PositiveThe New York Journal of BooksFlynn brings us another Mean Girls look back at the reckless, risk filled college exploits of youth. But despite the sarcasm-tinged title this isn\'t only a book about college girls. It\'s also a book about sex ... There\'s little to like about most of the characters, but they will draw you in anyway. Readers with daughters will surely hope Flynn\'s description of college girls gone wild is greatly exaggerated ... a story of ambition, resentment, jealousy, and what passes for friendship. A dark and twisted but riveting story.
RaveThe New York Journal of BooksIn Part Two of the book, the narrative shifts to Alfie\'s point of view as he ponders his situation. He isn\'t sure at first if he\'s being held against his will, but despite his mental and emotional limitations, he figures it out in a hurry. Readers will be pleased and surprised at his response to his situation. Heaps of praise to author Naymark for her handling of these sensitive scenes, for the well-done flashbacks that lay out Laney\'s old life, and for a captivating story that leads to an emotional but satisfying bittersweet ending.
PositiveNew York Journal of BooksThis is an odd duck of a book, no question about it. It\'s for the enjoyment of a very select audience, one who delights in the sheer giddy pleasure of the imaginative way words follow each other on the page ... This book has been marketed as suspenseful and an examination of race. It\'s not all that suspenseful in the usual sense of the word when discussing genre, and there is nothing provocative in it about race, either ... Nevertheless, it\'s worth a read for the supremely skilled writing even though the plot goes missing in action early on.
PanThe New York Journal of BooksSuspense ramps up about a hundred pages in. Until then, this slow-moving story consists mainly of SAT (Sitting Around Talking.) In early pages, June, a college professor, has a conversation with one of her students in a scene that seems only peripherally related to the actual story. The book is written in present tense which some readers might find off-putting even though it\'s a popular literary construct these days ... Sorry to say The Girls Weekend doesn\'t deliver the implied potential of its title. The actual writing is fine, the narrative flows, the dialogue is realistic, even the people are realistic, but it\'s hard to like a book with so few reasons to like the characters. It\'s a light beach read for teens and twenty-somethings who dream of living in an estate like Sadie\'s but end up living June\'s life instead. The over-the-top description of what it\'s like to be uber rich seems to be more an illustration of what it\'s like to waste money ... The ending is a long, long, twisty multifaceted reveal with more SAT. With so many possible killers, readers have many options and are bound to finger the right one at some point in the story, but the motivation might not be so readily guessable ... All in all, it\'s a Mean Girls reunion that needed more, but also needed less.
PositiveThe New York Journal of BooksAuthor Julie Clark tells the story from alternating viewpoints of Claire and Eva, delicately interweaving their stories and timelines into a plausible tale, all the while leading the reader down a twisty path of unanswered questions ... Much of the story is told in flashbacks and numerous back and forth timeline jumps in nonlinear order that some readers may find perplexing, and undoubtedly challenged the author mightily during the writing. But it all works and comes together in a powerful, high octane, suspenseful read ... Clark along with her two strong, courageous female characters effectively bring this exciting, fast paced story to a final satisfying conclusion.
RaveThe New York Journal of Books... deeply intelligent ... A rich cohesiveness of words on the page that brings the setting to life, and the profoundness and complexity of the character development makes this outstanding debut book noteworthy ... The absolute brilliance of this book and what keeps the reader reading is the way author Schaitkin put it together. She tells the story from a variety of viewpoints, sometimes in first person, sometimes third person, and even sometimes in omniscient POV...The result is a series of utterly fascinating detailed mini biographies of every character involved in any way in the murder. The reader gets to see what everyone is thinking and doing before, during, and after the event ... Readers will gladly fall headlong into this brilliantly conceived novel.
RaveThe New York Journal of BooksIt\'s going to be darn hard not to love this book. It\'s amazing. Equally amazing is that someone so young could write it with such insight and understanding of the characters, one of them a 72-year-old woman. His depiction of her is wonderfully honest ... Some readers and reviewers have called this book weird, funny, and its characters quirky and oddball, but not so. They may look odd and act funny and swear a lot and drink too much, but they are as complex and full of goodness as the soul of mankind ... more than a book. It\'s an unforgettable experience. The author is an extraordinary writer whose books will surely be eagerly anticipated and welcomed with glee.Fans of Jess Montgomery, William Kent Krueger and Tim Johnston will be first in line at the bookstore for the next Rye Curtis novel.
