cover image Stolen


Daniel Palmer. Kensington, $25 (416p) ISBN 978-0-7582-4666-0

In the prologue of Palmer’s unrelentingly suspenseful thriller, John Bodine, an avid mountain climber from Boston, faces a horrific choice after an avalanche sweeps his two companions over a ridgeline in Tibet. To survive, John must cut one of the ropes that connect him to his friends, causing one of them to fall to his death. Years later, John learns that his insurance company won’t pay for the expensive treatment his wife needs after being diagnosed with late-stage cancer. Desperate, he succeeds in stealing the identity of another man, Elliot Uretsky, who has the proper insurance. The problem is, Uretsky is a serial killer. Uretsky calls John and tells him he knows what John is doing and will turn him in unless John agrees to play “a game.” John must commit ever-more-dangerous crimes, and when he balks, Uretsky kills someone close to him. Readers should note that Palmer (Helpless) sets a high bar for serial killer brutality. Agent: Meg Ruley, Jane Rotrosen Agency. (May)