RaveRolling StoneA skillful dissection of true-crime podcast culture and those obsessed with it, this new novel has more twists and fakeouts than an episode of Serial ... The thriller genre relies heavily on plot, but despite boasting such a complicated one, If I Disappear never falls into the all-too-common trap of half-drawn characters and cardboard motivations ... Side characters are similarly rich ... In a world where the misery of others is often mined for entertainment — whether it be via podcasts or documentaries — If I Disappear throws into sharp relief how desensitized we can become when we treat real life like a game.
RaveRolling StoneAlam is a master when it comes to building characters both familiar and alien ... By creating people who are firmly established (if not wholly likable), Alam thoroughly terrifies us as they face what could be the end of it all in Leave the World Behind ... Like Stephen King’s 1980 novella The Mist, Leave the World Behind expertly illustrates the horror of the unknown, the almost painful humanity we feel when facing down the end and, of course, human nature under duress. During an era of plague, racism, hatred, and division, this tale of a vacation gone awry is terrifyingly prescient.
RaveRolling StoneAs thrillers go, Saint X is relatively simple when it comes to the plot. We start with a dead girl and a question: \'Who killed her?\' Still, the novel isn’t quite your airport bookstore pulp (which is extremely fun in its own right). It’s an intriguing mix of literary fiction, thriller and travel literature, putting us not only in the POV of Claire, but also Clive and a menagerie of people who find themselves connected to Alison over the years ... Schaitkin spent ample time researching in Anguilla, and her time there gives the book far more dimension than just the story of missing American ... As such, we find ourselves in the minds of characters male and female, black and white — deftly navigating a story that struggles with sexuality, gender, race, and privilege ... If you’re more of a beach read fan, this is perhaps not the book for you — but if you’re looking for something that will stay with you long after the sun goes down on your holiday, Saint X marks the spot.