August 25, 2020


David Slaton Series, Book 6

From the publisher:

USA Today bestselling author Ward Larsen’s globe-trotting, hard-hitting assassin, David Slaton, returns for another breathless adventure in Assassin’s Strike!

In a Syrian palace, the presidents of Russia and Iran undertake a clandestine meeting. No staff or advisors are permitted in the room. No records are kept. By necessity, however, there are two witnesses: the interpreters. The Russian, Ludmilla Kravchuk, returns to her hotel room burdened by what she has heard. When her Iranian counterpart is murdered before her eyes, Kravchuk fears she is next and goes into hiding in Syria.

The CIA gets word of the defection. Desperate to uncover the purpose of the meeting, they task their newest off-the-books operator―legendary assassin David Slaton―to undertake a daring rescue. Deep inside Syria’s war-torn borders, what Slaton finds is a plot that will tear the Middle East apart. And one that only he can stop.

Ward Larson has created one of the more interesting protagonists in fiction in the person of David Slaton. Slaton is an assassin; a very proficient one doing the bidding of his employers who were at first the Mosad; Israeli secret service and currently the CIA, He was granted political asylum in the U.S. with the help of one of the top managers of the Central Intelligence Agency who suggested when doing so that they might ask certain professional favors from Slaton which he would be free to either accept or reject.

During a secret meeting between the presidents of Russia and Iran held in Syria certain information is exchanged between these men which only they and the two translators working the meeting are aware of. Ludmilla Kravchuk, the translator for Russia witnesses her Iranian counterpart killed after the meeting between the two presidents finishes. She realizes that the two translators have heard an exchange that must remain secret and makes the obvious decision that she must flee and via local contacts she had when in Syria previously gets the United States interested in getting her into the U.S. and hearing her story. Slaton’s supervisor thinks of him as the ideal individual to send into Syria to bring Ludmilla out. No problem in his accepting the job as the action is what he craves and goes after.

The story of David Slaton’s work in trying to effect Ludmilla’s escape brings to bear Ward Larson’s talent in creating bated breath action and another book by him that keeps the reader glued to the pages. In addition to bringing Ludmilla out of Syria Slaton must become involved in the situation described in the talks between the two presidents and attempt to rectify the problem. Events in the book move rapidly between Syria, Iraq, Israel, and Saudi Arabia. We can certainly look forward to more action-packed novels featuring David Slaton and the probability of all night glued to the books when they are published.

8/2020 Paul Lane

ASSASSIN’S STRIKE by Ward Larson. Forge Books (August 18, 2020). ISBN: 978-0765391568. 336 pages.




August 18, 2020


Lucas Page Series, Book 2

From the publisher:

A series of deadly explosions rock the city of New York and with too many victims and no known motive, the F.B.I. turns once again to Dr. Lucas Page in Robert Pobi’s Under Pressure.

On a beautiful October evening, New York City’s iconic Guggenheim Museum is closed for a tech company’s private gala. Until an explosion rocks the night, instantly killing 702 people, including every single attendee―yet the damage to the building itself was minimal.

An explosion of that precision was no accident and, in response, the FBI mobilizes its entire team — but the sheer number of victims strains their resources. Were all 702 victims in the wrong place at the wrong time, or was there only one target and 701 unlucky bystanders? That many victim files is a staggering amount of data to sort through and Brett Kehoe, Special Agent in Charge of Manhattan, decides that he can’t do this without more computational power.

Dr. Lucas Page, astrophysicist, university professor, and former FBI agent, is uniquely gifted for the task at hand―he can visualize a crime scene as if he was a bystander and can break down any set of data at a glance. Even though Page wants nothing to do with the FBI, with his city under attack and his family at risk, he steps in to find a killer in a haystack before they strike again.

This is the second book featuring Dr. Lucas Page and while certain events from book one are important to the story, they are brought out by the author and allow the reader to understand those that are germane to the present novel. Dr. Page was working as an agent for the FBI when he became involved in a horrific accident. He lost the sight of one eye and required a prosthetic for his leg. But the accident did not rob him of a very peculiar talent that he had and retains. He can visualize a crime scene as if he were a bystander and break down any set of data at a glance.

