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Detective Mike Chapman faces danger on the waterfront as he probes the sudden disappearance of Assistant DA Alex Cooper.
The city of New York is under attack. The first strike is a massive explosion beneath the city’s streets. Then, while holding a press conference about those very same attacks, a sniper succeeds in assassinating the city’s mayor. Though the two crimes haven’t officially been connected, Detective Michael Bennett is given lead on the case. With no terrorist group claiming responsibility, though, Bennett and FBI agent Emily Parker have their work cut out for them as they try to unmask the devious minds behind the crimes before more damage can be done. Patterson is certainly known for his insanely paced and tense tales, but Alert might just be one of the best ones yet! Bennett, the lead in eight titles now, is a single father of ten who, at the beginning of the book, returns home from Ireland to find that his grandfather has suffered a surprise but brief attack of dementia. He already has his hands full when he’s informed that he’ll now be floating, offering assistance to various departments throughout the city. The promotion of sorts is said to be thanks to his skill as a detective but Bennett fears it’ll leave him a possible scapegoat when people need someone to blame. Of course just days into his investigation on the string of increasingly shocking attacks on the city, with no real leads and people bracing themselves for what will come next, Bennett finds himself facing exactly what he feared. The stakes couldn’t be higher for our hero or the city! Alert is the kind of book that’s impossible to put down once you’ve begun. No worries if you haven’t read any of the previous Michael Bennett titles though, this one is a great starting point!
An amateur sleuth sets Temperance Brennan on the trail of a killer who may be connected to a local cult.
Crawford Hunt is the Raylan Givens of Texas, a federal marshal living down a couple bad years and determined to regain the custody of his young daughter that he relinquished to his in-laws after his wife's tragic death and Crawford's subsequent spiral down into the bottle. Known for excellent if reckless instincts, Crawford has worked hard to change his behavior so that it not jeopardize his chances for custody. Until a gunman shoots up the family court session, killing the bailiff. Crawford saves the judge's life—a judge he is sure was about to rule against him—and pursues the gunman through the courthouse to a dramatic and bloody end. Now his heroism is being reframed as recklessness, which means his chances for custody are slim unless he can solve the case, find the true culprit, and manage not to fall for the judge at the heart of it all. Judge Holly Spencer is fighting a challenge to the temporary judgeship she was awarded when her mentor suddenly fell ill and died. The last thing she needs is to get entangled with a grumpy federal marshal more inclined to charge forward into danger than to wait for back up. But she is impressed by and grateful for his heroic actions that saved her life and her strong integrity bristles over how he's being railroaded in the investigation by old resentments and back office deals. She's also deeply, and quite inconveniently, attracted to him. Crawford's love for his daughter humanizes his recklessness and his determination to reclaim custody feeds his every decision even but he feels compelled to follow his law enforcement instincts and training even if to outsiders, those actions seem excessively reckless. He's attracted to Holly from their first meeting but their reckless affair may be the ammunition his father-in-law needs to keep Crawford's daughter from him for good. Holly is, in contrast, the definition of by-the-book but not so stringent as to act without compassion. This reputation for integrity is what sets her apart from the sleezy challenger for her judgeship. Getting involved with Crawford is a complication she can't afford, but that uncompromising integrity keeps her from being able to ignore the miscarriage of justice of which she believes Crawford is being made a victim and their affair keeps her from being able to stay away from him at all. As Crawford works to discover who is really behind the shooting and what it has to do with his father, his wife's death, and perhaps even an old grudge, he barely manages to stay a step ahead of the investigators who would prefer to arrest him for any charge they can trump up. But if he doesn't figure out who's trying to kill him and Holly, there may be no time left to find out whether they can survive together in the long run. This is a great book. Sandra Brown is a master at crafting the fast-paced thriller that keeps a reader up till the wee hours to read "just one more page." The action is steadily paced and builds as each new reveal of information as to who actually tried to kill whom and why complicates and drives the story. And as is typical of a Sandra Brown novel, there's always one nugget of a secret tucked away for the end reveal that makes a reader need to immediately reread the book from an entirely new perspective.