September 1, 2016 Booklist 59 www.booklistonline.com
formation. The last person to have been seen
with him, Michaels attracts the attention of
local police when he disappears, but armed
with the protection and influence of FBI
agent Adam Lynch and a new cohort, Jessie
Mercado, Michaels is able to infiltrate the
cabal hijacking Waldridge’s medical research
and skills. As the body count rises and threats
come closer to Michaels’ own door, there is
no time to waste to discover Waldridge’s location and put an end to those who would
corrupt his life-saving medical expertise. The
mother-and-son Johansen team (The Naked Eye, 2015) delivers another high-stakes,
high-powered thriller in the popular Kendra
Michaels series. —Carol Haggas
By Anne Holt and Berit Reiss-Andersen.
Tr. by Anne Bruce.
Sept. 2016. 336p. Scribner, $26 (9781501123351);
e-book, $9.99 (9781501123375).
This sixth Hanne Wilhelmsen novel
(following Dead Joker, 2016) is a nearly pitch-perfect procedural layered over a moving
exploration of rejection and abandonment.
Oslo’s hottest celebrity chef, Brede Ziegler, is
left on the police station’s steps with a butcher
knife thrust in his chest. Chief Inspector Billy
T. leads the investigation, which is a disaster
from the start. Ziegler, egotistical and likely
sociopathic, was widely despised. Billy T.’s
team easily hauls in a parade of likely killers,
but none of them can be implicated by solid
evidence. Then Hanne returns to Oslo after
months of self-exile spent grieving over her
domestic partner’s death and jolts the faltering investigation further. Billy T., furious over
her callous abandonment, refuses to acknowledge her presence. Alienated from the team,
Hanne follows her own path, instinctively
trailing the killer through the investigation’s
loose threads. Tragedy serves as a catalyst as
Hanne drops walls and reluctantly acknowledges her failures, forges new romantic
ground, and develops an oddly sound friendship with a junkie prostitute connected to the
case. —Christine Tran
Order to Kill.
By Kyle Mills.
Oct. 2016. 400p. Atria/Emily Bestler, $28.99
(9781476783482); e-book, $14.99 (9781476783506).
Mills has firmly established himself as the
heir to the fictional world created by Vince
Flynn, who died in 2013. Mills’ latest thriller
starring Flynn’s hero Mitch Rapp (following
The Survivor, 2015) is a
stunner. The assignment is
tough enough—keep Paki-
stani nukes from falling into
the hands of terrorists—but
the stakes, and the difficulty,
are multiplied many times
over when Rapp realizes that
he has a price on his head,
and the man who is paying the bounty has a
bold plan to disrupt the entire global supply
of oil, which could easily launch WWIII. But
first he must eliminate Rapp, the only man
capable of stopping him. Of course, this isn’t
Rapp’s first rodeo, and if he needs to go to
Russia posing as an ISIS recruit, that’s what
he’ll do. Readers concerned about the fate of
the Rapp series after Flynn’s passing have no
reason to worry. Mills joins the select list of
writers able to inherit someone else’s premises
and characters and keep the franchise going
with gusto. This series continues to be the
best of the best in the high-adventure, action-
heavy thriller field. —Jeff Ayers
HIGH-DEMAND BACKSTORY: Flynn’s
name, Flynn’s characters, and Mills’ skill will
take this one to the top of the charts, terri-
tory already familiar to Mitch Rapp.
Our Hearts Will Burn Us Down.
By Anne Valente.
Oct. 2016. 384p. Morrow, $25.99 (9780062429117);
e-book, $12.99 (9780062429131).
