by Val McDermid ‧ RELEASE DATE: Dec. 2, 2014
This stand-alone from McDermid (Cross and Burn, 2013, etc.) combines conscientious detection with heartfelt reflections on...
A grisly discovery atop the roof of a venerable Edinburgh school slated for demolition sends two very different sets of investigators scurrying for answers rooted in the endless conflict between Serbs and Croats.
How did an 8-year-old skeleton make it to the roof of the John Drummond School, and whose skeleton is it? The official investigators, DCI Karen Pirie and DC Jason “the Mint” Murray of Police Scotland’s Historic Cases Unit, have little to go on till their inquiries about a not-quite-dormant bank account take them to professor Maggie Blake, a geographer at St. Scholastica’s College, Oxford, who’s still mourning the day eight years ago when Dimitar "Mitja" Petrovic, the Croatian Army lover who’d followed her from Dubrovnik back home, left one morning and never returned. Just as things seem to be clearing up for Karen and the Mint, they’re getting even muddier for Alan Macanespie and Theo Proctor, two underachieving drones at the International Criminal Tribunal for the Former Yugoslavia, whose activist new boss, Wilson Cagney, is determined to get them to pull their weight for a change by investigating a yearslong rash of assassinations of ICTFY targets just before they were to be arrested. Macanespie and Proctor, who have considerably fewer scruples than Karen and the Mint about how they do their job, conclude that their killer must be none other than retired Gen. Dimitar Petrovic. Working at ironic cross-purposes, the two investigative teams unwittingly duplicate, complicate and contradict each other’s discoveries as they leapfrog over repeated flashbacks to the hellish Dubrovnik landscape to come up, in miraculous synchronicity, with the real killer.This stand-alone from McDermid (Cross and Burn, 2013, etc.) combines conscientious detection with heartfelt reflections on the enduring power of the Yugoslavian breakup to wreak violence long after the 1995 Dayton Accords.
Pub Date: Dec. 2, 2014
Page Count: 384
Publisher: Atlantic Monthly
Review Posted Online: Oct. 22, 2014
Kirkus Reviews Issue: Nov. 1, 2014
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by Kathy Reichs ‧ RELEASE DATE: March 17, 2020
Forget about solving all these crimes; the signal triumph here is (spoiler) the heroine’s survival.
Another sweltering month in Charlotte, another boatload of mysteries past and present for overworked, overstressed forensic anthropologist Temperance Brennan.
A week after the night she chases but fails to catch a mysterious trespasser outside her town house, some unknown party texts Tempe four images of a corpse that looks as if it’s been chewed by wild hogs, because it has been. Showboat Medical Examiner Margot Heavner makes it clear that, breaking with her department’s earlier practice (The Bone Collection, 2016, etc.), she has no intention of calling in Tempe as a consultant and promptly identifies the faceless body herself as that of a young Asian man. Nettled by several errors in Heavner’s analysis, and even more by her willingness to share the gory details at a press conference, Tempe launches her own investigation, which is not so much off the books as against the books. Heavner isn’t exactly mollified when Tempe, aided by retired police detective Skinny Slidell and a host of experts, puts a name to the dead man. But the hints of other crimes Tempe’s identification uncovers, particularly crimes against children, spur her on to redouble her efforts despite the new M.E.’s splenetic outbursts. Before he died, it seems, Felix Vodyanov was linked to a passenger ferry that sank in 1994, an even earlier U.S. government project to research biological agents that could control human behavior, the hinky spiritual retreat Sparkling Waters, the dark web site DeepUnder, and the disappearances of at least four schoolchildren, two of whom have also turned up dead. And why on earth was Vodyanov carrying Tempe’s own contact information? The mounting evidence of ever more and ever worse skulduggery will pull Tempe deeper and deeper down what even she sees as a rabbit hole before she confronts a ringleader implicated in “Drugs. Fraud. Breaking and entering. Arson. Kidnapping. How does attempted murder sound?”Forget about solving all these crimes; the signal triumph here is (spoiler) the heroine’s survival.
Pub Date: March 17, 2020
Page Count: 352
Review Posted Online: Dec. 22, 2019
Kirkus Reviews Issue: Jan. 15, 2020
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by James Patterson ‧ RELEASE DATE: Nov. 5, 2003
As in summer movies, a triple dose of violence conceals the absence of real menace when neither victims nor avengers stir...
Dr. Alex Cross has left Metro DC Homicide for the FBI, but it’s business as usual in this laughably rough-hewn fairy tale of modern-day white slavery.
According to reliable sources, more people are being sold into slavery than ever before, and it all seems to be going down on the FBI’s watch. Atlanta ex-reporter Elizabeth Connolly, who looks just like Claudia Schiffer, is the ninth target over the past two years to be abducted by a husband-and-wife pair who travel the country at the behest of the nefarious Pasha Sorokin, the Wolf of the Red Mafiya. The only clues are those deliberately left behind by the kidnappers, who snatch fashion designer Audrey Meek from the King of Prussia Mall in full view of her children, or patrons like Audrey’s purchaser, who ends up releasing her and killing himself. Who you gonna call? Alex Cross, of course. Even though he still hasn’t finished the Agency’s training course, all the higher-ups he runs into, from hardcases who trust him to lickspittles seething with envy, have obviously read his dossier (Four Blind Mice, 2002, etc.), and they know the new guy is “close to psychic,” a “one-man flying squad” who’s already a legend, “like Clarice Starling in the movies.” It’s lucky that Cross’s reputation precedes him, because his fond creator doesn’t give him much to do here but chase suspects identified by obliging tipsters and worry about his family (Alex Jr.’s mother, alarmed at Cross’s dangerous job, is suing for custody) while the Wolf and his cronies—Sterling, Mr. Potter, the Art Director, Sphinx, and the Marvel—kidnap more dishy women (and the occasional gay man) and kill everybody who gets in their way, and quite a few poor souls who don’t.As in summer movies, a triple dose of violence conceals the absence of real menace when neither victims nor avengers stir the slightest sympathy.
Pub Date: Nov. 5, 2003
Page Count: 400
Publisher: Little, Brown
Review Posted Online: May 19, 2010
Kirkus Reviews Issue: Oct. 1, 2003
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