Due to his disability, he no longer works full time for the FBI but apparently, he will become available if needed to help with certain crimes. The opening of the novel finds Lucas, his wife, and children enjoying the seashore at a location far out on Long Island. The famed Guggenheim museum becomes the site of a bomb placed which does major damage to the building and kills a large number of people. The museum had been closed to the public while hosting a leading tech company’s private gala hosting a large group celebrating a forthcoming issue of stock. Other explosions also go off, and the FBI launches a full-court investigation. In addition, Lucas Page is called to come in and help in the investigation using his special skills.

The action is structured like any normal detective story, although featuring descriptions of the enormous amount of fatalities coupled with gruesome looks at victims literally blown apart with their bodies in many areas. Lucas is shown using his not inconsiderable talents to solve the case with the help of a female agent. He also calls on students he teaches at the university to help his efforts.

It is probable that Pobi plans additional novels undoubtedly centered on more horrific crimes with Page leading the charge of his own small group of assistants. The novel is entertaining, although possibly more than a little difficult to take with the vivid descriptions of horrible deaths as part and parcel of the action.

8/2020 Paul Lane

UNDER PRESSURE by Robert Pobi. Minotaur Books (August 4, 2020). ISBN: 978-1250293961. 448 pages.



THEN SHE VANISHED by T. Jefferson Parker

August 16, 2020


Roland Ford Series, Book 4

From the publisher:

What if the client who’s hired you can’t be trusted…and the woman you’re looking for doesn’t want to be found? With Then She Vanished, three-time Edgar Award winner and New York Times-bestselling author T. Jefferson Parker delivers a new and pulse-pounding thriller.

Private Investigator Roland Ford has taken a job for a fellow Marine and a rising politician, Dalton Strait. Strait is contending with unexplained bombings of government buildings in his district…but that is not why he hired Ford. Strait’s wife, Natalie, has gone missing, leaving behind a cryptic plea for help. Strait has made many enemies during his time in politics–including some of his own family members–all of whom could be looking for revenge. But as Ford digs into the details of a troubled marriage, Natalie’s disappearance becomes more and more complicated.

Meanwhile, the bombings in the city intensify, with a mysterious group known only as the Chaos Committee claiming responsibility. Ford soon learns that the seemingly random attacks may be connected to the case he’s on–and suddenly, his hunt for a missing woman might decide the fate of an entire city.

Roland Ford is a private detective that has appeared previously in Parker novels. In the current book, he has been asked by a fellow ex-Marine to find his wife who has disappeared and feared kidnapped. Dalton Strait the man whose wife has vanished is currently in the midst of a political campaign and indicates that he does not have the time to properly dedicate to searching for his wife. Concurrently happening at the same time as Dalton’s wife’s disappearance is a series of bombings and threats by a radical group calling themselves The Chaos Committee. The group makes public announcements calling for an overthrow of all current government agencies and supporting their demands with shooting and killings of police officers in California: the locale of the story.

Appearing with the Chaos Committee’s demands are various glimpses of Natalie, Dalton’s wife in which she could either be a prisoner or could also be allied with the Committee. And to complicate matters even more, Ford begins to doubt that he can trust Dalton. The novel goes into the search for Natalie and also the activities of the Chaos Committee which seems to have relevance to the kidnapping. And, oh yes, looks like Roland Ford has found himself a love interest along the way. Busy man.

The problems I found with this novel are the constant conversations and descriptions of everything and everybody that really do get somewhat tedious to go through in reaching the conclusion. The action is noted rapidly and is over when more descriptions are thrown in taking the story from a five-star read which is the author’s norm, to one that is not at his level.

8/2020 Paul Lane

THEN SHE VANISHED by T. Jefferson Parker.  G.P. Putnam’s Sons (August 11, 2020). ISBN: 978-0525537670. 352 pages.



