Steel-jawed John Puller is back for another round with the bad guys in Baldacci's latest action thriller. Puller's equally virile and handsome brother, Robert, an Air Force major, is serving time in the U.S. Disciplinary Barracks in Fort Leavenworth, Kansas, following his conviction on charges of treason. … While John and his disgraced brother go at the case from different angles, another investigator also comes into play. Capt. Veronica Knox teams up with a reluctant John, looking for his brother and piecing together the method behind his escape, even though it's soon apparent that many others are also on his trail. … though the action is fast and furious, the characters never rise beyond the stereotypical. The good guys are predictably skilled, noble and racing against time, while their opposites exude evil. Baldacci punches up the action but often drifts into painfully stilted dialogue and pointless wardrobe descriptions. A book that will entertain some readers but won't linger after the final page.
The Mistletoe Promise by Richard Paul Evans
Elise Dutton dreads the arrival of another holiday season. Three years earlier, her husband cheated on her with her best friend, resulting in a bitter divorce that left her alone, broken, and distrustful. Then, one November day, a stranger approaches Elise in the mall food court. … Tired of spending the holidays alone, the man offers her a proposition. For the next eight weeks—until the evening of December 24—he suggests that they pretend to be a couple.
The Job by Janet Evanovich and Lee Goldberg
… This time the stakes are personal to Fox since someone is committing art thefts, and video feeds taken at the crime scenes seem to implicate him. Fox claims his innocence, and O’Hare must put aside her feelings of doubt if she’s to capture the true thief. Uncovering the truth will lead them both to an even greater threat that could end their working together—permanently.
Verdict: This suspense series continues to mix the humor from Evanovich and Goldberg’s books with the intricate cons seen in the best episodes of Mission: Impossible. The banter and thrills are nonstop, and readers will be anxious to see what happens next.—Jeff Ayers, Seattle P.L.
Happy birthday, Dr. Kay Scarpetta... Shortly after everyone's favorite forensic pathologist (Dust, 2013, etc.) receives a sinister email from a correspondent dubbed Copperhead, she goes outside to find seven pennies—all polished, all turned heads-up, all dated 1981—on her garden wall. Clearly there's trouble afoot, though she's not sure what form it will take until five minutes later, when a call from her old friend and former employee Pete Marino, now a detective with the Cambridge Police, summons her to the scene of a shooting…