Forget where this is heading and enjoy the ride.

A new widow accepts help getting back on her feet from an old co-worker. The help is extravagantly generous, the price even higher.

Nobody expected Todd Maner to keel over and die of a heart attack at 33. Since he’d canceled his life insurance and plowed all his savings back into TeckPocket, the troubled company he’d co-founded in Boulder, his wife, Gwen, is left with nothing but their 8-year-old daughter, Whitney. Desperate, Gwen phones Nicola Kimmel back in Dayton, Ohio. They haven’t been in touch since the two of them were unpaid interns together at media agency Dack & Anders during their last year of college, but that’s the closest Gwen’s ever come to holding down a job, and she hopes that Nicola can give her a recommendation or point her toward some leads. She discovers to her astonishment that Nicola, who was never as close to her as she was to Missy, a third intern who recently went AWOL after rising through the ranks, can do much more. Now the second in command at Dack, Nicola asks for Gwen’s resume, offers her a job, persuades her colleagues to sign on by richly inflating Gwen’s credentials, and announces her appointment as Associate Vice President of Regional Development, with a salary and office to match. Back in Dayton with Jeri Gries, the diabetic mother who’s phoned her every day for years but never offered a helping hand, Gwen naturally leans into Nicola harder and harder. Eventually even she realizes there’s something funny about their relationship, which Flanagan explains up to a point through a series of flashbacks to Nicola’s disastrous early years with her own mother.

Forget where this is heading and enjoy the ride.

Pub Date: Aug. 22, 2023

ISBN: 9781662510328

Page Count: 300

Publisher: Thomas & Mercer

Review Posted Online: June 8, 2023

Kirkus Reviews Issue: July 1, 2023


Succeeds as a domestic thriller and procedural—but there’s little heart to the story.

When a child goes missing, everyone—from the family to the neighbors—worries that their carefully kept secrets will be exposed during the investigation.

After being dumped by his lover, William Wooler comes home to find Avery, his precocious, difficult 9-year-old daughter, alone in the kitchen when she’s supposed to be at choir practice. A confrontation ensues, and William leaves. Several hours later, it appears that Avery is missing. The police are immediately on the case, interviewing the family and the neighbors for information, but instead of providing clarity, each conversation seems to complicate the investigation. Why does it take William so many hours to admit that he came home and saw his daughter before she went missing? Why does someone leave an anonymous tip saying they saw Avery get into a local teen’s car? Why had Avery’s best friend’s brother supposedly spent time alone with her in a treehouse recently? Each revelation leads to new suspicions, and some people will do anything to conceal their darkest secrets. The suspense here is real; Lapena does a great job of exposing layers of domestic dishonesty and betrayal one conversation at a time. But this also means that none of these characters is particularly sympathetic. The twist is real, and at least somewhat surprising, but at that point, everyone seems to deserve a comeuppance. The truth, in this neighborhood, is bruising—and no one comes through unscathed.

Succeeds as a domestic thriller and procedural—but there’s little heart to the story.

Pub Date: July 25, 2023

ISBN: 9780593489932

Page Count: 336

Publisher: Pamela Dorman/Viking

Review Posted Online: May 9, 2023

Kirkus Reviews Issue: June 1, 2023


Relevant and richly entertaining.

A lost masterpiece and a professional hit lure the world’s most famous spy back into the field.

Summoned by an old friend to the Amalfi Coast, Gabriel Allon finds a murder scene and an empty stretcher that could have held only one painting, a painting of inestimable value that has been missing for decades—Vermeer’s The Concert, stolen from the Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum in Boston in 1990. Allon’s search for this cultural treasure leads him to an alliance with a Danish IT consultant—and gifted thief—and it will require the assistance of the team he once led as head of Israel’s intelligence service. As Silva’s fans will expect, this hunt for a work of art will quickly turn into something much bigger—maybe a rush to avert World War III? Over the course of 22 novels featuring Allon, Silva has vacillated between escapism and realpolitik. This installment is a near-perfect combination of both. One of the pleasures of a Gabriel Allon novel is that it allows us entrée into a world few will ever experience. But even as he might leave readers sighing over a Versace gown or a Michelin-starred meal, Silva asks us to take a hard look at what money can do. He shows us an underground economy in which irreplaceable works of art are used as currency or collateral—or, at best, end up in private vaults where they are protected but inaccessible. And the same wealth that makes commissioning the theft of a well-known and well-guarded masterpiece possible makes murder easy. None of which is to say that this is an anti-capitalist screed. This is a thriller, and it satisfies in the ways that a thriller should while also offering food for thought. And if the plot hinges on one absolutely outrageous coincidence… well, Silva’s fans will likely be willing to allow him that.

Relevant and richly entertaining.

Pub Date: July 18, 2023

ISBN: 978-0-06-283487-4

Page Count: 402

Publisher: Harper/HarperCollins

Review Posted Online: Aug. 12, 2023

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Sept. 1, 2023

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