THE REQUEST by David Bell

July 15, 2020


From the publisher:

When a man agrees to do a favor for a friend, he gets more than he bargained for as he becomes embroiled in a woman’s murder in this new thriller from the USA Today bestselling author of Layover.

Ryan Francis has it all—great job, wonderful wife, beautiful child—and he loves posting photos of his perfect life on social media. Until the night his friend Blake asks him to break into a woman’s home to retrieve incriminating items that implicate Blake in an affair. Ryan refuses to help, but when Blake threatens to reveal Ryan’s darkest secret—which could jeopardize everything in Ryan’s life—Ryan has no choice but to honor Blake’s request.

When he arrives at the woman’s home, Ryan is shocked to find her dead—and just as shocked to realize he knows her. Then his phone chimes, revealing a Facebook friend request from the woman. With police sirens rapidly approaching, Ryan flees, wondering why his friend was setting him up for murder.

Determined to keep his life intact and to clear his name, Ryan must find the real murderer—but solving the crime may lead him closer to home than he ever could have imagined.

I began reading this novel at 11:00 pm. Several hours later I was able to put it down for the very good reason that I had finished it. The book was mesmerizing, completely compelling, and one fantastic read.

Ryan Francis and his best friend Blake had a close relationship for many years taking them through college and then out into the business world. Ryan married Amanda and in due course, the couple had a son they named Henry.

Blake came to visit them and see the baby but committed an error. Holding Henry up he allowed the child’s head to be hit by a decoration causing a red mark. The protective Amanda was angered and practically threw Blake out of their house stating that he should not return there.

Rushing home as was normal, one evening Ryan was called by Blake and asked to do a big favor for him. He asks that Ryan break into a girl’s house and retrieve a packet of incriminating letters that Blake had allowed her to get while they were going together. During their college years, Ryan had committed a crime when driving drunk and had killed a young girl. Blake, driving with him prevented Ryan from being arrested by changing the setup of the drivers in the then wrecked car and putting another man who was with them into the driver’s seat. Blake indicates that he had been going with the girl and inadvertently given her letters outlining Ryan’s crime during their relationship. Blake met another girl, fell in love, and told girl #1 that he was leaving her to get married. He did not get the letters held back, for some reason could not reenter her house and convinced Ryan that it was in his interest to break in and get them.

Ryan had to agree, but when he entered the girl’s home he found her dead on the floor, obviously a murder victim. Ryan flees the scene, realizes that he has probably set himself up as the murderer and makes the determination that it is up to him to find the real killer.

Bell, in a fine piece of writing, takes his readers through a series of events that will cause them to constantly change their minds about who the killer is, and arriving at a logical ending drained. I’m sure that readers of this book will be lined up like I am awaiting David Bell’s next novel and just keep a pot of coffee boiling for that occasion.

7/2020 Paul Lane

THE REQUEST by David Bell. Berkley (June 30, 2020). ISBN: 978-0440000907. 416 pages.




July 13, 2020


From the publisher:

From New York Times bestselling author Karen Robards comes one of the most anticipated novels of the summer…

A world at war. A beautiful young star. A mission no one expected.

Paris, 1944

Celebrated singer Genevieve Dumont is both a star and a smokescreen. An unwilling darling of the Nazis, the chanteuse’s position of privilege allows her to go undetected as an ally to the resistance.

When her estranged mother, Lillian de Rocheford, is captured by Nazis, Genevieve knows it won’t be long before the Gestapo succeeds in torturing information out of Lillian that will derail the upcoming Allied invasion. The resistance movement is tasked with silencing her by any means necessary—including assassination. But Genevieve refuses to let her mother become yet one more victim of the war. Reuniting with her long-lost sister, she must find a way to navigate the perilous cross-currents of Occupied France undetected—and in time to save Lillian’s life.

For fans of The Nightingale, The Women in the Castle and The Lost Girls of Paris, this exquisite novel illuminates three women’s strength, courage and capacity for unconditional love.

