cover image All the Demons Are Here

All the Demons Are Here

Jake Tapper. Little, Brown, $29 (336p) ISBN 978-0-316-42438-7

CNN news anchor Tapper’s limp third mystery featuring the Marder family (following 2021’s The Devil May Dance) shifts focus from politician Charlie Marder to his children, Ike and Lucy, in a narrative that toggles between developments in their lives in 1977. Ike, who was traumatized by a combat mission in Lebanon, has joined celebrity daredevil Evel Knievel in Montana as a member of his pit crew. Meanwhile, Lucy has been lured from her reporting job at Washington, D.C.’s Star newspaper after being cheated out of a byline to join the Sentinel, a lurid tabloid published by a Rupert Murdoch stand-in. As Ike struggles with violent impulses and his fraught relationship with Knievel, Lucy’s editors challenge her journalistic ethics when they try to pin the identity of a possible D.C.-area serial killer on a young Black man, despite the results of Lucy’s own investigation. Overwrought prose (“For America, the entire decade was like a once-glossy Polaroid fading in the sun, all that had been vibrant proven ephemeral”) doesn’t help sell some wildly improbable plot developments. When a character literally jumps the shark, it’s a sign that Tapper’s formerly exciting series may have done so as well. Agent: Robert B. Barnett, Williams & Connolly. (July)