Perfect for readers who wish To Kill a Mockingbird had been presented from a slightly older, male point of view.

NOTHING MORE DANGEROUS

Eskens’ latest novel is a warmhearted story of a white teenager's awakening to the racial tensions that run through his Missouri town in 1976.

Years before he’ll become a successful attorney (The Shadows We Hide, 2018, etc.), Boady Sanden struggles to navigate all the usual high school ordeals in small-town Jessup, including boring subjects and bullying by the likes of all-state wrestler and prom king Jarvis Halcomb. In Boady’s case, these everyday problems are aggravated by his outsider status as a non-Catholic freshman at St. Ignatius High School, his home life with his widowed, introverted mother, Emma, and, most recently, the arrival of some new neighbors, the Elgins. Charles Elgin is definitely an improvement on indolent Cecil Halcomb, Jarvis' father, whom he replaces as manager of the local manufacturing plant after bookkeeper Lida Poe disappears with more than $100,000 of the plant’s money. Jenna Elgin is excellent company for Emma Sanden, whom she helps draw out of her shell. And after a comically unfortunate first encounter, Boady quickly takes to their son, Thomas, who’s exactly his age. But the Elgins, like Lida Poe, are African American, and the combination of an unsolved embezzlement, good old boy Cecil’s displacement by an outsider, and the town’s incipient racism works slowly but inexorably to put Boady, recruited by the Crusaders of Racial Purity and Strength, under pressure to betray his new friendship. Declining to join the racists but repeatedly running away rather than refusing their demands point blank, Boady must navigate a perilous route to supporting his community and claiming his own adult identity.

Perfect for readers who wish To Kill a Mockingbird had been presented from a slightly older, male point of view.

Pub Date: Nov. 12, 2019

ISBN: 978-0-316-50972-5

Page Count: 304

Publisher: Mulholland Books/Little, Brown

Review Posted Online: Aug. 19, 2019

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Sept. 1, 2019

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Proficient but eminently predictable. Amid all the time shifts and embedded backstories, the most surprising feature is how...

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THE A LIST

A convicted killer’s list of five people he wants dead runs the gamut from the wife he’s already had murdered to franchise heroine Ali Reynolds.

Back in the day, women came from all over to consult Santa Clarita fertility specialist Dr. Edward Gilchrist. Many of them left his care happily pregnant, never dreaming that the father of the babies they carried was none other than the physician himself, who donated his own sperm rather than that of the handsome, athletic, disease-free men pictured in his scrapbook. When Alexandra Munsey’s son, Evan, is laid low by the kidney disease he’s inherited from his biological father and she returns to Gilchrist in search of the donor’s medical records, the roof begins to fall in on him. By the time it’s done falling, he’s serving a life sentence in Folsom Prison for commissioning the death of his wife, Dawn, the former nurse and sometime egg donor who’d turned on him. With nothing left to lose, Gilchrist tattoos himself with the initials of five people he blames for his fall: Dawn; Leo Manuel Aurelio, the hit man he’d hired to dispose of her; Kaitlyn Todd, the nurse/receptionist who took Dawn’s place; Alex Munsey, whose search for records upset his apple cart; and Ali Reynolds, the TV reporter who’d helped put Alex in touch with the dozen other women who formed the Progeny Project because their children looked just like hers. No matter that Ali’s been out of both California and the news business for years; Gilchrist and his enablers know that revenge can’t possibly be served too cold. Wonder how far down that list they’ll get before Ali, aided once more by Frigg, the methodical but loose-cannon AI first introduced in Duel to the Death (2018), turns on them?

Proficient but eminently predictable. Amid all the time shifts and embedded backstories, the most surprising feature is how little the boundary-challenged AI, who gets into the case more or less inadvertently, differs from your standard human sidekick with issues.

Pub Date: April 2, 2019

ISBN: 978-1-5011-5101-9

Page Count: 352

Publisher: Gallery Books/Simon & Schuster

Review Posted Online: Feb. 19, 2019

Kirkus Reviews Issue: March 1, 2019

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The loose ends that make this the least satisfactory of Joe’s three cases to date still don’t inhibit Box’s gift for nonstop...

WINTERKILL

The latest in an award-winning series set in the Bighorn Mountains (Savage Run, 2002, etc.).

Minutes after Wyoming game warden Joe Pickett arrests Lamar Gardiner, District Supervisor for the Twelve Sleep National Forest, for firing into a herd of elk, killing seven animals and blindly continuing to reload with cigarettes after he runs out of shells, Gardiner manages to handcuff Joe to his steering wheel and bolt off into a winter storm, only to turn up pinned to a tree with a pair of arrows, his throat cut. And things get even messier from that point on. The attack on a federal agent, together with reports that the Nation of the Rocky Mountain Sovereign Citizens has established an encampment in Twelve Sleep, brings gung-ho US Forest Service investigator Melinda Strickland and FBI sharpshooter Dick Munker, a veteran of Waco and Ruby Ridge, to town. Strickland maintains that she’s just trying to get justice for a murdered official, but she seems awfully eager to tie the perp to the Sovereigns. By the time Joe arrests one of Gardiner’s disappointing killers and identifies the other, Strickland and Munker are already planning an all-out attack on the encampment. The prospect is a personal nightmare for Joe, since Jeannie Keeley, the drifter whose abandoned daughter April Joe and his wife have been trying to adopt, has reclaimed April and spirited her off to the dubious shelter of the Sovereigns.

The loose ends that make this the least satisfactory of Joe’s three cases to date still don’t inhibit Box’s gift for nonstop action and his ability to see every side of the most divisive issues in the West.

Pub Date: May 12, 2003

ISBN: 0-399-15045-5

Page Count: 400

Publisher: Putnam

Review Posted Online: May 20, 2010

Kirkus Reviews Issue: April 15, 2003

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