cover image The Furies

The Furies

Mark Alpert. St.Martin’s/Dunne, $25.99 (320p) ISBN 978-1-250-02135-9

The intriguing premise of this scientific thriller from Alpert (Extinction)—that there’s a genetic basis for legends about witches—doesn’t live up to its potential. On a trip to New York City in search of employment as a social worker, John Rogers picks up a gorgeous woman, Ariel, in a bar. They end up at her Brooklyn hotel room, where she becomes the target of gunmen, whom they barely elude. John soon learns that Ariel belongs to a community that’s isolated itself from society after its members were massacred in 16th- and 17th-century Europe for being “different.” Because of a mutation, all the males in her clan are infertile, and she’s sought out John to procreate. The violence he’s been caught up in is the product of a civil war within Ariel’s species. The formulaic perilous situations, last-minute escapes, and deaths of significant characters won’t be to every taste. Agent: Dan Lazar, Writers House. (Apr.)