RaveSt. Louis Post-DispatchIf readers are expecting a bracing dose of supernatural scares, prepare yourselves: This novel is a combination road trip and character study with a hard-to-put-down story wrapped around it ... Regular readers will enjoy King’s references to places and people from some of his other books ... It’s two stories for the price of one, and King gives readers their money’s worth.
PositiveSt. Louis Post-Dispatch... when you’re stuck at home needing fresh reading material—isn’t that all of us?—If It Bleeds will hit the mark ... the heroine of the HBO miniseries The Outsider from King’s novel...is still Holly: compulsive, private, skeptical. But King makes her likable despite all that, and you find yourself rooting for her ... the other stories have their charms as well ... Weird? Yes. But fascinating at the same time? Also yes.
RaveSt. Louis Post-DispatchSome of Stephen King’s most beloved books have pitted children against the system. Think It. Think Firestarter. And now, think The Institute ... King at his best, scaring the heck out of readers by making them wonder what else the government may be doing under cover of science.
PositiveSt. Louis Post-DispatchThe opioid crisis creeps into every corner of America, so it’s only fitting that it spills into the literary world in a chilling and chillingly realistic new book ... she captures more than the scene and the mood [of small Midwestern towns]. She writes with authority on the unspoken rules and the social strata that are part of every town. There’s no happy ending for everyone in The Wolf Wants In, but there is hope. And in this timely tale, that’s all you can expect.
PositiveSt. Louis Post-Dispatch\"King makes Scott eminently likable ... Enjoy Elevation for what it is: a story about something impossible happening to an otherwise pretty ordinary man.\
RaveSt. Louis Post-Dispatch\"Luckily, his scary ideas continue to flow unfettered from his mind to the pages, most recently in The Outsider ... That’s the biggest question King explores in The Outsider as small-town cops and prosecutors are asked to believe the impossible — and find the impossible as well. Mob mentality, pedophilia, horrific violence — King never shies away from tough topics.\
PositiveSt. Louis Post-Dispatch\"Quindlen’s careful details and well-developed characters are a constant, but forcing the low-scale drama of a neighborhood squabble to carry a novel is a lot to ask. The author offers flashes of humor ... Readers looking for surprise endings or twists won’t find much, but they will find characters who feel real as they struggle through changes to their previously near-perfect neighborhood.\
RaveThe St. Louis Post-DispatchI woke up in a hotel room really far away from here, and the man beside me was dead.' That tidily sums up the hard-to-put-down novel from Chris Bohjalian, who gives us a murder, a hard-drinking heroine and a fascinating look inside a career that is not as glamorous as depicted back in the day ... The beauty of the book is that, along with the politics of the plot, [protagonist] Cassie’s humanity comes through ... No spoiler alert, but the last 100 or so pages of The Flight Attendant turn tense as you try to follow the unexpected but believable surprises Bohjalian has in store and answers whether Cassie can find salvation of sorts after that night in the Dubai hotel room.
PositiveThe St. Louis Post-DispatchBeing an adolescent is hard under the best of circumstances — growing up as a witch in the 1960s poses even more than the ordinary challenges ...the premise of Alice Hoffman’s latest novel, The Rules of Magic, which takes us through the formative and adult years of Franny, Jet and Vincent Owens... Hoffman exhibits her deft touch for making characters we can care about, even if not all of them are likable. ranny is the undisputed leader, her responsible side warring with what she really wants in her heart. Readers will find it hard not to feel sorry for the limits she puts on her life ...a lovely story about a family, warts and all — even if those warts are magically different from the ups and downs of a more traditional family.
RaveThe St. Louis Post-DispatchIf readers think they can sense what’s coming, they’re right. But in Shanthi Sekaran’s novel Lucky Boy, she tackles these topical issues with a beautiful sense of storytelling and character ... Author Sekaran succeeds in having readers root for both women and against a system that seems to punish them at the same time. This is a story that feels real and well-drawn, in part because it’s a scenario that has happened in the past — and will happen again.
RaveThe St. Louis Post-Dispatch...a hard-to-put-down story that also mixes sex and a mystery in a polished package ... Bohjalian is a gifted writer; the mystery is not really about Annalee’s fate — it seems clear she’s dead. But the author weaves in hints, a red herring or two and a backstory that will leave readers with competing theories about who Annalee was and how that might have determined her fate ... Bohjalian hits all the creepy marks with thoughts of a man involved with both mother and daughter ... Bohjalian is on top of his already stellar game with The Sleepwalker, which may prove irresistible to some screenwriter, somewhere.
RaveThe St. Louis Post-DispatchThat’s one of the many reasons A Great Reckoning succeeds on every level: It’s a whodunit where it’s plausible to look at the police cadets, the instructors, the investigators and everyone else as a likely suspect in a fellow instructor’s murder ... Even deep into nearly 400 pages, readers won’t be sure of who the killer is or what the map means. They will know that Penny keeps them turning the pages to the very end to finally find the answers.
RaveThe St. Louis Post-DispatchAnd you’ll find yourself rooting for Shelby, despite her missteps along the way to growing up ... Hoffman brings Shelby full-circle, resolving the anonymous cards mystery brilliantly and even — without making it awkward — giving her an ending of sorts with Helene. This is a beautiful novel of a young woman finding her way after tragedy and keeping it real for the duration.
PositiveSt. Louis Post-DispatchPerhaps one of King’s best gifts as a writer is his ability to create such believable characters...As always, [he] leaves his reader with plenty of things to think over.