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A Jack Reacher Novel – #6 The secretive, closed organization that invites Jack Reacher in is the Secret Service, the organization that protects the Presidency. Someone who was once close to Reacher’s brother, needs help in her new job. Her new job? Saving the Vice President of the United States from being assassinated.

A Jack Reacher Novel – #7 Amazon.com Review Jack Reacher, the taciturn ex-MP whose adventures in Lee Child's six previous solidly plotted, expertly paced thrillers have won a devoted fan base, returns in this explosive tale of an undercover operation set up by the FBI to rescue an agent investigating Zachary Beck, a reclusive tycoon believed to be a kingpin in the drug trade. The novel begins with a bang as Reacher rescues Beck's son from a staged kidnapping in order to get close to his father – and trace the connection between Beck and Quinn, a former army intelligence officer who tried to sell blueprints of a secret weapon to Iraq but was murdered before he could pull it off. Or so Reacher thinks, until he spots Quinn in the crowd at a concert in Boston. As usual, Child ratchets up the tension and keeps the reader in suspense until the last page, although his enigmatic hero hardly ever seems to break a sweat. In the tough guy tradition, Reacher and his creator are overdue for a breakout, and this muscular, well-written mystery might be the one. From Publishers Weekly The promo copy on the ARC of Child's new thriller proclaims, "We dare to make this claim: Lee Child is the best thriller writer you're probably not reading yet." Hopefully the "six-figure" marketing campaign promised by Child's new publisher will make that statement obsolete, because readers will be hard-pressed to find a more engaging thriller this spring season. Child is a master of storytelling skills, not least the plot twist, and the opening chapter of this novel spins a doozy, as a high-octane, extremely violent action sequence sees Child hero Jack Reacher rescue a young man, 20-year-old Richard Beck, from an attempted kidnapping before the rug is pulled out from under the reader with the chapter's last line. The rest of the novel centers on the Beck family's isolated, heavily guarded estate on the Maine coast where Reacher takes Richard. Richard's father is suspected by Feds of being a major drug dealer and the kidnapper of another Fed, and also seems to have ties to a fiend who killed Reacher's lady 10 years before, someone Reacher thought he'd killed in turn, in a vengeance slaying. Tension runs high, then extremely high, as Reacher, ingratiating himself with the dealer and hired on as a bodyguard, pokes around the estate, looking for the kidnapped Fed and evading and/or disposing of in-house bad guys as they begin to suspect he's not who he seems. But then little in Child's novels is as it at first seems, and numerous further plot twists spark the story line. What makes the novel really zing, though, is Reacher's narration – a unique mix of the brainy and the brutal, of strategic thinking and explosive action, moral rumination and ruthless force, marking him as one of the most memorable heroes in contemporary thrillerdom. Any thriller fan who has yet to read Lee Child should start now.

The young woman was shot dead in cold blood, dropped outside the stadium, in front of a stand selling Moet for USD 7.50 a glass. Once her tennis career had skyrocketed. Now, at the height of the US Open, the headlines were being made by another young player from the wrong side of the tracks. When Myron Bolitar investigates the killing he uncovers a connection between the two players and a six year old murder at an exclusive club. Suddenly Myron is in over his head. And with a dirty US senator, a jealous mother and the mob all drawn into the case, he finds himself playing the most dangerous game of all…

Myron Bolitar might have a slightly dubious past, but he knows how to handle himself and is doing just fine as a sports agent. That is, until he meets Brenda Slaughter, one of the hottest female sports stars around. She’s gorgeous, funny and single, and also seems to have mislaid her agent. But when her father disappears, and the Mob starts leaning on her, it soon becomes apparent that potent forces are at work and Myron is quickly plunged into a whirlpool of deceit and death.

Amazon.com Review

Matt Scudder, the recovering alcoholic private eye from The Devil Knows You're Dead and A Ticket to the Boneyard, embarks on another descent into the nightmarish quarters of New York, this time to investigate the sex-for-sale industry. Hired by the brother of an heiress to investigate her rape and murder, Scudder tails her husband to a boxing match and notices another man whom he saw on video a few months earlier on a different case involving a snuff film. As Scudder calls on old friends for assistance and tours New York's dark physical and social landscapes, Block masterfully builds the pressure that leads Scudder to the violent resolution in this winner of the 1992 Edgar Award for best mystery novel.

