The sister whose brothers died only weeks earlier in their attempt to plant an atomic bomb in Stone Barrington's new Los Angeles hotel (Severe Clear, 2012) resolves to follow in their footsteps. Jasmine Shazaz doesn't have access to any nuclear devices, but she has serious potential as a vengeful terrorist. When her latest contact tells her, "Welcome to New York….Do you need to sleep?" she replies, "I need to blow up something." That exchange tells you all you need to know about the geopolitical nuances behind Jasmine's vendetta against MI6, the CIA, President Will Lee and his wife, Katharine, director of the CIA, Assistant Director Holly Barker, and especially Holly's frequent lover, Stone Barrington, now a CIA consultant. Starting in London, Jasmine blazes an explosive trail to the New World, making a mockery of the devices and protocols designed to protect England and America from the likes of her. Back in the U.S.A., Katharine Lee's CIA types, long familiar with the Whack-a-Mole approach to containment, agonize over where the unknown terrorist will emerge next, and Holly schemes to keep a lid on Kelli Keane, the Vanity Fair writer who knows a lot more than the American public needs to know about the attempted bombing in LA. All hands take their jobs so seriously that there's hardly any time for on-screen sex, and Stone makes not a single new conquest. But wish-fulfillment fantasies still blossom--Holly gets another promotion; Katharine Lee, her eye on a new plum, plans to resign the CIA directorship; and Stone's best friend, New York cop Dino Bacchetti, proposes marriage--as Jasmine sets her sights on Stone's building in Manhattan's Turtle Bay neighborhood. Agatha Christie's reputation as a puzzle-master survived the long series of spy thrillers that culminated in Passenger to Frankfurt, and Woods will no doubt survive his anti-terrorist confections, along with all his regulars, at least till the inevitable next round.
From Barnes & Noble
For Lizette Henry, everything seemed right until she looked in the mirror. The face that peered back at her is someone else's and it isn't long before she realizes that more than just her visage is missing: Two years have been erased from her life. Those harrowing discoveries are only the beginning of her descent into a volatile maelstrom in which clues about her past emerge only between threats from assassins. In the midst of this chaos appears a stranger whose mysteries are exceeded only by his allure. Rousing in several senses; another triumph by a queen of romantic suspense.
Five years after his last recorded case (Exit Music, 2008), John Rebus returns, and welcome. Now a civilian trolling through cold cases for the about-to-be-dismantled Serious Crime Review Unit of the Lothian and Borders Police, retired DI John Rebus can still drink Scotland's lochs dry, leave conversations in the middle to go out for a smoke, and raise insubordination to high art. When a call comes through from Nina Hazlitt insisting that there are similarities between two recent disappearances and the unsolved case of her daughter Sally, missing since New Year's Eve 1999, Rebus hesitantly agrees that the A9 route through the Highlands, where the girls were last seen, may warrant a closer look. His decision lands him under the baleful eyes of his former ally Siobhan Clarke and her boss and brings him once more to the attention of Malcolm Fox, his nemesis in Internal Affairs, who'd be only too happy to prove Rebus guilty of something, perhaps planned during his fortnightly pub meetings with pastured criminal kingpin Big Ger Cafferty. The A9 isn't the only clue to surface. There's also a photograph the girls sent to friends over the phone on the day they went missing. Trudging back and forth between Edinburgh and several North Scotland villages, Rebus and Siobhan disconcert various police forces, sidestep voracious media types, concentrate on a wrong suspect or two, and are ordered to step down. Rebus, of course, keeps at it, finally scaring a confession out of a perp by engineering one more abduction with the help of a ruthless teenager on track to be the next Cafferty. Rankin deserves every award he's been given: an Edgar, a Gold Dagger, a Diamond Dagger. Surely there's another one waiting for Rebus' thrilling return to the fold.