Known for his stand-alones, bestseller Finder (Power Play) introduces Nick Heller, an elite corporate intelligence specialist and former Special Services badass, in this exciting series opener. After a frantic call from his 14-year-old nephew, Gabe, Heller returns home to Washington, D.C., from a job in California to find Gabe’s mother in a coma and Gabe’s stepfather, Roger, who is Heller’s older brother, vanished without a trace. Though the brothers have been estranged since their father’s much-publicized securities fraud conviction years earlier, Nick vows to protect Gabe and his mother and unravel the mystery of Roger’s alleged abduction. The investigation leads him to some disturbing revelations about Roger, not the least of which involves a powerful-and dangerous-private military company. Written in staccato chapters that are emotionally supercharged and action packed, this thriller will more than satisfy adrenaline junkies and have them guessing until the very end.
In his entertaining second novel, Obie Award–winning playwright Rabe (In the Boom Boom Room ) presents an overly eventful day-in-the-life of two women in smalltown Iowa. Elderly Bernice Doorley is convinced that in the company of Reverend Tauke and his followers, she will be on her way to heaven that evening, which, according to the reverend, is when the rapture is due to arrive. Bernice’s main concern is who will take care of her beloved pets, particularly her old dog, General. On the outs with daughter Irma, Bernice turns to Janet Cawley, the eccentric daughter of her recently deceased friend, whose days revolve around jogging, drinking and sleeping with her married boyfriend. Bernice waits in her best outfit to be beamed up; Janet, meanwhile, has other adventures with a former student (she was a fourth-grade teacher). Serious topics like spirituality and mother-daughter relationships get an airing in this satire of American excess, but the proceedings end up increasingly contrived.