A finely paced crime thriller that should appeal to new and established fans of the series.

READ REVIEW

TUMBLING DOWN

A DETECTIVE JERICHO NOVEL

The brutal murder of a waitress leads a Long Island detective to the most complicated case of his career in this sixth installment of a series.

Detective Neil Jericho of the East Hampton Police Department is visiting his daughter, Katie, when he receives a call from his supervisor, Chief Krauss. A waitress was found murdered and Krauss wants Jericho to investigate. The victim is identified as 21-year-old Sally Espinosa Baez and an examination of her body reveals that she is a transsexual. Jericho turns to dispatcher Evangeline “Vangie” Clark for help. Vangie and her wife, Ingrid, attend meetings of the Hamptons LGBTQ Center and she can assist with the nuances of the case. The search for Baez’s next of kin leads Jericho to Phyllis Sonnenschein, an LGBTQ activist and candidate for town supervisor of East Hampton. Sonnenschein opened her home to Baez and she believes the killing is a hate crime. Evidence gathered at the homicide scene points in that direction. Meanwhile, Jericho’s girlfriend, tattoo artist Rainbow, and her business are targeted by a member of a hate group. As both cases intensify, Jericho discovers surprising secrets in Baez’s past that may hold the key to her murder. The latest installment of Marks’ (Amazing Detective, 2017, etc.) series starring Jericho deepens the development of the central characters while featuring a complex murder mystery full of surprising twists and turns. The narrative is anchored by Jericho, a dedicated detective with an unerring sense of justice. His devotion to his job cost him his marriage and he is determined not to make the same mistakes in his relationship with Rainbow. The supporting characters are equally well-developed, particularly Vangie, a 911 dispatcher who aspires to move up within the department. The investigation into the murder of Baez unfolds methodically as Jericho uncovers the tragic circumstances of her past and the mystery surrounding her death. That said, the editing is inconsistent in spots. For example, medical examiner John Alvarez is referred to as “Alvarez” and “Alvares.”

A finely paced crime thriller that should appeal to new and established fans of the series.

Pub Date: Sept. 5, 2018

ISBN: N/A

Page Count: 259

Publisher: Top Tier Lit

Review Posted Online: Oct. 30, 2018

Did you like this book?

No Comments Yet

A tasty, if not always tasteful, tale of supernatural mayhem that fans of King and Crichton alike will enjoy.

DEVOLUTION

Are we not men? We are—well, ask Bigfoot, as Brooks does in this delightful yarn, following on his bestseller World War Z (2006).

A zombie apocalypse is one thing. A volcanic eruption is quite another, for, as the journalist who does a framing voice-over narration for Brooks’ latest puts it, when Mount Rainier popped its cork, “it was the psychological aspect, the hyperbole-fueled hysteria that had ended up killing the most people.” Maybe, but the sasquatches whom the volcano displaced contributed to the statistics, too, if only out of self-defense. Brooks places the epicenter of the Bigfoot war in a high-tech hideaway populated by the kind of people you might find in a Jurassic Park franchise: the schmo who doesn’t know how to do much of anything but tries anyway, the well-intentioned bleeding heart, the know-it-all intellectual who turns out to know the wrong things, the immigrant with a tough backstory and an instinct for survival. Indeed, the novel does double duty as a survival manual, packed full of good advice—for instance, try not to get wounded, for “injury turns you from a giver to a taker. Taking up our resources, our time to care for you.” Brooks presents a case for making room for Bigfoot in the world while peppering his narrative with timely social criticism about bad behavior on the human side of the conflict: The explosion of Rainier might have been better forecast had the president not slashed the budget of the U.S. Geological Survey, leading to “immediate suspension of the National Volcano Early Warning System,” and there’s always someone around looking to monetize the natural disaster and the sasquatch-y onslaught that follows. Brooks is a pro at building suspense even if it plays out in some rather spectacularly yucky episodes, one involving a short spear that takes its name from “the sucking sound of pulling it out of the dead man’s heart and lungs.” Grossness aside, it puts you right there on the scene.

A tasty, if not always tasteful, tale of supernatural mayhem that fans of King and Crichton alike will enjoy.

Pub Date: June 16, 2020

ISBN: 978-1-9848-2678-7

Page Count: 304

Publisher: Del Rey/Ballantine

Review Posted Online: Feb. 10, 2020

Kirkus Reviews Issue: March 1, 2020

Did you like this book?

Kin “[find] each other’s lives inscrutable” in this rich, sharp story about the way identity is formed.

Our Verdict

  • Our Verdict
  • GET IT

  • New York Times Bestseller

  • IndieBound Bestseller

THE VANISHING HALF

Inseparable identical twin sisters ditch home together, and then one decides to vanish.

The talented Bennett fuels her fiction with secrets—first in her lauded debut, The Mothers (2016), and now in the assured and magnetic story of the Vignes sisters, light-skinned women parked on opposite sides of the color line. Desiree, the “fidgety twin,” and Stella, “a smart, careful girl,” make their break from stultifying rural Mallard, Louisiana, becoming 16-year-old runaways in 1954 New Orleans. The novel opens 14 years later as Desiree, fleeing a violent marriage in D.C., returns home with a different relative: her 8-year-old daughter, Jude. The gossips are agog: “In Mallard, nobody married dark....Marrying a dark man and dragging his blueblack child all over town was one step too far.” Desiree's decision seals Jude’s misery in this “colorstruck” place and propels a new generation of flight: Jude escapes on a track scholarship to UCLA. Tending bar as a side job in Beverly Hills, she catches a glimpse of her mother’s doppelgänger. Stella, ensconced in White society, is shedding her fur coat. Jude, so Black that strangers routinely stare, is unrecognizable to her aunt. All this is expertly paced, unfurling before the book is half finished; a reader can guess what is coming. Bennett is deeply engaged in the unknowability of other people and the scourge of colorism. The scene in which Stella adopts her White persona is a tour de force of doubling and confusion. It calls up Toni Morrison’s The Bluest Eye, the book's 50-year-old antecedent. Bennett's novel plays with its characters' nagging feelings of being incomplete—for the twins without each other; for Jude’s boyfriend, Reese, who is trans and seeks surgery; for their friend Barry, who performs in drag as Bianca. Bennett keeps all these plot threads thrumming and her social commentary crisp. In the second half, Jude spars with her cousin Kennedy, Stella's daughter, a spoiled actress.

Kin “[find] each other’s lives inscrutable” in this rich, sharp story about the way identity is formed.

Pub Date: June 2, 2020

ISBN: 978-0-525-53629-1

Page Count: 352

Publisher: Riverhead

Review Posted Online: March 15, 2020

Kirkus Reviews Issue: April 1, 2020

Did you like this book?

more