From Publishers Weekly

Block masterfully builds the pressure in this Edgar Award winner, as newly sober Manhattan PI Matt Scudder investigates the death of a TV producer's wife.

A hurricane hinders a kidnapping and Spenser goes on a search for the man responsible – the infamous Gray Man, who has both helped and hunted Spenser in the past.

Heidi Bradshaw is wealthy, beautiful, and well connected – and she needs Spenser's help. In a most unlikely request, Heidi, a notorious gold digger recently separated from her latest husband, recruits the Boston P.I. to accompany her to her private island, Tashtego. The reason? To attend her daughter's wedding as a sort of stand-in husband and protector. Spenser consents, but only after it is established that his beloved Susan Silverman will also be in attendance.

It should be a straightforward job for Spenser: show up for appearances, have some drinks, and spend some quality time with Susan. But when Spenser's old nemesis Rugar – the Gray Man – arrives, Spenser realizes that something is amiss. A storm, a kidnapping, and murder tear apart what should be a joyous occasion, and Rugar is seemingly at the center of it all. The only thing is that the sloppy kidnapping is not Rugar's style – as Spenser knows from past encounters. With six dead bodies and more questions than he can process, Spenser begins a search for answers – and the Gray Man.

With its razor-sharp dialogue, crisply etched characters, and high-wire narrative tension, Rough Weather once again proves that 'Robert B. Parker is a force of nature'

"Robert B. Parker has taken his place beside Dashiell Hammett, Raymond Chandler, and Ross MacDonald".-The Boston Globe.

***

This is the first Spenser book. Spenser is hired by a local university to recover a rare stolen manuscript and along the way gets embroiled with campus politics and murder.

Matthew Scudder is finally leading a comfortable life. He's sober, he's married, and the state just gave him a private investigator's license. He's growing older, and he's even getting respectable. Then Scudder signs on to help his closest and most unlikely friend, the larger-than-life Hell's Kitchen hoodlum Mick Ballou. And all hell breaks loose. Scudder finds out he's not so respectable after all. He learns the spruced-up sidewalks of New York are as mean as they ever were, dark and gritty and stained with blood. And he discovers he's living in a world where the past is a minefield, the present is a war zone, and the future's an open question.

These were the dark days for Matthew Scudder. An ex- New York cop, he had drowned his career in booze. Now he was drinking away his life in a succession of seedy establishments that opened early and closed late, reduced to doing paid "favors" for the cronies who gathered with him to worship the bottle.

Now, in a sad and lonely place like so many before it, opportunity comes knocking – a chance to help the ginmil's owner recover his stolen doctored financial records; a chance to help out a drinking buddy accused of murdering his wife. But when cases flow together in dangerous and disturbing ways – like the nightmare images in a drunkard's delirium – it's time for Scudder to change his priorities: to staying sober…and staying alive.

Unlicensed PI Matthew Scudder returns after a three-year absence to investigate the murder of a wealthy couple savagely slain in their Manhattan townhouse. Matt's now 62, and his age shows in this relatively sedate outing. There's less violence than in many cases past, and the urban melancholy that pervaded his earlier tales has dissipated, replaced by a mature reckoning with the unending cycle of life and death. The mystery elements are strong. To the cops, the case is open-and-shut: the perps have been found dead, murder/suicide, in Brooklyn, with loot from the townhouse in their possession. Matt enters the scene when his assistant, TJ, introduces him to the cousin of the dead couple's daughter; the cousin suspects the daughter of having engineered the killings for the inheritance. At loose ends, Matt digs in, quickly rejecting the daughter as a suspect but uncovering evidence pointing to a mastermind behind the murders. Block sounds numerous obligatory notes from Scudder tales past the AA meetings, the tithing of Matt's income, cameo appearances by Matt's love interest, Elaine, and his friend, Irish mobster Mick Ballou and he adds texture with some familial drama involving Matt's sons and ex-wife. His prose is as smooth as aged whiskey, as always, and the story flows across its pages. It lacks the visceral edge and heightened emotion of many previous Scudders, however, and the ending seems patly aimed at a sequel. This is a solid mystery, a fine Block, but less than exceptional. (Nov.)Forecast: All Blocks sell and Scudder's return will do particularly well, especially with the attendant major ad/promo, including a 17-city author tour.