Karen Robards turns her attention temporarily away from the successful contemporary suspense novels she normally writes in order to give her readers a war story. The book gives the reader many stories in one. It is about war – a bloody one – World War two. It tells the story of the French resistance to Nazi occupation braving the horrors of absolute repression practiced by the German conquerors. It takes place during the last period of the war at a point where an allied invasion is planned and both the Germans and allies are working to bestow their own ending on it. The Germans to find out where it will take place in order to turn it back, and the allies to hide it, surprising the enemy and making it into the final stage against the third Reich. Most importantly, the novel does not detract in any way from the author’s ability to mesmerize her readership and serves only to increase her range with those enjoying her books.

Genevieve Dumont is a singer that has created herself as a persona with an exceptionally good voice, a marvelous stage presence, and the ability to take charge of her audience. She is the daughter of French upper-class people, but has had a falling out with her mother Lillian de Rocheford, and has fled from her family and ending up in Casablanca, Morocco eking out a living singing in various venues to earn some money to live on.

Discovered there by Max, a British officer seconded to the French resistance movement, she is molded by him into a spy and guided into creating scenarios that allow her group to obtain information important to the French Partisans. Over the years they work together their emotions are kept in check, but the author creates a very plausible situation leading to the couple falling in love. The final section of the book finds that Lillian de Rocheford has been captured by the Germans and is being subjected to torture in order to force her to release the location of the coming invasion. Lilian knows the site due to the fact that the allies have given her an important role on the day of the invasion.

Family is family and Genevieve gets Max and her group to try and effect her mother’s release in order to carry out her assigned mission. That the book grabs hold of the readers and doesn’t let go until the end is a given. It is indicative of the literary talent that is Karen Robards and her ability to capture and keep her readers fixed on the book as well as looking for the next one.

7/2020 Paul Lane

THE BLACK SWAN OF PARIS by Karen Robards. MIRA; Original edition (June 30, 2020). ISBN: 978-0778309338. 480 pages.



THE LAST FLIGHT by Julie Clark

July 11, 2020

From the publisher:

The instant New York Times and USA Today bestseller!

An Amazon Best Book of the Year So Far – 2020!

The Last Flight is thoroughly absorbing―not only because of its tantalizing plot and deft pacing, but also because of its unexpected poignancy and its satisfying, if bittersweet, resolution. The characters get under your skin.”―The New York Times Book Review

Two women. Two flights. One last chance to disappear.

Claire Cook has a perfect life. Married to the scion of a political dynasty, with a Manhattan townhouse and a staff of ten, her surroundings are elegant, her days flawlessly choreographed, and her future auspicious. But behind closed doors, nothing is quite as it seems. That perfect husband has a temper that burns as bright as his promising political career, and he’s not above using his staff to track Claire’s every move, making sure she’s living up to his impossible standards. But what he doesn’t know is that Claire has worked for months on a plan to vanish.

A chance meeting in an airport bar brings her together with a woman whose circumstances seem equally dire. Together they make a last-minute decision to switch tickets―Claire taking Eva’s flight to Oakland, and Eva traveling to Puerto Rico as Claire. They believe the swap will give each of them the head start they need to begin again somewhere far away. But when the flight to Puerto Rico goes down, Claire realizes it’s no longer a head start but a new life. Cut off, out of options, with the news of her death about to explode in the media, Claire will assume Eva’s identity, and along with it, the secrets Eva fought so hard to keep hidden.

For fans of Lisa Jewell and Liv Constantine, The Last Flight is the story of two women―both alone, both scared―and one agonizing decision that will change the trajectory of both of their lives.

A very well crafted story of two women coming from different backgrounds who meet briefly and change each other’s lives forever.

Claire Cook is an intelligent and accomplished individual married into one of the wealthiest families in the world. She seems to have a perfect life enjoying the things that her husband’s money can bring her. All she has to do is work on various projects that benefit many people and obey her husband. The fly in the ointment is that her husband has turned into an abusive tyrant who insists on complete obedience from her or he will physically beat her up.

