by Wendy Corsi Staub ‧ RELEASE DATE: Oct. 26, 2015
Though this new series from Staub (Blood Red, 2015, etc.) is being compared to Mary Higgins Clark, the story, for better or...
A young widow stumbles on a town filled with psychic energy that encourages her to investigate an accidental death that may have been a murder.
Following her husband Sam’s death after a long illness and the loss of her job as a teacher, Bella Jordan, out of money and options on where to live, is forced to make the trek from New York to Chicago to start a new life with her mother-in-law. That’s not what Bella wants, but she needs to have some way to take care of Max, her young son. Not very far along the way to Chicago, Bella and Max rescue a cat who seems determined to meet its end on the road. Unable to stop herself from trying to deliver the pet to its owner, Bella detours into the little town of Lily Dale. Though she finds the guesthouse the owner ran, she’s too late to meet Leona, who was recently found drowned in spite of her lifelong fear of water. The town’s residents press Bella into service to take Leona’s place, at least for the summer. After all, Lily Dale is a tourist destination, with folks coming from all over the country to enjoy the spirits. That’s the spirits of those who have died, not the ones that come in bottles, though after a few interactions with the kooky residents, Bella thinks it could be both. Even though she’s a skeptic, Bella has some small hope that being surrounded by the spirit world could put her in touch with Sam. Instead, it leads her into wondering whether Leona’s death was an accident or whether there’s something more afoot.Though this new series from Staub (Blood Red, 2015, etc.) is being compared to Mary Higgins Clark, the story, for better or worse, is a good deal sweeter and gentler than Clark. No spirits were bruised in the writing of this tale.
Pub Date: Oct. 26, 2015
Page Count: 304
Publisher: Crooked Lane
Review Posted Online: Aug. 17, 2015
Kirkus Reviews Issue: Sept. 1, 2015
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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 C.J. Box ‧ RELEASE DATE: July 28, 2015
A suspenseful, professional-grade north country procedural whose heroine, a deft mix of compassion and attitude, would be...
Box takes another break from his highly successful Joe Pickett series (Stone Cold, 2014, etc.) for a stand-alone about a police detective, a developmentally delayed boy, and a package everyone in North Dakota wants to grab.
Cassandra Dewell can’t leave Montana’s Lewis and Clark County fast enough for her new job as chief investigator for Jon Kirkbride, sheriff of Bakken County. She leaves behind no memories worth keeping: her husband is dead, her boss has made no bones about disliking her, and she’s looking forward to new responsibilities and the higher salary underwritten by North Dakota’s sudden oil boom. But Bakken County has its own issues. For one thing, it’s cold—a whole lot colder than the coldest weather Cassie’s ever imagined. For another, the job she turns out to have been hired for—leading an investigation her new boss doesn’t feel he can entrust to his own force—makes her queasy. The biggest problem, though, is one she doesn’t know about until it slaps her in the face. A fatal car accident that was anything but accidental has jarred loose a stash of methamphetamines and cash that’s become the center of a battle between the Sons of Freedom, Bakken County’s traditional drug sellers, and MS-13, the Salvadorian upstarts who are muscling in on their territory. It’s a setup that leaves scant room for law enforcement officers or for Kyle Westergaard, the 12-year-old paperboy damaged since birth by fetal alcohol syndrome, who’s walked away from the wreck with a prize all too many people would kill for.A suspenseful, professional-grade north country procedural whose heroine, a deft mix of compassion and attitude, would be welcome to return and tie up the gaping loose end Box leaves. The unrelenting cold makes this the perfect beach read.
Pub Date: July 28, 2015
Page Count: 272
Review Posted Online: April 21, 2015
Kirkus Reviews Issue: May 15, 2015
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