April 15, 2017 Booklist 23 www.booklistonline.com
dismay of his wife and the delight of his associates. A brilliant police procedural unfolds
within which Johansson must confront his
mortality: “What sort of life is it if you’re just
counting down the days to the end?” Johansson manages to solve the 25-year-old crime
within a month despite his fading memory
and failing body, even though scores of police
officers worked on it for several years. In the
hands of a lesser storyteller, this novel, which
takes more than 400 pages to tell, would collapse under the staggering amount of dialogue
and detail, but, in Persson’s telling, it is almost
impossible to put down. An absolutely masterful crime novel. —Jane Murphy
Enemy of the Good.
By Matthew Palmer.
May 2017. 400p. Putnam, $28 (9780399175022).
Palmer, a 20-year veteran of the U.S. Foreign Service, brings his experience to bear in
this satisfying thriller. His latest, following
Secrets of State (2015), once again showcases
the life of a diplomat. Foreign Service officer
Katarina “Kate” Hollister is assigned to Kyrgyzstan to work with her uncle in offering
assistance to a resistance group fighting the
government and its corrupt president. Meanwhile, the U.S. is negotiating a controversial
agreement with Kyrgyzstan, so extra care is
needed to keep support of the rebels a secret.
Having grown up in the region, Kate seems a
natural for the assignment, but there are more
forces at work than she realizes, eventually
forcing her to make a bold choice that could
jeopardize her career. Not surprisingly, Palmer
does an excellent job of incorporating details
about how our government works overseas
into the story’s thriller elements. A good
choice for anyone interested in real-world diplomacy. —Jeff Ayers
The Girl on the Bridge.
By James Hayman.
May 2017. 368p. Morrow, paper, $12.99
(9780062661333); e-book, $7.14 (9780062657213).
Turning someone else’s terror, pain, and
even death into diverting entertainment
is at the core of the mystery writer’s craft,
series detectives, Michael McCabe and Mag-
gie Savage of the Portland, Maine, police.
They’re smart, they’re fiercely articulate, and
their dogged investigation turns the novel
into a procedural of the highest order. Hor-
rible things happened, but justice is on the
way. Or, as one suspect says, “pure revenge.”
The cops spend time interviewing those with
scores to settle—the victim’s husband, a be-
trayed wife or two—with each seemingly
routine inquiry adding to the suspense and
puzzlement. Everything goes right here: pac-
ing, mood, and lean, elegant writing. And by
the time readers learn the killer’s identity and
motive, they’ll be happy to kill the scumbag,
too. —Don Crinklaw
Here and Gone.
By Haylen Beck.
June 2017. 304p. Crown, $26 (9780451499578).
Good news. Here’s the perfect handoff
for fans desperate for “something like” Lee
Child, Harlan Coben, and Lisa Gardner.
Haylen Beck is the pseudonym of acclaimed
Irish crime writer Stuart Neville. In this re-
markable piece of suspense,
he leaves his top-notch
series characters in their
Belfast haunts and puts
Audra Kinney behind the
wheel of an aged station
wagon on the run with her
two children, desperate to
leave an abusive husband
and a troubled past in New York. California,
here we come! Well, not quite. Audra gets
pulled over somewhere in Arizona by one
of those unsettling sheriff types and is taken
into custody. When she gets to the station,
her kids are not there, and she becomes the
prime suspect in their disappearance. The
collusive deputies claim they never saw any
kids. In the ensuing media frenzy, Danny
Lee, a Jack Reacher–like figure, recognizes
an eerie similarity to events in his own past
and is determined that these children be
found. It is a desperate fight. How desperate?
When Audra, determined not to waste her
shot, finally gets the chance, her son has to
say, “Mom, stop.” If there were such a thing
as the Misused Mother of the Year Award,
this woman with her “throat burned raw
from screaming” would be a prime candi-
date. Don’t be surprised if this one becomes
the thriller everybody is reading this sum-
mer. —Jane Murphy
Hong Kong Black.
By Alex Ryan.
May 2017. 352p. Crooked Lane, $25.99
(9781683310280); e-book (9781683310303).
The writing team of Brian Andrews and Jeffrey Wilson delivers an intense and exciting
follow-up to Beijing Red (2016). Nick Foley
is asked by his friend in the CIA to investigate the disappearance of a Company asset,
and he reluctantly agrees. When the man
washes up on a beach, along with dozens of
other bodies, Foley finds himself embroiled in
a conspiracy that involves suspicious medical
procedures. The woman he cares about, Dr.
Dazhong “Dash” Chen, gets involved in helping him in the search for answers, and soon
both are in jeopardy. Chen’s boss doesn’t want
Nick’s help for several reasons, not the least
of which are his own feelings for Dash. The
mix of history, adventure, romance, and science suggests Clive Cussler at the top of his
game. —Jeff Ayers
I Am Death.
By Chris Carter.
May 2017. 25p. Atria/Emily Bestler, $25
(9781476765716); e-book, $12.99 (9781476765730).
In the seventh Robert Hunter thriller,
a detective in the LAPD’s two-man Ultra
Violent Crimes unit is trying to track down
an especially sadistic murderer. How sadistic, you ask? Well, one of the killer’s victims
died by having her face literally sanded off
(by an electric sanding machine). Another,
the book’s first victim, was apparently killed
by being hung upside down, a slow and torturous way to die. Oh, and that victim also
had a note shoved down her throat reading: I
AM DEATH. Who is the killer, and what is
the motive? The Hunter thrillers are popular
with their fans, but, surprisingly, not widely
known. The author doesn’t have the name recognition of, say, Jeffery Deaver or T. Jefferson
Parker, two other writers whose books deftly
combine, as Carter does, realistically drawn
characters, psychological terror, and clever
plotting. Here’s hoping Carter’s latest brings
new readers into the fold. —David Pitt
It’s Always the Husband.
By Michele Campbell.
May 2017. 320p. St. Martin’s, $26.99 (9781250081803).
Campbell turns the tables on readers who
easily identify the usual suspects in this debut
taking place in the New England town of Belle
River. Jenny, Aubrey, and Kate, roommates at
Carlisle College, couldn’t be less alike. Growing up in Belle River, Jenny is hardworking
and studious. Aubrey leaves her difficult
childhood for the halls of Carlisle yet doesn’t
feel that she fits in. Kate’s party-girl reputation hides the troubled girl behind the facade.
They form a strong bond in the first months
of school until a tragedy changes everything.
Twenty years later, they’re back in Belle River,
struggling with adult responsibilities and difficult relationships with each other and their
husbands. When one is coaxed to her death
in the opening scene, it seems obvious. It’s always the husband. Isn’t it? Twists, turns, and a
puzzling mix of suspects, as well as alternating
time frames between college and the present,
will keep readers turning the pages. The close
friendship never quite gels realistically, but the
edge-of-your-seat pace and dark atmosphere
will appeal to suspense lovers. — Tracy Babiasz
The Last Kid Left.
By Rosecrans Baldwin.
June 2017. 400p. Farrar, $27 (9780374298562).
It starts with a car crash when 19-year-old
Nick runs into a roadside statue somewhere in
New Jersey. When police arrive at the scene,
they discover two dead bodies in the trunk
of the car. Nick insists on confessing to their
murder, and though the soon-to-retire sheriff,
Martin, doesn’t buy it, the boy is extradited to
New Hampshire, where the murders occurred.
The sheriff, now retired, goes to work for Nick’s
attorney as an investigator. Readers quickly
learn Nick is in love with 16-year-old Emily,
the sheriff’s daughter; when compromising