Eva is the other woman involved in the story. Through circumstances beyond her control, she has drifted into the life of a drug dealer. Her knowledge of chemistry combined with a need to make a living has forced her into a position that places her on the wrong side of the law.

Both Claire and Eva come together as both are fleeing their current lives and trying to disappear completely. They meet at an airport bar where Claire is to fly to Puerto Rico and Eva to Oakland, California. The women end up telling the other about their desire to escape their lives and start again. It strikes them while talking that changing identities will throw those that are looking for them completely off the track. And, since each has their boarding pass in hand the change is accomplished.

Certainly, just this action will enable a good story to emerge. However, it is complicated by a plane crash to Eva’s plane as it flies to Puerto Rico.

Clark tells the story via the use of rotating first person narratives involving both the women, but also persons that are of interest to the tale. It is an engrossing, well-done novel with the ending completely logical but not telegraphed in the reading. Character portraits, thoughts, doubts, and problems arising are as well done as it has been my pleasure to read. A five-star book that after conclusion will project a desire on the part of the reader toward following the author and obtaining her future novels as they emerge.

7/2020 Paul Lane

THE LAST FLIGHT by Julie Clark. Sourcebooks Landmark (June 23, 2020). ISBN: 978-1728215723. 320 pages.




March 9, 2020


A Matt Drake Thriller, Book 1

From the publisher:

After surviving a clandestine operation that went tragically wrong, Matt Drake escaped Syria with his life, but little else. Now, to save the life of another, he must return to Syria and confront his biggest failure in a debut thriller Lee Child calls “sensationally good.”

Defense Intelligence Agency operative Matt Drake broke a promise. A promise that cost three people their lives and crippled his best friend. Three months later, he’s paralyzed by survivor’s guilt and haunted by the memories of the fallen. Matt may have left Syria, but Syria hasn’t left him.

In the midst of his self-imposed exile, Matt is dragged back into the world of espionage and assets that he tried to forget. A Pakistani scientist working for an ISIS splinter cell has created a terrifying weapon of mass destruction. The scientist offers to defect with the weapon, but he trusts just one man to bring him out of Syria alive—Matt Drake.

This is the first book in a new series featuring Matt Drake, a flawed hero, but one with the brains, patriotism and the will to get things resolved. In a mission taking place before the beginning of this novel, three men were killed and his best friend, also with them, was permanently crippled. Matt blames himself for the failure of the botched action.

After three months of feeling sorry for himself and drowning his sorrows, he is unexpectedly called back by his supervisor to undertake a mission into Syria. The task will be to extract a Pakistani scientist working for ISIS who has perfected a new and terrible chemical aimed at killing Americans. He has offered to bring the formula to the United States in payment of being taken out and granted asylum there. The condition put is that he wants Matt to handle the operation.

Matt undertakes the job after learning that an American agent, the only survivor of a raid into the area has been captured and will be beheaded by his captors with the execution filmed to be used as propaganda. There is also a background scenario that takes place in the White House. The president is facing reelection for a second term and there are two high-level officers of the government that are looking to control his actions to control events for their own benefit. The background action is a great piece of writing to underline the actual scheming, plotting and double-dealing that occurs in government circles. And of course, plans are laid, discarded and done again by the people working behind the scenes.

Unfortunately for Matt, the president and those on his high-level staff are playing off the rescue of the captured American in different ways in order to seek their own gain. Bentley does indeed have a low opinion of politicians and their maneuvering to bring themselves the greater good by just discarding the needs of those caught in their schemes.

Don Bentley has done a great job in building Matt’s character. He has his faults, his missteps, but in the final analysis, will do the right thing to protect lives and punish his enemies. An excellent beginning to what I trust will be an anticipated series based on well-described counter-terrorism operations.

3/2020 Paul Lane

WITHOUT SANCTION by Don Bentley. Berkley (March 3, 2020). ISBN: 978-1984805119. 384p.



