The Black Widow
By Daniel Silva
Art restorer, assassin and super spy Gabriel Allon must confront an adversary, his equal, in this electrifying thriller that stretches from the violent, terrorist bloodied streets of Paris to the sunny island of Santorini, Greece, Israel, and Washington, D.C.
After a detonated deadly car bomb ravages the French capital city and calls attention to a new terrorist network and its leader, a man known only as Saladin, Gabriel is charged with uncovering the shadowy figure before he can do more damage.
Utilizing an Israeli agent to pose as a radicalized Palestinian widow of a slain jihadist, Gabriel intends to infiltrate and destroy the extremist organization before it can mastermind another atrocity.
The Black Widow and her handler will embark on a hair-raising odyssey that will be played for very high stakes. If they fail, Saladin’s next terror spectacular will rival the impact of 9-11 and have the American public reeling in fear.
International intrigue has been Daniel Silva’s forte and this latest novel illustrates that he is at the height of his game. Although “The Black Widow” tops 500 pages in length, you won’t mind in the least because the pages melt away with uncommon speed. This is an unprecedented read that will keep even the most demanding reader glued to the page.
No Cure For Love
By Peter Robinson
William Morrow. $15.99
Sarah Broughton has left her dark past with a rock band and former name (Sally Bolton) behind to become the star of the newest hit television cop show.
As with any rising star, Sarah is being flooded with letters from appreciative fans. Dismissing the attention as nothing more than admiration from appreciative viewers, Sarah doesn’t take the letters seriously until the ones signed by “M” begin to use her former name.
That troubling fact, coupled with the discovery of the remains of a body buried close to her beach house with her name scratched in the sand, sends up a red flag that can’t be ignored.
Enter LAPD Arvo Hughes who specializes in tracking down stalkers who pose serious threats to their victims. Hughes is assigned to Sarah’s case and he’s in for one of the most challenging investigations in his career.
Peter Robinson has come a long way since this novel was first published and it has met with mixed reactions. While some of the fans of his Inspector Banks have given it a “thumbs up,” others have not been so positive. I have to admit that the Banks character is more interesting and the series’ Yorkshire setting is much more attractive than the author’s foray into the Southern California entertainment capital.
Dead Joker: A Hanne Wilhelmsen Novel
By Anne Holt
One of Norway’s most popular authors, Anne Holt rolls the dice in this fifth book in her Hanne Wilhelmsen mystery series. The decapitated body of Sigurd Halvorsrud’s wife makes him the prime suspect in her violent death. Sigurd claims a man he prosecuted for inside trading was the actual killer but a witness claims the man committed suicide days before the bloody murder.
Hanne and her former colleague, Billy T., are assigned the investigation and what seems to be an open and closed case becomes rather complicated when another headless body, this time a journalist, is found. Some curious twists take this police procedural into some unexpected areas and will surprise even the most discerning reader.
On the personal front, Hanne is coping with a tragedy that will have a profound impact on her life and concerns the woman she has lived with for nearly two decades. How this affects the detective’s career remains to be seen.
Those who have followed this exceptional series won’t want to miss “Dead Joker.” There’s nothing humorous about this case or the place Hanne finds herself in at the novel’s conclusion. If you are a fan of the Norwegian cop you’ll want to accompany her on this memorable and shattering journey.
The Last One
By Alexandra Oliva
The story begins when the novel’s heroine, a woman dubbed “Zoo” because she loves animals, joins the cast of a reality show taping a wilderness adventure. The idea is that the dozen volunteers will have their endurance tested as they confront various natural challenges.
While this “project” is set in motion, a pandemic strikes and the controlled reality situation switches over to one that is more than just a scenario for television entertainment.
You’ll have an up close and personal ringside seat as Zoo attempts to deal with a fearsome alteration in events as she is now earnestly fighting for survival in a world that has been altered beyond anything she once knew.
Taking a shot at the rash of reality TV that has flooded the airways, this clever story operates on a number of levels and will provoke some interesting discussions about news media, modern society and popular television culture. You’ll find this a memorable read that will linger long after the novel is finished.
Another One Goes Tonight: A Peter Diamond Investigation
By Peter Lovesey
This sixteenth adventure in the highly popular Peter Diamond series revolves around the Detective Superintendent investigating a mishap on behalf of the Professional Standards Department that involves two officers. On the way to a call the men’s car spins off the roadway and one officer is killed and the other badly injured.
When he arrives at the scene Diamond is horrified to discover that there is a third victim whose body has been overlooked. The man is found in the weeds by the side of the road and is still alive.
After administering CPR to save the third victim, Diamond does a little digging into who the man is and what he uncovers is quite startling. A number of mysterious deaths turn up and it appears that the individual hanging on to life support may indeed be a serial killer.
If you enjoy British police procedurals you’ll find this not only a riveting but also a very satisfying read. This is vintage Diamond with a well defined protagonist and well designed plot.