Not long after a teenage gunman rampages
through a St. Louis high school, killing 35
people, the fires start, fires that consume the
homes and families of those who died in the
school, leaving no survivors of the conflagrations and—improbably—not even a trace of
their dead bodies. How this could be and who
is responsible for the fires are questions that
plague public-safety officials and the book’s
protagonists, four surviving students, all staff
members of the student yearbook, who begin
their own de facto investigation: Nick, who
is a compulsive researcher; Zola, the staff
photographer; and staff writers Christina and
Matt, whose father is a forensics specialist
with the police department. Answers to the
puzzling questions raised by the fires are very
slow in coming in this deliberately paced novel that takes itself very seriously, so seriously as
to seem, at times, self-important as it strives
for a significance larger than the story it tells.
Despite this, the characterizations are acute
and the resolution, though ambiguous, is tantalizingly thought provoking. —Michael Cart
YA: Despite the book’s slow pace,
teens will be intrigued by its premise
and identify with the vividly realized
The Place of Shining Light.
By Nazneen Sheikh.
Sept. 2016. 324p. Anansi, paper, $15.95
Islamabad antiquities dealer Khalid hires
Adeel, a former special forces operative, to
smuggle an ancient Buddha statue from
Afghanistan to the Punjab. But Adeel experiences a spiritual awakening when he sees
the statue and resolves to steal it from Khalid
to protect its purity. Adeel’s efforts to disappear before Khalid discovers his betrayal are
hampered by the Taliban and by Norbu,
a mysterious woman Adeel encounters on
the run. Khalid uses his army and Taliban
contacts to hunt Adeel while maneuvering
to keep the buyer, Ghalib, from discovering the theft. Meanwhile, Ghalib, a wealthy
landowner notorious for exploiting villagers,
launches a cynical, power-grabbing campaign
for parliament. Sheikh makes good use of the
election-year backdrop, using Adeel, Khalid,
and Ghalib’s narratives to probe Pakistan’s
complex yet informal economic and social
structure. This timely and provocative choice
for book groups balances a moving story
about the price of greed with a roller-coaster
thriller plot. —Christine Tran
The Queen’s Accomplice.
By Susan Elia MacNeal.
Oct. 2016. 368p. Bantam, paper, $16 (9780804178723);
As if Germany weren’t enough of a challenge
to Londoners in 1942, a Jack the Ripper copycat is targeting young women involved in the
war effort. American-bred agent Maggie Hope,
27, is chafing under the new leadership of the
Special Operations Executive, a colonel who
considers women best used to brew tea and is
cavalier about a female agent’s disquieting coded messages. Then Maggie is tapped to work
with MI5 to find the Blackout Beast, who is
killing women in the army and SOE in the
same manner that the original Ripper killed
prostitutes, seemingly because he resents their
taking jobs that should belong to men. As she
works with DCI James Durgin to track down
the Beast, Maggie also uses her established
connections with Queen Elizabeth to push for
parity for women agents, who are paid less than
men and are at greater risk because they aren’t
covered by the Geneva Convention. Although
the ending seems rushed, with the indomitable
Maggie serving as bait for the Beast and then
taking off to pursue dangling story lines, this is
a fine historical mystery given a feminist slant.
The Reckoning on Cane Hill.
By Steve Mosby.
Sept. 2016. 352p. Pegasus, $25.95 (9781681772080).
A woman with elaborately carved scars on
her face appears out of nowhere and says she’s
Charlie Matheson, who was supposed to have
died in a car accident two years ago. She re-
members little of the day she “died” but tells
the officers investigating her
claims about the time she
spent in Hell. When she says
the devil gave her instruc-
tions to talk to the man who
took down the 50/50 Killer
(from Mosby’s 2007 novel),
the police begin to pay at-
tention, albeit skeptically.
Alternating chapters focus on Detective Da-
vid Groves, who is being taunted by someone
claiming to know who murdered his young
son. Groves’ hell, for now, is in his own mind.
The psychological torture in this book is as
disturbing as any anatomical pain described in
other thrillers. Mosby masterfully keeps read-
ers off balance; we want the characters’ pain
to end, but we’re not willing to put the book
down. Recommend this superb crime novel
to fans of Val McDermid and Michael Robo-
tham, but be sure to apologize for the sleepless