THE LAST DAY by Andrew Hunter Murray

February 29, 2020


From the publisher:


A high-concept, utterly original debut thriller which envisages a world on the edge of catastrophe, perfect for readers who loved Robert Harris’ Fatherland, Station 11, and The Wall by John Lanchester.

It is 2059: forty years previously a solar catastrophe began to slow our planet’s rotation. Now it has stopped so that one side of the world permanently faces the sun while the other is stuck in an eternal frozen night.

Britain is one of the few fortunate countries. Located in one of the few remaining temperate zones, it should have the means to support itself. In reality though it is struggling, and today it is a land stalked by hunger and violence.

It is also home to the American Zone, the last surviving enclave of the United States.

Ellen Hopper is a British scientist living on a frostbitten rig in the cold Atlantic. She wants nothing more to do with her country after its slide into authoritarianism and decay.

Yet when two government officials arrive demanding she return to London to see her dying tutor, she accepts – and begins to unravel a secret that threatens not only the nation’s fragile balance, but the future of the whole human race.

The absolutely impossible happens. The earth stops rotating and causes day and night to be the same day in and day out all over the world. The cold spots are eternally cold and the warm spots always warm, possibly too warm as they face the sun in the same position without change. The cause of this calamity is a huge celestial body crossing space relatively near to our solar system. As a consequence of this event, the earth begins a period of slowing down in its ever-changing position of moving around the sun. Differences in day and night and seasonal change begin to slow down, and eventually cease when our planet finally finishes slowing down and eventually stops.

The author does an excellent job of portraying the effect cessation of motion of the earth has on our planet. How many lose their lives with the ability to survive lost. And how people begin to adjust to a life that is totally different than the one they were used to. England and a portion of the United States emerged as the more powerful countries on the planet. In addition, one man begins taking charge of adaptation in Great Britain and not surprisingly becomes a dictator with plans to take over the United States and expand his hold on England

Ellen Hopper is a woman that has found a life living on an ocean rig with no thought of changing until one day two officials from the British government visit her demanding that she visit her mentor from her days at university. When she does so she is thrown into the middle of a scheme that bids fair to throw the country off from its fragile balance and possibly even negatively affect the remainder of the planet’s population.

Murray has taken on the challenge of developing a novel with a huge amount of interwoven factors and does a very creditable job of tying everything together in a logical way. The novel is certainly one that cannot be put down until finished with every section bringing in different factors to be faced by the characters. The book is indicated as the author’s first and is no doubt a great start for an up and coming writer.

2/2020 Paul Lane

THE LAST DAY by Andrew Hunter Murray. Hutchinson (February 6, 2020). ISBN: 978-1786331915. 384p.




February 23, 2020


From the publisher:

Award-winning author Val Collins returns with a suspenseful, twisty thriller

Everyone thought Danny Walsh deserted his family when his sons were young. But when Danny’s body turns up fifteen years later and his wife, Maura, is implicated in his murder, accusations and old rumours surface.

Aoife rushes in to clear her mother-in-law’s name. But why is it that Maura’s story concerning Danny’s disappearance doesn’t quite add up?

Aoife’s investigation uncovers old secrets, long-held jealousies, and lies upon lies. With every new revelation, Aoife realises she doesn’t know her family at all. Now her new boss is acting strangely, her best friend is more and more distant, and her husband is no help at all.

With her support network crumbling and her family threatened, Aoife must race to keep one step ahead of danger before more innocent lives are lost. But how will she uncover the truth when only lies remain?

Set in present-day Ireland, Collins presents a second novel featuring Aoife as a protagonist. She is on the descending side of a failed marriage, is the sole support of her only child, and in the process of trying to get rid of her ex-husband. He, on the other hand has found a sinecure In Aoife, moving in with her indicating that he will help care for their little girl and also allow time to try and work out their problems in an attempt to make the marriage work. In reality, he continues with the conduct that caused the marriage to break up as he just lays around and gives orders to serve him.