When I first arrived at Ballantine, where I am the mass market managing editor, we were just undergoing a daunting task: repackaging all of John D. MacDonald's Travis McGee novels. We were giving him a brand-new, beautiful look; ingeniously, we used a deep blue color for THE DEEP BLUE GOOD-BY, a gold color for A DEADLY SHADE OF GOLD, a lavender hue for THE LONG LAVENDER LOOK, etc. But as I worked on the actual stories themselves, I realized that as colorful as these books now are on the outside, they're even more colorful on the inside. In order to prepare these books, we had to have them retyped from scratch; some of these books are so old that the plates had died, so we had nothing to print from. So all the books had to be proofread as if they were new books, and what a joy it was working on them. I unexpectedly rediscovered an author and character I knew very little about. Travis McGee is one of the great characters in crime fiction, and John D. MacDonald a fascinating storyteller. You never know what either is going to do next, or say next; what is going on in their minds is as important, if not more so, then what is going on outside Travis's boat. All of which add up to a heckuva fun series.

Mark Rifkin, Managing Editorial

Gil Vine is a house officer in a N.Y. city hotel which witnesses the murder of a man in the suite of Tildy Millett, gimmick girl on a video show. From Tildy’s love for Dow Lanerd who plays around but not for keeps, to Lanerd’s murder which is to follow, this turns up other angles- and curves, for a final solution in blackmail and an indiscretion which ended in illegitimacy.

From Publishers Weekly

"D" is for Detective Kinsey Millhone, given $25,000 of stolen drug money by a drunkard named Daggett who then dies in a drowning. When she decides to deliver the money to Daggett's designee, a young man who was the sole survivor of an auto accident perpetrated by Daggett, Kinsey finds herself in a dilemma: too many "D's" are after the loot. There are two Mrs. Daggetts, a daughter, the drug dealers and a determined killer who soon claims a second life. At this point, Grafton's lively, well-written adventure develops a deadly flaw. Kinsey comes upon the second victim shortly after he's been shot. Though dying, he is conscious and coherent. Why, then, doesn't she ask who did it? When asked the same thing by the police, she says, "I didn't want the last minutes of his life taken up with that stuff"a humane but unlikely rejoiner from any private eye. Even so, the pleasure of this story comes through. Let's give it a "D" for Dandy.

Thirty-four years ago, Violet Sullivan put on her party finery and left for the annual Fourth of July fireworks display. She was never seen again.

In the small California town of Serena Station, tongues wagged. Some said she'd run off with a lover. Some said she was murdered by her husband.

But for the not-quite-seven-year-old daughter Daisy she left behind, Violet's absence has never been explained or forgotten.

Now, thirty-four years later, she wants the solace of closure.

In S is for Silence, Kinsey Millhone's nineteenth excursion into the world of suspense and misadventure, S is for surprises as Sue Grafton takes a whole new approach to telling the tale. And S is for superb: Kinsey and Grafton at their best.

"'Skilful and ingenious' Irish Times; 'I love Sue Grafton's Kinsey Millhone novels… you are never disappointed' Guardian; 'Will keep you awake until the last page has been turned' Daily Mail"

'My name is Kinsey Millhone. I'm a private investigator, licensed by the state of California. I'm thirty-two years old, twice divorced, no kids. The day before yesterday I killed someone and the fact weighs heavily on my mind…' When Laurence Fife was murdered, few cared. A slick divorce attorney with a reputation for ruthlessness, Fife was also rumoured to be a slippery ladies' man. Plenty of people in the picturesque Southern California town of Santa Teresa had reason to want him dead including, thought the cops, his young and beautiful wife, Nikki. With motive, access and opportunity, Nikki was their number one suspect and the Jury thought so too. Eight years later and out on parole, Nikki Fife hires Kinsey Millhone to find out who really killed her husband. But the trail has gone cold and there is a chilling twist even Kinsey didn't expect…"Skilful and ingenious". – "Irish Times". "I love Sue Grafton's Kinsey Millhone novels…you are never disappointed." – "Guardian". "Will keep you awake until the last page has been turned" – "Daily Mail".