J. T. Ellison
PositiveThe New York Journal of Books... jam packed with everything a reader could want in a boarding school mystery ... J. T. Ellison skillfully unwinds a complex tale of lies, deception, and murder spiced up with backstory and well-fleshed out characters. Good Girls Lie is an engrossingly sinister tale that grabs you from the very first page.
PositiveThe New York Journal of BooksGallows Court is set in London during the 1930s, the Golden Age of detective fiction, but the author\'s elegant prose carries a glaze of stylish Victorian era ambiance with some atmospheric gothic noir thrown in ... There\'s atmosphere aplenty in this book, sinister undertones slither throughout ... The author has sprinkled in enough iconic Golden Age images to satisfy the most enthusiastic 1930s era fans ... not a simple plot, but stay with it for the payoff. Everything comes together in perfect accord ... This is a book for readers who prefer to see bodies on the page. Murders, assaults, false and forced suicides, blood and dismemberment, corruption, depravity—it\'s all there. Martin Edwards crafts vivid descriptions of both character and setting that embed the reader into the scene in a way few writers can achieve.
William Kent Krueger
RaveThe New York Journal of Books... a heartfelt, true to life Depression-era story filled with courage, determination, and heroism ... a book you won\'t own. It will own you. Long, sprawling, and utterly captivating, readers will eat up every delicious word of it.
RaveThe New York Journal of BooksSteve Cavanagh brings to life in fiction a killer very different from, but as compelling, diabolical, and evil as Hannibal Lecter. Joshua Kane is a devious, single-minded, terrifying killer who will be remembered by readers as one of the classic fictional blood spillers ... Author Kavanagh is a master of head-spinning misdirection, firing one OMG plot twist after another. His vivid, gut-wrenching scenes of a truly evil bad guy will have readers checking the locks on all their doors and windows.
PanThe New York Journal of BooksThis book is marketed as a riveting novel of psychological suspense. It\'s none of that. It\'s a literary novel, half highbrow, half Netflix Original, with odd characters doing odd things and responding to their lives and to others in a decidedly peculiar manner ... one of those annoying novels about writers and their writings, many of which are randomly reproduced within the pages, totally disrupting the flow of the main story arc. Readers will be skipping pages ... a disappointing, slow-moving, uncomfortable read.
PositiveThe New York Journal of BooksIt\'s a dichotomy in the literary world that readers don\'t have to like the character to enjoy the book. Some don\'t even have to like the plot as long as they like the writing. The plot in this book, centering as it does on events that happened before—child abuse, pedophilia, a suspicious fire, questionable business practices, a rehab center built on toxic soil—is vague and in need of a jolt. What saves this book is the setting, juiced up with some interesting characters, and the writing. Especially the writing, which is excellent ... Author Joe Clifford knows what he\'s talking about when it comes to substance abuse ... For gritty realism and punchy narrative, nobody beats Joe Clifford.
PanThe New York Journal of BooksRobert B. Parker fans, readers of Western novels, and cowboy junkies can expect to be disappointed in this book. Knott, though successful in his other endeavors, does not quite measure up to Robert B. Parker. But in all fairness, who does? ... If there ever was a book for Western readers to love, it should have been this one. The characters are there, sort of, the setting is there, sort of, and the plot is there, somewhere ... Despite Knott\'s best efforts, the book is draggy, lacks convincing Western ambience, spoken and internal dialogue are inconsistent in tone. In the author\'s attempt to portray the way cowboys really talk and to emulate the way Parker wrote cowboy lingo, Knott often makes Cole and Hitch and some of the others sound like wannabes, or worse, suggests they have a mental deficiency of some kind ... Overall, Knott\'s worthy attempt fails in style and form.
RaveThe New York Journal of Books... the kind of book that invites readers to kick off their shoes, put up their feet, and settle into their comfiest reading chair with snacks and beverages close at hand in order to minimize the number of interruptions required to get up for refills. It\'s that good. Really ... Especially for readers who like the kind of mystery that starts out with seemingly unrelated storylines that gradually, cleverly, ever so slowly and surprisingly begin to intersect ... Reviewers have shied away from giving away much of the plot as it is an extremely complex one involving sinister elements. The focus has been on, as it is here, the stellar writing, the story development, the delicious dialogue, and the characters who walk off the page to sit across from you or on the edge of your bed as you read, nodding approvingly with every turn of the page ... the plot at first might seem to be all over the place, but don\'t be fooled. The author knows what she\'s doing, and if you can ignore the annoying overabundance of parenthetical asides, you will find this to be a satisfying, indulgent binge book guaranteed to release a flood of pleasurable endorphins.
