A plucky heroine, a kind-of mystery, and a lot of sexual hijinks keep it interesting.


A woman is forced to confront the consequences of many bad choices over the course of nine months.

When two policemen show up on her doorstep asking about a white Chevy van registered under her name, Mina Bansky knows this is just the fallout from one more bad decision in her life. She agreed to register the van for a friend named Dylan, a former felon, mostly because he “had a PhD in philosophy and the bluest eyes she had ever seen.” Newly divorced and the mother of a busy toddler, she doesn’t have time to dwell on this complication. She does, however, call her former lover, Matthew, who is also a cop, only to find that he had left town with his family, trying to work it out, but is now back in Chicago. Through flashbacks to the previous June and July, it’s revealed that Mina and Matthew met at their neighborhood jujitsu gym and proceeded to have a flaming affair until their spouses found out about the betrayal. Then, in the present time, trying to deal with the temptation of Matthew’s proximity, Mina finds her life becoming even more complicated when Dylan’s body turns up several days later. Maybe her ex-husband, who might have connections to the Russian mob, killed him? Or maybe it was because Dylan was running drugs in the van? Regardless, this little bit of mystery takes a back seat to endless cycles of Mina-and-Matthew fighting and Mina-and-Matthew sex. The novel moves back and forth from the previous summer to the present, but no matter the time period, the conflicts—and the horniness—remain the same. Mina’s got a backbone, and she refuses to apologize for wanting what she wants even as she feels shame for cheating on her husband; there is strength in her imperfection. There’s no accounting for taste, or pheromones, but she deserves better.

A plucky heroine, a kind-of mystery, and a lot of sexual hijinks keep it interesting.

Pub Date: April 4, 2023

ISBN: 9781957957050

Page Count: 269

Publisher: Agora Books

Review Posted Online: Feb. 8, 2023

Kirkus Reviews Issue: March 1, 2023

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

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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

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One of the most successful of Box’s increasingly ambitious have-it-all thrillers.


The Wyoming winter brings maverick game warden Joe Pickett poachers, murderers, spies, and some ferocious bad weather.

Seeking a wounded elk and a marauding wolf during a brutal snowstorm, Joe is amazed to discover a human corpse sticking halfway out of a metal outbuilding on the Double Diamond ranch. While he’s conscientiously photographing the crime scene, somebody starts shooting at him. Ranch foreman Clay Hutmacher refuses to say anything about the building’s purpose until he checks with billionaire ranch owner Michael Thompson; Gov. Colter Allen abruptly orders Joe off the case; and departing Twelve Sleep County Sheriff Scott Tibbs, the boss who’d do anything to avoid having Joe make waves, reports that there’s no body at the place he described. Meanwhile, Joe’s old friend Nate Romanowski, an outlaw falconer, is approached by ex–Army Ranger Jason Demo, who’s trying to attract anti-government malcontents to join the secessionist Sovereign Nation, and Joe realizes that his predatory mother-in-law, Missy, is neglecting her fifth or sixth husband, attorney Marcus Hand, who’s dying of pancreatic cancer, to cozy up to Allen, who plans to launch his campaign for reelection at the public library headed by Joe’s wife, Marybeth. What does the death of University of Wyoming engineering professor Zhang Wei, if that’s really who the dead man was, have to do with all of this malfeasance? Like a patient spider, Box plays out plotline after plotline, balancing his sympathies adroitly between anti-establishment libertarians who’ve had enough of the coastal elites and officers sworn to serve and protect their communities, before knotting them all together with a climactic revelation that for better or worse will leave you gasping.

One of the most successful of Box’s increasingly ambitious have-it-all thrillers.

Pub Date: Feb. 28, 2023

ISBN: 9780593331309

Page Count: 368

Publisher: Putnam

Review Posted Online: Jan. 12, 2023

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Feb. 1, 2023

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