Reba Lafferty was a daughter of privilege, Abandoned by her rebellious mother when she was an infant, she was the only child of a rich man already in his mid-fifties when she was born, and her adoring father thoroughly spoiled her. Now, at thirty-two, having had many scrapes with the law, she is about to be released on probation from the California Institution for Women, having served twenty-two months of a four-year sentence for embezzlement. Though Nord Lafferty could deny his daughter nothing, he wasn't there for her when she was brought up on this charge. Now he wants to be sure she stays straight, stays at home and away from drugs, the booze, the gamblers.

It seems a straightforward assignment for Kinsey: babysit Reba until she settles in, make sure she follows all the niceties of her parole. May a week's work. Nothing untoward – the woman seems remorseful and friendly. And the money is good.

But life is never that simple, and Reba is out of prison less than twenty-four hours when one of her old crowd comes circling around.

From Publishers Weekly

Starred Review. The 20th Kinsey Millhone crime novel (after 2005's S Is for Silence), a gripping, if depressing, tale of identify theft and elder abuse, displays bestseller Grafton's storytelling gifts. By default, Millhone, a private investigator in the small Southern California town of Santa Teresa, assumes responsibility for the well-being of an old neighbor, Gus Vronsky, injured in a fall. After Vronsky's great-niece arranges to hire a home aide, Solana Rojas, Millhone begins to suspect that Rojas is not all that she seems. Since the reader knows from the start that an unscrupulous master manipulator has stolen the Rojas persona, the plot focuses not on whodunit but on the battle of wits Millhone wages with an unconventional and formidable adversary. Grafton's mastery of dialogue and her portrayal of the limits of good intentions make this one of the series' high points, even if two violent scenes near the end tidy up the pieces a little too neatly.

Wise-cracking, female private investigator, Kinsey Millhone, is hired to find a missing sister. However, when the trail leads to Florida, Kinsey finds herself caught up in a dangerous case involving fire-raising, burglary and murder.

From Kirkus Reviews

California's formidable p.i. Kinsey Millhone (``A'' Is for Alibi, etc.), fired from her comfortable berth with Fidelity Insurance, now rents office space from busy Santa Teresa lawyer Lonnie Kingman. His usual outside investigator Morley Shine has died of a heart attack, and he hires Kinsey to take over the case that Morley was working on. It involves the upcoming trial of David Barney, acquitted of the six-year-old murder of his wife, Isabelle, but now being sued for wrongful death in civil court by Isabelle's first husband, Ken Voigt. Voigt, represented by Lonnie Kingman, is sure that Barney killed Isabelle and wants to keep her considerable fortune out of his hands. Lonnie thinks he has a strong case, buoyed by damning new evidence from drifter Curtis McIntyre. But what Kinsey finds as she begins to probe is a surprising number of people with reasons to hate Isabelle-among them Voigt's second wife, Francesca, and Isabelle's business mentor Peter Weidmann and his overprotective wife, Yolanda. She also uncovers curious gaps in Morley's files and begins to question his ``heart attack,'' as Lonnie's seemingly solid case collapses bit by bit, with her own life on the line in the gritty finale. A sober, resolute Kinsey, romanceless at the moment, and a clever, meaty puzzle-for which the publisher plans a 300,000 first printing. Rack up another winner for Grafton.

