cover image They’re Gone

They’re Gone

E.A. Barres. Crooked Lane, $26.99 (304p) ISBN 978-1-64385-555-4

This solid crime novel from Barres (The Unrepentant, writing as E.A. Aymar) starts slowly as it introduces two women from different backgrounds: middle-aged housewife Deb Linh Thomas, who lives in suburban northern Virginia with her 19-year-old daughter and her genial husband, Grant Thomas; and Baltimore bartender Cessy Castillo, the battered wife of Hector Ramirez, a crooked ex-cop. Both learn that their husbands have been murdered in the same way—one bullet to the heart and one to the head. A man who identifies himself as an FBI agent informs Deb that the agency had been investigating Grant. Meanwhile, Cessy finds a flash drive that links Hector to a string of homicides. The pace picks up once Deb and Cessy meet and join forces, and they realize they aren’t just up against one killer, but rather an insidious web of corruption that includes the highest levels of law enforcement. The fully fleshed out leads compensate for some clichéd characters and stock action scenes. This women-fight-back thriller will please those looking to vicariously smack down a few hulking villains. Agent: Michelle Richter, Fuse Literary. (Nov.)