Stephen Mack Jones
PositiveNew York Journal of Books\"The author includes enough well-described action and shoot ’em up scenes to keep Rambo fans satisfied ... In addition, Stephen Mack Jones gives us some of the most colorful characters in crime literature today ... Stephen Mack Jones\' snappy, razor sharp writing is a delight to read. Lives Laid Away is movie material for sure.\
RaveNew York Journal of Books\"This is a book you\'ll want to keep on your shelf after you\'ve read it. Even if you don\'t think you\'ll ever read it again, you\'ll want to keep it close to you because of the absolute giddy pleasure you felt reading it the first time. Tim Johnston has given us the gold standard of lush narrative description—captivating, mesmerizing, stunning ... Kudos, Tim Johnston. We\'ll look forward to more of the same. Much more.\
RaveNew York Journal of Books\"Author Taylor Adams brings left field surprises one after the other at a speed that will force you to stop reading every once in a while so you can catch the breath you\'re holding and remind yourself it\'s only fiction ... No Exit is A KNOCKOUT! Readers will press their hands to the sides of their face and wince in alarm! Roadtrippers will never again stop at a highway rest area without thinking of this wowza of a book.\
RaveNew York Journal of Books\"... riveting ... The author\'s extensive research into the issues surrounding this struggle are presented with compassion and genuine emotion ... This amazing, thoroughly researched historical novel by debut author Jess Montgomery shows how love, determination, and courage can overcome bitterness, deceit, and violence.\
Mary Higgins Clark
RaveNew York Journal of Booksof BooksThe author has written nearly 40 books of women\'s suspense—what used to be called \'women in jeopardy\'—and after so many books, the bones of the stories have become fairly formulaic with plenty of warm fuzzies. A self-confident heroine, a genuinely loving couple, caring parents alive or deceased, a faithful housekeeper/nanny, excellent children, lovely homes, and as always a deep desire to see good ... Though the story is set in contemporary times—characters have cell phones and computers, and so on—it gives off a vague sensation at times of taking place in the fifties. Oddly, there are no surveillance cameras in or near a New York City bar where a plot turning assault takes place. Fans will thoroughly enjoy this new book from Mary Higgins Clark, another can\'t miss hit!
RaveThe New York Journal of BooksValidation of author Hallinan\'s incredible ability to wring the absolute best out of a sentence in a way that grabs readers and doesn\'t let them go until he\'s good and ready to. ... In addition to the fabulous writing, you\'ll get an education, too ... Light on plot—in the author\'s own words his books are character driven rather than plot centered—but heavy on enjoyment, this is a not-to-miss mystery ... Hallinan is easily one of the most entertaining crime writers in the business today.
P. J. Vernon
RaveNew York Journal of Books...prepare for a gripping read, and be sure to start early. Your eyes could be on the pages until sunrise ... What follows are enough plot twists and misdirection to keep readers guessing until the bloody denouement and the final surprise on the last page. A few readers might see through some of the author\'s telegraphed foreshadowing, and maybe figure out at least one of the two primary plot twists. But even that won\'t lessen the impact as the action unfolds ... His original, inventive word choice and descriptive imagery, if a bit verbose at times, are a joy to read ... Readers will end up hoping for more of the same from this stunning new author.
RaveNew York Journal of Books\"So vivid is the writing, readers will feel the ocean breeze on their skin as the men work. They\'ll smell the tang of seaweed, and hear the slap and wash of waves against the rocks ... Like all Val McDermid\'s books, once you begin reading, you will simply not be able to stop ... New readers may trip up on [McDermid\'s] liberal use of regional idioms, expressions and turns of phrase, but not enough to put the book aside. Her books are interesting, tightly plotted down to the bone, and even educational ... Broken Ground is a splendid read that won\'t disappoint.\
PositiveNew York Journal of BooksDeath in Paris is a mashup of some of the most favorite literary tropes. An American expatriate in Paris, fish out of water, suspicious death of an old friend, curious amateur sleuths, a surprise inheritance, and a female buddy romp. Author Emilia Bernhard gives the reader all that as well as a you-are-there tour of Paris ... Francophiles in particular will enjoy and be familiar with the descriptions of Parisian food, clothes, fashions, hairstyles, boulevards, streets, shops, cafes, language, and culture. The reader will find the ending surprising, yet not a surprise.