The third in the series featuring the brilliant Brit (The Lost Key, 2014, etc.) adds scary technology to physical action to...

THE END GAME

The FBI goes after a most unusual group of terrorists.

FBI Special Agent Michaela “Mike” Caine and her British partner, Nicholas Drummond, are on the trail of a shadowy terrorist organization known as the Celebrants of Earth. The anti-Muslim group—run by the brilliant scientist Matthew Spenser, whose family was killed in the 2007 terrorist bombing of the London Underground—has been trying to stop the importing of oil from the Middle East by bombing refineries but never hurting people. A tip leads Mike and Nicholas to Bayonne, New Jersey, too late to stop the bombing of the Bayway refinery but not too late to participate in the rescue efforts. This explosion’s fatal consequences leave many government agencies wondering why the formerly nonmurderous COE has escalated its activities. Unknown to other agencies, the CIA has placed an undercover agent, Vanessa Grace, in the group, where she works with Spenser, posing as a bomb maker. All seems to be going well until the enigmatic Darius worms his way into COE, bringing a large sum of money and slowly turning Spenser into a man willing to use increasingly violent means in the form of a tiny, undetectable, and extremely powerful bomb he's invented. The group also has a computer hacker who duels with Nicholas, whose limits are tested when COE attempts to crash the power grid. When Spenser snaps and shoots Vanessa, the CIA finally comes clean and works with the FBI to unmask a professional killer who has a contract on the vice president of the United States.

The third in the series featuring the brilliant Brit (The Lost Key, 2014, etc.) adds scary technology to physical action to produce a tip-top thriller.

Pub Date: Sept. 15, 2015

ISBN: 978-0-399-17380-6

Page Count: 464

Publisher: Putnam

Review Posted Online: June 28, 2015

Kirkus Reviews Issue: July 15, 2015

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The characters are paper thin, the plot twists mostly telegraphed, but the betting here is that the Baldacci army will once...

DELIVER US FROM EVIL

In Baldacci’s 19th (True Blue, 2009, etc.), boy and girl monster-hunters meet cute.

Evan Waller, aka Fadir Kuchin, aka “the Butcher of Kiev,” aka “the Ukrainian psychopath,” is one of those deep-dyed villains a certain kind of fiction can’t do without. Serving with distinction as part of the Soviet Union’s KGB, he joyfully and indiscriminately killed thousands. Now, many years later, posing as a successful businessman, he’s vacationing in Provence where, unbeknownst to him, two separate clandestine operations are being mounted by people who do not regard him with favor. Reggie Campion—28 and gorgeous—spearheads the first, an ad hoc group of monster-hunting vigilantes. Studly, tall Shaw (no first name supplied) is point guard for a rival team, shadowy enough to leave the matter of its origin ambiguous. While their respective teams reconnoiter and jockey for position, studly boy meets gorgeous girl. Monster-hunters are famous for having trust issues, but clearly these are drawn to each other in the time-honored Hollywood fashion. Shaw saves Reggie’s life. She returns the favor. The attraction deepens and heats up to the point where team-members on both sides grow unsettled by the loss of focus, singularly inopportune since, as monsters go, Waller rises to the second coming of Caligula—ample testimony furnished by a six-page, unsparingly detailed torture scene. In the end, the stalkers strike, bullets fly, screams curdle the blood, love has its innings and a monster does what a monster’s got to do.

The characters are paper thin, the plot twists mostly telegraphed, but the betting here is that the Baldacci army will once again show the stuff it’s made of.

Pub Date: April 20, 2010

ISBN: 978-0-446-56408-3

Page Count: 416

Publisher: Avon A/HarperCollins

Review Posted Online: Feb. 4, 2011

Kirkus Reviews Issue: April 15, 2010

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POP GOES THE WEASEL

After a flight in fantasy with When the Wind Blows (1998), Patterson goes to ground with another slash-and-squirm psychokiller page-turner, this one dedicated to “the millions of Alex Cross readers, who so frequently ask, can’t you write faster?” By day, Geoffrey Shafer is a charming, 42-year-old British Embassy paper-pusher with a picture-perfect family and a shady past as an MI-6 secret agent. Come sundown, he swallows a pharmacy of psychoactive pills, gulps three black coffees loaded with sugar, and roams the streets of Washington, D.C., in a battered cab, where, disguised as a black man, he rolls dice to determine which among his black female fares he—ll murder. Afterwards he dumps his naked victims in crime-infested back alleys of black- slum neighborhoods, then sends e-mails boasting of his accomplishments to three other former MI-6 agents involved in a hellish Internet role-playing game. “I sensed I was at the start of another homicide mess,” sighs forensic-psychologist turned homicide-detective Alex Cross. Cross yearns to catch the “Jane Doe murderer” but is thwarted by Det. Chief George Pittman, who assigns sexy Det. Patsy Hampton to investigate Cross and come up with a reason for dismissing him. Meanwhile, Cross’s fiancÇe is kidnaped during a Bermuda vacation, and an anonymous e-mail warns him to back off. He doesn’t, of course, and just when it appears that Patterson is sleep-walking through his story, Cross nabs Shafer minutes after Shafer kills Det. Hampton. During the subsequent high-visibility trail, Shafer manages to make the jury believe that he’s innocent and that Cross was trying to frame him. When all seems lost, a sympathetic British intelligence chief offers to help Cross bring down Shafer, and the other homicidal game-players, during a showdown on the breezy beaches of Jamaica. Kinky mayhem, a cartoonish villain, regular glimpses of the kindly Cross caring for his loved ones, and an ending that spells a sequel: Patterson’s fans couldn’t ask for more.

Pub Date: Oct. 19, 1999

ISBN: 0-316-69328-6

Page Count: 432

Publisher: Little, Brown

Review Posted Online: May 20, 2010

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Aug. 15, 1999

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