The creator of Philadelphia lawyer Bennie Rosato (Think Twice, 2010, etc.) pens another white-hot crossover novel about the perils of mother love.
One minute catalog model–turned–lunchroom mom Rose McKenna is keeping third-grade bully Amanda Gigot from leaving the Reesburgh Elementary cafeteria while she tells Amanda that she shouldn't make fun of Rose's daughter, Melinda Cadiz, because of the port wine birthmark on her cheek; the next, she's agonizing over which child to save first from an explosion that's ripped through the school cafeteria. Rose's reflexes make what she ends up deciding were the best decisions at the time: She led Amanda and her friends to the door to safety, then went back to look for Melly, who'd hidden in a rest room. But Eileen Gigot and her many friends in the school don't agree. They accuse Rose of detaining Amanda, now lying in a hospital in a coma, then leaving her in the care of another 8-year-old so that she could rescue her own daughter, who's making a full recovery. Rose is stung by shock, then guilt, and finally outrage when she realizes that Eileen may file both civil and criminal actions against her. Worse, she learns that her one ally in Reesburgh Elementary, gifted teacher Kristen Canton, is leaving. Worse still, the hardball litigator her understanding husband, attorney Leo Ingrassia, has dug up for her, is anticipating possible prosecution by taking an aggressive stand on his client's behalf, positioning Rose as exactly the sort of bully she's been trying to protect her daughter from. So when Kurt Rehgard, a carpenter who'd hinted that the explosion was an extremely suspicious accident, is killed together with the contractor friend he'd confided in, Rose parks Melly with some sympathetic neighbors for a few days and takes it upon herself to discover exactly what happened and why.
Scottoline, who shifts gears at every curve with the cool efficiency of a NASCAR driver, expertly fuels her target audience's dearest fantasy: "Every mom is an action hero."
Publishers WeeklyIn Johansen's gripping 11th Eve Duncan novel (after Chasing the Night), the first of a trilogy, the forensic sculptor zeros in on the kidnapper and serial killer who years earlier abducted and murdered her seven-year-old daughter, Bonnie. Eve's obsession with the case draws in her good friend, CIA agent Catherine Ling, as well as her lover and would-be protector, police detective Joe Quinn. In spite of their problematic relationships due to Eve's protracted and intense search, Ling and Quinn work together to call in favors and pursue every possible lead. Their joint efforts uncover a cadre of sharply drawn malefactors who may be deeply involved, notably emotionally unstable John Gallo, Eve's former lover and Bonnie's father, who spent six years as a prisoner in North Korea. The explosive finale set in the Wisconsin woods leads to an emotional cliffhanger, as Johansen deftly baits the hook for the next volume.
I'll Walk Alone by Mary Higgins Clark
According to Clark's unique take on identity theft, the thief doesn't just want to steal your money but to ruin your credibility, snatch your son and take your life.
Interior designer Alexandra Moreland's son disappeared from his stroller two years ago while Tiffany Shields, the babysitter Zan had hurriedly arranged to watch him, dozed nearby. Matthew's trail has long gone cold until his fifth birthday, when a tabloid newspaper publishes a photograph of Zan removing him from his stroller. In a flash, all the friends who've stood by her for the past two years turn on her. Her ex, Ted Carpenter, the publicist she'd split up with before she ever knew she was pregnant, winds up their dinner at the Four Seasons by accusing her of kidnapping his son. Architect Kevin Wilson, a prospective client who's been about to choose her designs over those of her former boss Bartley Longe, begins to waver. Bartley, who never forgave Zan for leaving his shop to set up her own, spews venom into NYPD ears. So does Tiffany, frantic to take this opportunity to defend herself against all the innuendo she's endured. Even Zan's friends Alvirah and Willy Meehan, long familiar to the Clark faithful (The Lottery Winner,1994, etc.), speculate whether she could have stolen Matthew during one of her mysterious blackouts. Only her loyal assistant, Josh Green, sticks by her side, and even he wonders who ordered the bolts of fabric that have begun to arrive at their office even though she swears she didn't order them. Meanwhile, Toby Grissom, who hasn't long to live, flies in from Texas to search for his daughter, Brittany La Monte, an aspiring actress and makeup expert who came to New York to make her fortune but disappeared shortly before Matthew.
Fans will bite their nails to the quick while they wait for all the characters who know bits and pieces of the story to pool their knowledge before the malefactor can strike again. Experts on identity theft will marvel that no matter what raw material goes into the Clark hopper, it all comes out looking much the same.