From Publishers Weekly

The 11th adventure of Santa Teresa, Calif., PI Kinsey Milhone has a dark tone-due in great part to Kinsey's working this case mostly at night. Kinsey agrees to look into the 10-month-old death of Lorna Kepler, a young woman whose decomposed body was discovered in her cabin so long after death that it was impossible to determine the cause. Kinsey's client, Lorna's mother, who works the night shift in a 24-hour diner, suspects murder. So does Kinsey, especially after investigating Lorna's effects and her considerable assets, some unaccounted-for. An anonymously delivered pornographic tape adds to the emerging portrait of the dead woman as an intriguingly self-sufficient, ambitious woman of the evening. In nighttime forays, Kinsey talks to an all-night deejay whom Lorna often visited at his studio; she meets-and befriends-a prostitute who occasionally teamed up with Lorna to party with clients. She also investigates the victim's day job as a part-time receptionist for the water district, where a high-stakes development project is currently raising tempers. A host of suspects includes a porn filmmaker in San Francisco, members of Lorna's family, her landlord, the water district employees and even a smooth-dressing cop, whom Kinsey talks to at night. But lack of sleep dulls Kinsey's perceptions and it takes two more deaths and the surprise appearance of a deus ex limousine to lead her to a solution. Even sleep-deprived, Kinsey shows spunk and appeal, but she is not at her sharpest here. 600,000 first printing; author tour.

Amazon.com Review

Both new readers and old fans will welcome this 12th Kinsey Milhone adventure in the "A" is for Alibi series by Sue Grafton. In this case, Kinsey agrees to do a favor for a friend of a friend and gets herself into so much trouble that she promises at the outset never to do such a thing again without careful consideration.

Henry Pitt, her longtime landlord asks her to help a fellow neighbor find evidence that his grandfather served in the military during the Second World War. With such proof, the man can be decently buried, courtesy of the U.S. government. It seems such a simple thing, but with Kinsey, it rarely is. Before long she finds herself entangled with an eccentric and quarrelsome family as well as a long lost buddy who has turned up just in time to get himself beaten up in a robbery attempt of the alleged veteran's apartment. It seems there is a reason the Armed Services have no record of the dead man's service. Kinsey sets out to determine what he might have been doing instead of fighting against the Japanese and why someone might think his shabby apartment worth a burgle.

Typical of the series, the mystery is not the central point of the story, but rather a starting point for Kinsey to become embroiled in a suspenseful (and delightful) search-and-rescue operation, usually against her better judgement. In this case, a gun-toting, arthritic octogenarian and revelations of the inner workings of bargain-rate motels are all part of the adventure. This is an easy and enjoyable read, and a solid addition to Grafton's string of alphabetical hits

From Publishers Weekly

While private detective and former cop Kinsey Millhone ("D" Is for Deadbeat) is investigating a possible case of industrial arson involving a company owned by the family of a former schoolmate, someone tries to make it look as if she's on the take. A mysterious $5000 appears in her bank account. She sets out to clear herself, while two or possibly more cases of murder occur, including one by bombing. A Christmas spent alone and the reappearance of her second ex-husband, Daniel, who had deserted her, add to Kinsey's depression. Grafton has an accurate, wicked eye for California lifestyle and wise-cracking Kinsey is an appealing, nonhackneyed female detective. Particularly illuminating are the descriptions of document searches, which make up much of real detective work today. This fifth entry in the series, however, is not quite up to the standards of its predecessors because the motivation for the crimes seems weak. That caveat notwithstanding, readers will be glad that further letters of the alphabet await Grafton's imagination.

From Publishers Weekly

The corpse in private eye Kinsey Millhone's third adventure ("A" Is for Alibi and "B" Is for Burglar is that of Bobby Callahan, a young man she first meets while both are working out in a local gym. Bobby is convinced the car crash he'd been injured in was really an attempt on his life and, fearful of another assault, persuades Kinsey to investigate. A few days later, Bobby is indeed killed, and Kinsey stays on the case. She is befriended by Bobby's wealthy mother, his opportunistic stepfather and druggie, anoretic stepsister. She learns Bobby was having an affair with a friend of his mother's whose first husband had been killed in a suspicious burglary, and whose second is county pathologist. While the almost hard-boiled Kinsey ferrets out the ugly secrets behind Bobby's death, she's also trying to save her elderly landlord from the schemes of the scam-operating senior lady he's smitten with. Kinsey Millhone is nobody's fool; she's also sensitive, funny and very likable. Writing with a light, sure touch, Grafton has produced a fast-moving California story about quirky, believable people.

This is the latest in the ABC of crime, featuring the wise-cracking female private investigator, Kinsey Millhone. Baily Fowler was convicted of murder and then went missing. 16 years later he's found by the police and Kinsey Millhone is hired by Fowler's father to clear his name.