Favorite Thrillers | Fiction Reviews

redstarBerry, Steve. The Bishop’s Pawn. Minotaur: St. Martin’s. Mar. 2018. 352p. ISBN 9781250140227. $28.99; ebk. ISBN 9781250140234. F

In his latest Cotton Malone thriller, Berry takes on contemporary history as he weaves another tale of conspiracy and intrigue. Malone becomes entangled in an issue that harkens back to his first assignment with the Justice Department. Eighteen years prior, Malone was a navy attorney on the brink of career suicide when DOJ lawyer Stephanie Nelle offered him an assignment to recover a rare coin allegedly lying at the bottom of the ocean off the Dry Tortugas in the Caribbean. What seems like a simple assignment turns into a dangerous mission involving Cuba, the FBI, and the assassination of Martin Luther King Jr. The narration is told mostly in flashback, as Malone remembers the twists and turns of that first case. As fast-paced and exciting as all his previous books, this is another winner in the author’s best-selling series. VERDICT Berry’s fans will not be disappointed. He has a knack for presenting alternative history that seems as though it might be true. [See Prepub Alert, 9/25/17; April 2018 marks the 50th anniversary of King’s assassination.]—Sandra Knowles, South Carolina State Lib., Columbia

redstarPreston, Douglas & Lincoln Child. City of Endless Night. Grand Central. Jan. 2018. 368p. ISBN 9781455536948. $28; ebk. ISBN 9781455536924. F

In his 17th outing (after The Obsidian Chamber), FBI special agent Aloysius P­endergast, along with his friend NYPD Lieutenant Vincent D’Agosta, tackles yet another twisted, multiple-murder case but this time featuring horrifying decapitations. Grace Ozmian, daughter of a high-tech billionaire, is the first to be killed, but unlike her successor victims, her head was apparently removed from her corpse more than 24 hours after her death. As the subsequent bodies (and severed heads) pile up, the pot is further stirred by local reporter Bryce ­Harriman, who manages to stoke fear and panic in New York City, eventually bringing out a range of demonstrators and protesters, from the violent to the religious, the latter of whom stage a modern “Bonfire of the Vanities” in Central Park to expiate the city of its sins. All of which puts extreme pressure on the police and the FBI to solve the case, and pronto. VERDICT Fans of the “Pendergast” series will be delighted with this latest romp and its careful plotting and suspense should appeal to mystery fans generally as well. The sensational details don’t interfere at all with its plausibility and stylishness. [See Prepub Alert, 7/24/17.]—Vicki Gregory, Sch. of Information, Univ. of South Florida, Tampa

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