by William P. Eshleman ‧ RELEASE DATE: Nov. 19, 2021
An often engaging action novel, bolstered by its exotic setting and realistic protagonist.
Awards & Accolades
A grad student investigates the tragic death of a diving partner and stumbles on a crime ring in Eshleman’s debut thriller.
Readers first meet Peter Case as he’s doing work for his doctorate in a science-related field, mid-dive near a Jamaican marine lab, where his attentive and analytic manner is immediately evident. Early chapters show the energetic, likable protagonist bantering with his diving buddy Wayne Emery, trading friendly barbs and insults in an appealing show of camaraderie. A mysterious explosion occurs underwater and Emery dies from apparent radiation poisoning; Case tries to get to the bottom of what happened and finds himself ushered into a broader world of dangerous intrigue and espionage. Eshleman proves to be an adept writer of action scenes, but what makes his work stand out are his hyperrealistic treatments of diving and marine life. His keen eye for detailed scene-setting results in a description of a seedy, smoke-filled bar (“An old jukebox, speakers designed for more melodic tunes, vibrated in the corner of the room with every bass note”) that’s nearly as vivid as more sophisticated scenes set underwater. The frenetic pace of the story also works in the story’s favor as Case becomes embroiled in what turns out to be an international conspiracy with CIA involvement. Some of the characters, including the novel’s villain, fall into fairly standard thriller tropes, but Case himself is an impressively crafted protagonist who stands strongly at the center of the action. At first, he seems like an unlikely hero, but his dogged observational skills and skeptical nature make him a valuable investigator, and the book closes with a way forward for him to headline future novels in Eshleman’s fictional universe.An often engaging action novel, bolstered by its exotic setting and realistic protagonist.
Pub Date: Nov. 19, 2021
Page Count: 264
Review Posted Online: Feb. 23, 2022
Review Program: Kirkus Indie
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by Michael Connelly ‧ RELEASE DATE: Nov. 7, 2023
The most richly accomplished of the brothers’ pairings to date—and given Connelly’s high standards, that’s saying a lot.
Harry Bosch and the Lincoln Lawyer team up to exonerate a woman who’s already served five years for killing her ex-husband.
The evidence against Lucinda Sanz was so overwhelming that she followed the advice of Frank Silver, the B-grade attorney who’d elbowed his way onto her defense, and pleaded no contest to manslaughter to avoid a life sentence for shooting Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Deputy Roberto Sanz in the back as he stalked out of her yard after their latest argument. But now that her son, Eric, is 13, old enough to get recruited by local gangs, she wants to be out of stir and at his side. So she writes to Mickey Haller, who asks his half-brother for help. After all his years working for the LAPD, Bosch is adamant about not working for a criminal defendant, even though Haller’s already taken him on as an associate so that he can get access to private health insurance and a UCLA medical trial for an experimental cancer treatment. But the habeas corpus hearing Haller’s aiming for isn’t, strictly speaking, a criminal defense proceeding, and even a cursory examination of the forensic evidence raises Bosch’s hackles. Bolstered by Bosch’s discoveries and a state-of-the-art digital reconstruction of the shooting, Haller heads to court to face Assistant Attorney General Hayden Morris, who has a few tricks up his own sleeve. The endlessly resourceful courtroom back-and-forth is furious in its intensity, although Haller eventually upstages Bosch, Morris, and everyone else in sight. What really stands out here, however, is that Connelly never lets you forget, from his title onward, the life-or-death issues behind every move in the game.The most richly accomplished of the brothers’ pairings to date—and given Connelly’s high standards, that’s saying a lot.
Pub Date: Nov. 7, 2023
Page Count: 400
Publisher: Little, Brown
Review Posted Online: Sept. 21, 2023
Kirkus Reviews Issue: Oct. 15, 2023
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by Susan Mallery ‧ RELEASE DATE: May 31, 2022
A book begging to be read on the beach, with the sun warming the sand and salt in the air: pure escapism.
Three woman who join together to rent a large space along the beach in Los Angeles for their stores—a gift shop, a bakery, and a bookstore—become fast friends as they each experience the highs, and lows, of love.
Bree is a friendly but standoffish bookstore owner who keeps everyone she knows at arm’s length, from guys she meets in bars to her friends. Mikki is a settled-in-her-routines divorced mother of two, happily a mom, gift-shop owner, and co-parent with her ex-husband, Perry. And Ashley is a young, very-much-in-love bakery owner specializing in muffins who devotes herself to giving back to the community through a nonprofit that helps community members develop skills and find jobs. When the women meet drooling over a boardwalk storefront that none of them can afford on her own, a plan is hatched to divide the space in three, and a friendship—and business partnership—is born. An impromptu celebration on the beach at sunset with champagne becomes a weekly touchpoint to their lives as they learn more about each other and themselves. Their friendship blossoms as they help each other, offering support, hard truths, and loving backup. Author Mallery has created a delightful story of friendship between three women that also offers a variety of love stories as they fall in love, make mistakes, and figure out how to be the best—albeit still flawed—versions of themselves. The men are similarly flawed and human. While the story comes down clearly on the side of all-encompassing love, Mallery has struck a careful balance: There is just enough sex to be spicy, just enough swearing to be naughty, and just enough heartbreak to avoid being cloying.A book begging to be read on the beach, with the sun warming the sand and salt in the air: pure escapism.
Pub Date: May 31, 2022
Page Count: 352
Publisher: Harlequin MIRA
Review Posted Online: March 15, 2022
Kirkus Reviews Issue: April 1, 2022
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