Strange circumstances throw together a detective duo in this riveting, complex tale.

M-9

From the Chelmin & Spaulding CID Mysteries series , Vol. 1

Two unlikely partners find themselves in the crosshairs of a ruthless international gang in this thriller.

Veteran author Wolf has created an intriguing odd couple in this first volume of his new series. Wily detective Rudy Chelmin joined the Army Criminal Investigation Division after losing his leg in action in 1991. He discovers a new partner in recruit Will Spaulding, who finds a woman’s naked body in a boxcar full of Army boots. Will enlisted in the Army after getting run out of Barstow, California, after daring to arrest a guilty but privileged scion. The two pair up to solve the murder of Kendra Farrell, the naked woman who died from hypothermia. But their efforts attract the attention of M-9, a dangerous Salvadoran gang, which blows up Will’s Camaro with an RPG. Kendra worked at a base that was the Marine equivalent of Amazon, handling orders for all sorts of items. So first the investigators have to determine whether Kendra was involved in or stumbled onto something shady. Next, they have to figure out which of the police with whom they have been working may be in league with M-9, striving to block their investigation. Finally, Rudy disappears and Will has to locate him before he ends up exactly like Kendra. Wolf, who was an Army combat photographer in Vietnam, draws on his experiences to lend authenticity to his descriptions of the military and its infrastructure. But he also shines at research, painting a vivid picture of M-9 and its associates. Between his knowledge and his inquiries, the author has fashioned a well-woven tapestry that Rudy and Will must unravel in order to solve their case. The well-drawn Rudy and Will are the winning foundation on which this intricate thriller is built. Rudy is set in his ways, drawing on his instincts as an investigator. He’s a widower who lost his wife in a suspicious tank accident, but he starts to find love again in this story. Will is more of an inexperienced plodder but he still manages to intellectually challenge Rudy. They are an enjoyable team that readers will want to visit with again.

Strange circumstances throw together a detective duo in this riveting, complex tale.

Pub Date: Aug. 21, 2019

ISBN: 978-1-68774-225-4

Page Count: 424

Publisher: Self

Review Posted Online: May 16, 2020

Kirkus Reviews Issue: July 1, 2020

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More bedmates for the hero, two of them new, and a higher body count than usual, but otherwise the same mixture as before.

SHAKEUP

President Holly Barker’s inauguration may be complicated by murder, but it’s all in a day’s work for her lover, attorney Stone Barrington.

Returning to the suite they’ve booked at the Hay-Adams Hotel, Stone and his friends Dino and Viv Bacchetti trip over the body of Patricia Clark. By the time the strangling hits the newspapers, Holly has already scratched the appointment of Patricia's soon-to-be ex-husband, billionaire businessman Donald Clark, as Secretary of Commerce, and D.C. police chief Deborah Myers, Clark’s rumored lover, is about to reject Lt. Art Jacoby’s nomination of Clark as the killer and go after Jacoby in that role instead. This plot, as so often in Stone’s adventures, goes nowhere. But at least Stone’s dalliance with aspiring movie actress Lara Parks leads to some satisfying sex, though Lara has to decamp to make room for Holly when she’s able to sneak off to LA to resume her long-running affair with Stone. The execution of the bodyguard Dino has assigned to Jacoby—Dino's the New York City police commissioner—turns up the heat on Clark and Myers until one of them is murdered too. Eddie Craft, a fortuitous witness who saw the perpetrator of this last crime, hightails it to England, where he’s immediately sucked into a scheme to steal paintings by Stone’s late mother from Stone’s estate in Hampshire. So everything in this daisy chain is more or less connected, though not in any way you might have expected.

More bedmates for the hero, two of them new, and a higher body count than usual, but otherwise the same mixture as before.

Pub Date: Oct. 13, 2020

ISBN: 978-0-593-18832-3

Page Count: 320

Publisher: Putnam

Review Posted Online: July 29, 2020

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Aug. 15, 2020

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Crave chills and thrills but don’t have time for a King epic? This will do the job before bedtime. Not that you’ll sleep.

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LATER

Horrormeister King follows a boy’s journey from childhood to adolescence among the dead—and their even creepier living counterparts.

Jamie Conklin sees dead people. Not for very long—they fade away after a week or so—but during that time he can talk to them, ask them questions, and compel them to answer truthfully. His uncanny gift at first seems utterly unrelated to his mother Tia’s work as a literary agent, but the links become disturbingly clear when her star client, Regis Thomas, dies shortly after starting work on the newest entry in his bestselling Roanoke Saga, and Tia and her lover, NYPD Detective Liz Dutton, drive Jamie out to Cobblestone Cottage to encourage the late author to dictate an outline of his latest page-turner so that Tia, who’s fallen on hard times, can write it in his name instead of returning his advance and her cut. Now that she’s seen what Jamie can do, Liz takes it on herself to arrange an interview in which Jamie will ask Kenneth Therriault, a serial bomber who’s just killed himself, where he’s stowed his latest explosive device before it can explode posthumously. His post-mortem encounter with Therriault exacts a high price on Jamie, who now finds himself more haunted than ever, though he never gives up on the everyday experiences in which King roots all his nightmares.

Crave chills and thrills but don’t have time for a King epic? This will do the job before bedtime. Not that you’ll sleep.

Pub Date: March 2, 2021

ISBN: 978-1-7890-9649-1

Page Count: 256

Publisher: Hard Case Crime

Review Posted Online: Dec. 26, 2020

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Jan. 15, 2021

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