Nonstop action and an intricate plot weave together to create another thrill ride for fans of Sharp's heroine—though the...

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FOX HUNTER

Charlotte "Charlie" Fox (Absence of Light, 2016, etc.), a tough-as-beef-jerky former British soldier who works private security, travels to Iraq to find her former lover in Sharp’s latest meticulously detailed adventure.

Charlie left the military in disgrace following her rape at the hands of four of her former squad-mates, but she wasn’t the only one affected by the incident. Another Special Forces solider, Sean Meyer, also lost his career due to the blowback and eventually became Charlie’s lover. Sean formed Armstrong-Meyer, a successful security partnership with Parker Armstrong, and Charlie also went to work there. Following a shooting, Sean and Charlie split, and as this book opens, Parker has dispatched her to Iraq, where Sean's gone missing, to try to track him down and determine whether or not he killed Michael Clay, one of the men who raped Charlie. While looking into Clay’s death, Charlie meets another former soldier named Luisa Dawson, who sets off with Charlie to piece together what happened to Clay and why. Dawson, another woman in a heavily male profession, and Charlie are soon abducted and warned off the investigation by a group of brutal and heavily armed Russians who won’t tell the women why they’re interested in Clay’s death or why they want them gone. Soon, Charlie and Dawson are on a convoluted trail involving a ghost from Charlie’s past and some missing artifacts. Charlie is no girly-girl; she’s tough, driven, and very, very deadly. Sharp’s series featuring the troubled and violent Charlie stands out for its knowledgeable and convincing situations and well-crafted action sequences. When Charlie talks tactics, weapons, or reconnaissance, it rings true. Sharp writes her as emotionally disillusioned and vulnerable but never helpless. Charlie’s more likely to do the rescuing than be bailed out herself.

Nonstop action and an intricate plot weave together to create another thrill ride for fans of Sharp's heroine—though the book is heavily dependent on back story that readers of her previous adventures will find easier to follow.

Pub Date: Aug. 8, 2017

ISBN: 978-1-68177-438-1

Page Count: 400

Publisher: Pegasus Crime

Review Posted Online: June 6, 2017

Kirkus Reviews Issue: June 15, 2017

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A kicky, kinky, wildly inventive 21st-century mashup with franker language and a higher body count than Hamlet.

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SHAKESPEARE FOR SQUIRRELS

Manic parodist Moore, fresh off a season in 1947 San Francisco (Noir, 2018), returns with a rare gift for Shakespeare fans who think A Midsummer Night’s Dream would be perfect if only it were a little more madcap.

Cast adrift by pirates together with his apprentice, halfwit giant Drool, and Jeff, his barely less intelligent monkey, Pocket of Dog Snogging upon Ouze, jester to the late King Lear, washes ashore in Shakespeare’s Athens, where Cobweb, a squirrel by day and fairy by night, takes him under her wing and other parts. Soon after he encounters Robin Goodfellow (the Puck), jester to shadow king Oberon, and Nick Bottom and the other clueless mechanicals rehearsing Pyramus and Thisby in a nearby forest before they present it in celebration of the wedding of Theseus, Duke of Athens, to Hippolyta, the captive Amazon queen who’s captured his heart, Pocket (The Serpent of Venice, 2014, etc.) finds Robin fatally shot by an arrow. Suspected briefly of the murder himself, he’s commissioned, first by Hippolyta, then by the unwitting Theseus, to identify the Puck’s killer. Oh, and Egeus, the Duke’s steward, wants him to find and execute Lysander, who’s run off with Egeus’ daughter, Hermia, instead of marrying Helena, who’s in love with Demetrius. As English majors can attest, a remarkable amount of this madness can already be found in Shakespeare’s play. Moore’s contribution is to amp up the couplings, bawdy language, violence, and metatextual analogies between the royals, the fairies, the mechanicals, his own interloping hero, and any number of other plays by the Bard.

A kicky, kinky, wildly inventive 21st-century mashup with franker language and a higher body count than Hamlet.

Pub Date: May 12, 2020

ISBN: 978-0-06-243402-9

Page Count: 288

Publisher: Morrow/HarperCollins

Review Posted Online: Feb. 9, 2020

Kirkus Reviews Issue: March 1, 2020

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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

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