her sources to track down the backgrounds of the men involved. Although she turns up information that links the crimes to a Dickensian orphanage that eventually burned down, her nemesis, Detective Perez, won't listen to her theories. She’s forced to work with tough fellow reporter Lexi Holmes, who’s far less sympathetic to the wronged women and wants to see them unmasked. Sawyer enlists her sister Aria, who works at a shelter and prefers animals to people, to investigate while worrying about Harper, the elder sister whose marriage is very fragile and who’s keeping secrets from everyone. Although all the women have been deeply wronged by a legal system not always sympathetic to their suffering, Sawyer still finds it hard to believe that the Black Wigs would resort to murder.

A disturbingly violent portrayal of a systemic problem that will leave you sympathetic but unsatisfied.

Pub Date: May 4, 2021

ISBN: 978-1-5420-9392-7

Page Count: 288

Publisher: Thomas & Mercer

Review Posted Online: Jan. 27, 2021

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Feb. 15, 2021

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Britain teeters on the brink of scandal and war in this charming combination of history and mystery.


Christmas 1935 finds murder stalking the British royal family.

Lady Georgiana Rannoch is settling into married life with dashing Darcy O’Mara, who for once isn’t off on some secret government mission. When the house party she’s planned falls apart because almost no one she’s invited can come, she accepts an invitation of her own. Darcy’s eccentric aunt Ermintrude asks the newlyweds to Wymondham Hall, on the edge of the royal Sandringham estate, and hints that Queen Mary especially wants Georgiana to come. There are enough rooms on offer to allow the inclusion of Georgie’s brother, Binky, the Duke of Rannoch, his annoying wife, Fig, their children, and Georgie’s mother, the dowager Duchess, who’s suddenly arrived from Germany. Georgie even brings along Queenie, her cook, who has a reputation for causing problems. The biggest surprise is the arrival of Wallis Simpson, whom Georgie’s cousin David, the Prince of Wales, wants close by his side while he visits his ailing father. The British press has been keeping Mrs. Simpson, who’s about to divorce her husband, a secret from the public, but the scandal she’s caused is well known among the aristocracy. David is almost shot during a hunt; Mrs. Simpson is knocked out; and Georgie’s ride with the prince’s friend results in his death. Are these all accidents or cleverly concealed murder attempts? Queen Mary asks Georgie, who has a track record of successful sleuthing, to discover the truth.

Britain teeters on the brink of scandal and war in this charming combination of history and mystery.

Pub Date: Oct. 5, 2021

ISBN: 978-0-440000-08-2

Page Count: 304

Publisher: Berkley

Review Posted Online: July 28, 2021

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Aug. 15, 2021

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After a flight in fantasy with When the Wind Blows (1998), Patterson goes to ground with another slash-and-squirm psychokiller page-turner, this one dedicated to “the millions of Alex Cross readers, who so frequently ask, can’t you write faster?” By day, Geoffrey Shafer is a charming, 42-year-old British Embassy paper-pusher with a picture-perfect family and a shady past as an MI-6 secret agent. Come sundown, he swallows a pharmacy of psychoactive pills, gulps three black coffees loaded with sugar, and roams the streets of Washington, D.C., in a battered cab, where, disguised as a black man, he rolls dice to determine which among his black female fares he—ll murder. Afterwards he dumps his naked victims in crime-infested back alleys of black- slum neighborhoods, then sends e-mails boasting of his accomplishments to three other former MI-6 agents involved in a hellish Internet role-playing game. “I sensed I was at the start of another homicide mess,” sighs forensic-psychologist turned homicide-detective Alex Cross. Cross yearns to catch the “Jane Doe murderer” but is thwarted by Det. Chief George Pittman, who assigns sexy Det. Patsy Hampton to investigate Cross and come up with a reason for dismissing him. Meanwhile, Cross’s fiancÇe is kidnaped during a Bermuda vacation, and an anonymous e-mail warns him to back off. He doesn’t, of course, and just when it appears that Patterson is sleep-walking through his story, Cross nabs Shafer minutes after Shafer kills Det. Hampton. During the subsequent high-visibility trail, Shafer manages to make the jury believe that he’s innocent and that Cross was trying to frame him. When all seems lost, a sympathetic British intelligence chief offers to help Cross bring down Shafer, and the other homicidal game-players, during a showdown on the breezy beaches of Jamaica. Kinky mayhem, a cartoonish villain, regular glimpses of the kindly Cross caring for his loved ones, and an ending that spells a sequel: Patterson’s fans couldn’t ask for more.

Pub Date: Oct. 19, 1999

ISBN: 0-316-69328-6

Page Count: 432

Publisher: Little, Brown

Review Posted Online: May 20, 2010

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Aug. 15, 1999

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