Over-the-top thrills. Greaney never disappoints.

SIERRA SIX

In the 11th entry in the Gray Man series, Gentry unexpectedly faces an old foe.

Courtland Gentry joins Golf Sierra, the counterterror team led by Zack Hightower. Gentry is the new Six, or point man. The last two Sixes were KIA—“It sucked to be the Six.” So the team expects the same fate for the new guy. Chapters alternate between 12 years ago and the present, with harrowing violence and high stakes in both. One bad man connects the two threads: The Golf Sierra team’s current antagonist is Murad Khan, aka Pasha the Kashmiri. The new Six must learn how to work with a team because he’s used to killing on his own. Gentry’s CIA code name is Violator, but he’s also known as the Gray Man. In the present, Khan is thought to be dead until he and Gentry spot each other while the Pakistani plans mass murder of non-Muslims. Gentry has insanely good fighting skills combined with luck and a powerful desire to off “assholes who so richly deserved to die.” He tells Hightower that “I don’t have a death wish. I have a kill wish.” And oh, does the lad get his wish. Both threads have a strong, brave, and appealing woman, and our hero is attracted to both. Alas, Six is too busy for sex. So many bad guys, so little time. Greaney has created a great series character who channels his murderous urges into where they’re most needed (overseas) and leaves the rest of us alone. Gentry brims with self-confidence, such as when he pilots his team over a rugged mountain range in a helicopter he’s not qualified to fly. Those are some of the hairiest, scariest scenes, along with a deadly high-rise battle in the middle of Mumbai monsoon winds.

Over-the-top thrills. Greaney never disappoints.

Pub Date: Feb. 15, 2022

ISBN: 978-0-593-09899-8

Page Count: 528

Publisher: Berkley

Review Posted Online: March 25, 2022

Kirkus Reviews Issue: April 15, 2022

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Finding positivity in negative pregnancy-test results, this depiction of a marriage in crisis is nearly perfect.

ALL YOUR PERFECTS

Named for an imperfectly worded fortune cookie, Hoover's (It Ends with Us, 2016, etc.) latest compares a woman’s relationship with her husband before and after she finds out she’s infertile.

Quinn meets her future husband, Graham, in front of her soon-to-be-ex-fiance’s apartment, where Graham is about to confront him for having an affair with his girlfriend. A few years later, they are happily married but struggling to conceive. The “then and now” format—with alternating chapters moving back and forth in time—allows a hopeful romance to blossom within a dark but relatable dilemma. Back then, Quinn’s bad breakup leads her to the love of her life. In the now, she’s exhausted a laundry list of fertility options, from IVF treatments to adoption, and the silver lining is harder to find. Quinn’s bad relationship with her wealthy mother also prevents her from asking for more money to throw at the problem. But just when Quinn’s narrative starts to sound like she’s writing a long Facebook rant about her struggles, she reveals the larger issue: Ever since she and Graham have been trying to have a baby, intimacy has become a chore, and she doesn’t know how to tell him. Instead, she hopes the contents of a mystery box she’s kept since their wedding day will help her decide their fate. With a few well-timed silences, Hoover turns the fairly common problem of infertility into the more universal problem of poor communication. Graham and Quinn may or may not become parents, but if they don’t talk about their feelings, they won’t remain a couple, either.

Finding positivity in negative pregnancy-test results, this depiction of a marriage in crisis is nearly perfect.

Pub Date: July 17, 2018

ISBN: 978-1-5011-7159-8

Page Count: 320

Publisher: Atria

Review Posted Online: May 1, 2018

Kirkus Reviews Issue: May 15, 2018

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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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DEVOLUTION

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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