A thrilling gothic-romance novel that melds family secrets, magic, and marriage—with room for a sequel, of course.

The Angel of the Mansion

A young aspiring model becomes embroiled in supernatural family dynamics in Rich’s debut paranormal romance.

Mediterranean-born, 18-year-old Anis accompanies her best friend to a modeling contest. There, Anis is noticed by the booking agency’s reps for having a look with “naturalness and genuineness,” and, in a lucrative arrangement, she begins working with them. In Manhattan, she meets Michael Solomon, a mysterious, obsessive, controlling man almost twice her age, at a fashion show. Not long afterward, she’s mysteriously attacked by an unknown man. As she recovers, Michael continues to pursue her, and he seems to exhibit a mystical power over her. He soon proposes marriage, and eventually she returns his affections. She discovers that he lives on a grand family estate, as he’s a descendant of the wealthy, powerful Solomon banking family. The couple’s marriage confronts the complications of business schedules as well as the awkwardness of befriending in-laws. Against a backdrop of international political unrest, Anis becomes acquainted with the house and its residents, but her loneliness deepens, and her habitual drinking and bizarre ghostly visions don’t help. Although her best friend, John, visits and offers solace, “the golden cage was beginning to lose its interest, and the role of the frosty queen had frozen me too,” she laments, and she despairs of the fact that she’s bound to Michael through a premarital agreement. Rich throws other elements into the moody mix: mystery women, including Michael’s obsessed ex-lover Grace; initiation rites; temples; magic spells; a mysterious brotherhood; and remote locales, such as Lake Como in Italy and Agio Oros in Greece. These aspects elevate the novel, as told from Anis’ first-person perspective, from a mere marital melodrama to an otherworldly, exquisitely detailed saga of mythical, spectral proportions. Although Anis eventually pleads for Michael to “take me out of this circus,” readers will be happy that they stand strong through it all. Overall, Rich has an impressive knack for literary pacing, and she also has the intuition not to overcomplicate her fiction with too many digressions. These qualities make it ideal for both YA and adult audiences who are eager for a sweeping, potent brew of danger and wizardry.

A thrilling gothic-romance novel that melds family secrets, magic, and marriage—with room for a sequel, of course.   

Pub Date: July 29, 2016

ISBN: 978-1-4917-9848-5

Page Count: 526

Publisher: iUniverse

Review Posted Online: Nov. 3, 2016

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Dec. 15, 2016

Did you like this book?

No Comments Yet

Forget about solving all these crimes; the signal triumph here is (spoiler) the heroine’s survival.

A CONSPIRACY OF BONES

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

ISBN: 978-1-9821-3888-2

Page Count: 352

Publisher: Scribner

Review Posted Online: Dec. 23, 2019

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Jan. 15, 2020

Did you like this book?

POP GOES THE WEASEL

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

Did you like this book?

more