Suddenly the dead body of her father-in-law appears, dispelling the idea that he had deserted his family fifteen years ago. On top of her own problems with an ex-husband camping in her house and no means of support available, Aoife now has to attempt to comfort Maura, her mother-in-law who is plagued again with guilt over her own possible culpability or innocence in driving her husband away.

Val Collins takes Aoife through various crises in her life. She gets a part-time job and has a friend of hers developing a romance with her new boss. A handsome police detective calls on her, charged with investigating the death of her father-in-law and continues to call on her, obviously looking for romance. Her daughter becomes more and more precocious and at one point is seemingly kidnapped. She is returned but carries a note warning Aoife to stop meddling in affairs that don’t concern her or her daughter will be captured again.

The novel is entertaining and a good read but not an all-engrossing novel. Sufficient to say that the book is worthwhile reading and enjoying with the idea of getting Val Collins’ next book.

2/2020 Paul Lane

ONLY LIES REMAIN by Val Collins. VCB Publishing (December 9, 2019). ISBN: 978-1916298941. 316p.


THE OTHER MRS. by Mary Kubica

February 21, 2020


From the publisher:

“Altogether unpredictable.” —Karin Slaughter, New York Times bestselling author

Coming to Netflix!

Propulsive and addictive, and perfect for fans of “You,” The Other Mrs. is the twisty new psychological thriller from Mary Kubica, the New York Times bestselling author of The Good Girl

Sadie and Will Foust have only just moved their family from bustling Chicago to small-town Maine when their neighbor Morgan Baines is found dead in her home. The murder rocks their tiny coastal island, but no one is more shaken than Sadie.

But it’s not just Morgan’s death that has Sadie on edge. And as the eyes of suspicion turn toward the new family in town, Sadie is drawn deeper into the mystery of what really happened that dark and deadly night. But Sadie must be careful, for the more she discovers about Mrs. Baines, the more she begins to realize just how much she has to lose if the truth ever comes to investigation weaves together with the story of what really happened during their deliberation, told by each of the jurors in turn, the secrets they have all been keeping threaten to come out—with drastic consequences for all involved.

It’s a good thing that Mary Kubica can’t write a book every week because if that were the case I wouldn’t get any sleep. This novel, if not her best, is certainly near the top. Her styling grabs the reader from the start pulling him or her right into a great story and not letting up until the ending is reached. The ending is the epitome of a surprise and not what is thought of during most of the book. But, and definitely, a strong point after reading the novel a short reflection by the reader will provide the information that it is realistic, not one that is just juxtaposed in order to end the book.

Sadie and Will Foust have just moved away from their home in Chicago to a small island in the state of Maine. They inherited a house there from Will’s sister who has committed suicide after suffering from a long bout with Fibromyalgia and the unbearable pain that stems from the disease. Sadie is an MD and secures a position with the only medical office on the island while Will gets a teaching position in a city on the shore of Maine. All seems well with an idyllic existence laid out for them and their two children. The couple also adopts Will’s sister’s daughter who is devastated by her mother’s suicide and resents Sadie’s presence and having to live with her obeying her rules. But the couple understands the girl’s anguish and try to help her as much as possible.

Shortly after the family moves in a next-door neighbor is murdered; something the local police indicate is an almost nonexistent problem. Sadie is very affected and frightened by the event. She begins wondering if the murderer is hiding in one of the homes on the island that is temporarily uninhabited while their owners are away during the off season. Sadie is also seeing a psychiatrist due to having had issues with lapses of memory and disassociation. It is felt that the condition is treatable and Will is very supportive of his wife. He helps Sadie in many ways including cooking and cleaning the house as well as making sure the children leave for school and are picked up afterward.

The novel is, of course, a five-star book, and my advice is to keep on the lookout for Kubica’s next book in order to get it hot off the press.

2/2020 Paul Lane

THE OTHER MRS. by Mary Kubica. Random House (February 18, 2020). ISBN: 978-0399591778. 336p.