A stunning, emotionally resonant thriller.

IT ALL FALLS DOWN

The troubled Nora Watts searches for the truth about her father’s supposed suicide in Kamal’s follow-up to The Lost Ones (2017).

Nora has a knack for finding missing people, but after a case involving her 16-year-old daughter, Bonnie, nearly killed her, she’s taken on something more low key: helping her former employer, Sebastian Crow, who is dying of cancer, write his memoirs while taking much needed comfort in her dog, Whisper. When a man approaches her claiming to have served with her father, Samuel, in Lebanon, Nora decides to leave Vancouver and head to Detroit , where her father, a survivor of the Sixties Scoop in Canada—during which children of Indigenous heritage were forcibly put up for adoption—grew up. In the process, she makes shocking discoveries about her Palestinian mother, Sabrina, who abruptly left Nora and her sister, Lorelei, when they were little. After she’s attacked in her hotel room, it’s obvious that there may be much more to her father’s death than she thought. Meanwhile, Nora’s old AA sponsor, ex-cop Jon Brazuca, is asked by his billionaire friend, Bernard Lam, to find out who the dealer was who supplied his pregnant mistress, Clementine, with the drugs that killed her. Brazuca’s search leads him to a dangerous gang that may have ties to the people who nearly killed Nora and Bonnie, and he discovers that Nora is in grave danger. Although not as bloody as the first book, this installment is no less compelling or gritty, and Nora, who remains as prickly and conflicted as ever, finds danger everywhere she goes. Kamal laces her narrative with a palpable melancholy, effectively capturing the urban decay of Detroit while emphasizing the vibrancy and hope of the people who inhabit it. An explosive finale, which takes place during Detroit’s yearly Angel’s Night, sets the stage for more to come from this complicated, flawed, and utterly enthralling heroine.

A stunning, emotionally resonant thriller.

Pub Date: July 3, 2018

ISBN: 978-0-06-256577-8

Page Count: 336

Publisher: Morrow/HarperCollins

Review Posted Online: May 1, 2018

Kirkus Reviews Issue: May 15, 2018

Did you like this book?

No Comments Yet

Too much drama at the end detracts from a finely wrought and subtle conundrum.

THE WOMAN IN CABIN 10

Ware (In A Dark, Dark Wood, 2015) offers up a classic “paranoid woman” story with a modern twist in this tense, claustrophobic mystery.

Days before departing on a luxury cruise for work, travel journalist Lo Blacklock is the victim of a break-in. Though unharmed, she ends up locked in her own room for several hours before escaping; as a result, she is unable to sleep. By the time she comes onboard the Aurora, Lo is suffering from severe sleep deprivation and possibly even PTSD, so when she hears a big splash from the cabin next door in the middle of the night, “the kind of splash made by a body hitting water,” she can’t prove to security that anything violent has actually occurred. To make matters stranger, there's no record of any passenger traveling in the cabin next to Lo’s, even though Lo herself saw a woman there and even borrowed makeup from her before the first night’s dinner party. Reeling from her own trauma, and faced with proof that she may have been hallucinating, Lo continues to investigate, aided by her ex-boyfriend Ben (who's also writing about the cruise), fighting desperately to find any shred of evidence that she may be right. The cast of characters, their conversations, and the luxurious but confining setting all echo classic Agatha Christie; in fact, the structure of the mystery itself is an old one: a woman insists murder has occurred, everyone else says she’s crazy. But Lo is no wallflower; she is a strong and determined modern heroine who refuses to doubt the evidence of her own instincts. Despite this successful formula, and a whole lot of slowly unraveling tension, the end is somehow unsatisfying. And the newspaper and social media inserts add little depth.

Too much drama at the end detracts from a finely wrought and subtle conundrum.

Pub Date: July 19, 2016

ISBN: 978-1-5011-3293-3

Page Count: 352

Publisher: Scout Press/Simon & Schuster

Review Posted Online: May 3, 2016

Kirkus Reviews Issue: May 15, 2016

Did you like this book?

Greed, love, and extrasensory abilities combine in two middling mysteries.

LABYRINTH

Coulter’s treasured FBI agents take on two cases marked by danger and personal involvement.

Dillon Savitch and his wife, Lacey Sherlock, have special abilities that have served them well in law enforcement (Paradox, 2018, etc.). But that doesn't prevent Sherlock’s car from hitting a running man after having been struck by a speeding SUV that runs a red light. The runner, though clearly injured, continues on his way and disappears. Not so the SUV driver, a security engineer for the Bexholt Group, which has ties to government agencies. Sherlock’s own concussion causes memory loss so severe that she doesn’t recognize Savitch or remember their son, Sean. The whole incident seems more suspicious when a blood test from the splatter of the man Sherlock hit reveals that he’s Justice Cummings, an analyst for the CIA. The agency’s refusal to cooperate makes Savitch certain that Bexholt is involved in a deep-laid plot. Meanwhile, Special Agent Griffin Hammersmith is visiting friends who run a cafe in the touristy Virginia town of Gaffers Ridge. Hammersmith, who has psychic abilities, is taken aback when he hears in his mind a woman’s cry for help. Reporter Carson DeSilva, who came to the area to interview a Nobel Prize winner, also has psychic abilities, and she overhears the thoughts of Rafer Bodine, a young man who has apparently kidnapped and possibly murdered three teenage girls. Unluckily, she blurts out her thoughts, and she’s snatched and tied up in a cellar by Bodine. Bodine may be a killer, but he’s also the nephew of the sheriff and the son of the local bigwig. So the sheriff arrests Hammersmith and refuses to accept his FBI credentials. Bodine's mother has psychic powers strong enough to kill, but she meets her match in Hammersmith, DeSilva, Savitch, and Sherlock.

Greed, love, and extrasensory abilities combine in two middling mysteries.

Pub Date: July 30, 2019

ISBN: 978-1-5011-9365-1

Page Count: 512

Publisher: Simon & Schuster

Review Posted Online: July 1, 2019

Kirkus Reviews Issue: July 15, 2019

Did you like this book?

more