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The Cornwalls Are Gone

Review

The Cornwalls Are Gone

We are blessed so early in the year to have a second collaborative effort by James Patterson and Brendan DuBois (after THE FIRST LADY) with the publication of THE CORNWALLS ARE GONE. This new stand-alone novel has everything that thriller aficionados want and expect in a first-rate tale that starts off strongly and never loses steam.

Patterson and DuBois keep things moving by frequently switching the narrative's point of view at strategic moments, thus ratcheting the suspense level upward and onward throughout the book. This fast-paced tale begins with Captain Amy Cornwall, an Army intelligence officer who is one of the few women to complete Army Ranger training. The authors waste no time placing Amy in the line of fire. Actually, that isn’t quite accurate. The truth is much worse. It is Amy’s family --- her husband Tom and daughter Denise --- who are in danger. She learns of this rather quickly (the first page of the book) when she comes home to discover that they are missing, with a cryptic and intimidating message left for her in their place. A phone call soon follows.

"It’s a one-sit read that you won’t be able to finish fast enough and will wish was longer once you’ve turned the last page."

Amy is informed that she must travel from their home in suburban Virginia to a small town in Texas and liberate a man who is being held there. It is made quite clear that the lives of her loved ones depend on her success. She is supposed to be questioned the following morning concerning her actions at an Afghan camp where things went horribly wrong, but she never hesitates, even as she knows that the consequences to her career may be catastrophic. When Amy fails to appear for questioning, Captain Rosaria Vasquez is tasked with finding her and bringing her in. Vasquez is at first angered by Amy’s seemingly cavalier disappearance, but begins to wonder how her superior officer is able to provide intelligence as to her whereabouts.

Meanwhile, Tom and Denise are being held at a clandestine location by a team that is led by a mysterious figure who all too soon makes it clear that he is not to be trifled with. Tom, a journalist who had been researching a book, has seen and confronted dangers throughout the world, but never with his own daughter being held at his side as a pawn. As Amy tries to fulfill the mission that she has been coerced into completing, Tom attempts to find a way to escape with Denise from their captors, an act that ultimately will be more dangerous than captivity. The reason for all of this occurring is gradually made clear, as Cornwall makes a desperate effort to complete her first task and fulfill a second one, even as she is caught between the armed forces on one side and a dangerous foe on the other as the lives of her loved ones hang in the balance.

THE CORNWALLS ARE GONE moves quickly from beginning to end. It puts a couple of capable and driven heroines --- often working against each other --- with the lives of innocents dependent on their success against deadly and horrific real-world adversaries. It’s a one-sit read that you won’t be able to finish fast enough and will wish was longer once you’ve turned the last page.

Reviewed by Joe Hartlaub on April 5, 2019

The Cornwalls Are Gone
by James Patterson and Brendan DuBois

  • Publication Date: March 25, 2019
  • Genres: Fiction, Suspense, Thriller
  • Hardcover: 352 pages
  • Publisher: Little, Brown and Company
  • ISBN-10: 0316485551
  • ISBN-13: 9780316485555