RaveBooklist... a stunning account ... powerful ... Levin’s treatment goes far beyond true crime here, though that aspect is an immense story itself ... Beyond the story of Taylor’s wrongdoing, though, Levin demonstrates how a single distortion can ruin lives ... Levin does a terrific job of balancing his portrait of a criminal, of the racism of police who didn’t bother to solve the three murders connected to Taylor, and of the widespread stereotyping of Blacks that grew out of her crimes and a president’s distortions.
PositiveBooklistOxford don McGuinness mixes mystery with reflection in his second novel...The title hints at the wonderfully unsettling quality of this mystery ... McGuinness’ portrayal of the British media hounding the suspect builds brilliantly. The story is told from Ander’s point of view, which is both fascinating and annoying, since Ander is so prone to reflection. However, the overall effect packs a decidedly noirish punch.
Alexander McCall Smith
RaveBooklistMcCall Smith now extends his gift for comic situations and insightful commentary to a projected series set in Sweden ... McCall Smith uses these cases to shine a revealing light on human nature, including the foibles and heartaches of the investigators ... Detective Varg promises to be a complex series character, and the department itself looks certain to deliver more oddball yet poignant cases.
RaveBooklistAbsolutely arresting ... The fact that the creation of the Israeli state was a dream, not a reality, as Friedman reminds us, is the chief tension behind the four spies’ work. This tension is enhanced by Friedman’s tales of double-crosses and shifting tactics.
PositiveBooklistCoben, once again, shows a well-constructed, lucky life blown open by fate ... Though marred a little by too much description, which slows the narrative, this remains solid Coben, with clever plotting and dead-on character sketches.
PositiveBooklistAs usual, Robinson provides a solid police procedural enhanced by the rugged Yorkshire setting. Banks himself—jazz- and solitude-loving, difficult, somewhat melancholic, unlucky in love—is always fascinating. Robinson doesn’t give much help to new readers, but, for series fans, this one is a sure bet.
Thomas Christopher Greene
MixedBooklistGreene leads readers (and his protagonists) down some very twisty avenues of reasoning that abruptly end ... The steadily shocking tone could be more varied, but this stands as an absorbing mystery about who is predator and who is prey.
PositiveBooklistThe movement here from small tests to bigger ones masterfully escalates the suspense. The juxtaposed points of view, with reactions of each protagonist to the other, keep the reader guessing until the end. A great follow-up to The Wife between Us.
Patrick Radden Keefe
PositiveBooklist\"The book is an extensive and often wrenching view of this bloody patch of history, especially fascinating in the way Keefe shows how indoctrination worked at the family level. While he identifies it as narrative nonfiction, the writing here is more straight historical account, rather than an immersive exploration, but it will definitely draw those interested in the Irish \'Troubles.\'\
Alexander McCall Smith
PositiveBooklistFor fans of the No. 1 Ladies’ Detective Agency series, there can be no prospect more delightfully chilling than a face-off between Mma Precious Ramotswe, owner of the agency and solver of people’s problems, and Violet Sephotho, man-stealer, cheat, schemer par excellence, and longtime rival of Precious’ assistant, Mma Makutsi ... New readers may find this latest in the series a bit digressive, with characters’ dialogue and thoughts sometimes seeming like filler. Still, the campaign gives the tale needed focus and bite, and McCall Smith slides in intriguing glimpses of a troubled Botswana, including the sobering fact that women who work the mines often must give up their children to the orphanage. A lesser light in a series that still shines very brightly.
Michel Bussi, Trans. by Sam Taylor
RaveBooklistFrench thriller writer Bussi...combines a stunning setting with a locked-room mystery that keeps expanding and intensifying ... Besides offering a top-notch puzzle, Bussi delivers the kind of cynical and witty police procedural beloved by fans of Georges Simenon. Add glimpses into the disturbing history of the island and its present-day unrest, and you have a wonderfully immersive thriller.
MixedBooklistForsyth may be the victim of bad timing in his latest international adventure. It’s set in 2019, with the focus on a British teen on the autism spectrum who has managed to hack into the heart of the U.S. national security system. Unfortunately, the real-life cyberterrorism of the past two years has far outpaced even the most gifted spy novelist’s darkest projections, making Forsyth’s premise seem a little ho-hum. The story takes a long time getting going ... once it gets going, [the story] is satisfyingly tense and world-based, but without the usual sense of shocked foreboding that Forsyth has been able to generate in the past.
PositiveBooklistWeaver brings in a Nick-and-Nora dynamic with her high-living, slightly flawed detective couple. The combination West End backstage and upper-class drawing room proves equally winning.
Howard Michael Gould
PositiveBooklistScreenwriter Gould takes us behind the scenes and onto the sets of contemporary Hollywood, with loads of insider knowledge delivered in a thoroughly engaging way ... The deep and fascinating portrayal of the dissolute Pinch will remind film buffs of Alan Swann, the Peter O’Toole character in My Favorite Year. A fast-paced and funny treat for anyone who loves the movies.
Matthew Horace and Ron Harris
RaveBooklistAn opening anecdote in which Horace learns about his own biases during a domestic-violence call is especially gripping ... this hard-hitting, convincing indictment of the biases in today’s law enforcement ... skillfully weaves together Horace’s own harrowing and enlightening experiences with the stories and reflections of those interviewed. Police shootings get special attention, with Horace showing how bias escalates danger. A must-read for anyone interested in understanding and solving these problems, which, Horace emphasizes throughout, start with unearthing our own implicit biases.
William Kent Krueger
PositiveBooklistKrueger is adept at fusing shocks with setting (Cork’s investigations often turn into survival stories). He also gives fascinating details about Ojibwa culture. His prose style, however, is a bit one-toned, the unvarying rhythm of many of his sentences suggesting Longfellow’s \'Evangeline\' ... Great atmosphere, both physical and cultural.
RaveBooklistPerrusquia, a longtime reporter for the Commercial Appeal in Memphis, adroitly weaves together three stories: how Withers worked for and against the movement, how the FBI used operatives like Withers to create a surveillance state in the ’60s, and, just as fascinating, how Perrusquia’s years of research, along with suing the FBI for the release of classified documents, led to his shocking discovery. Perhaps most important, Perrusquia gives readers insight into the complexities of Withers as a man, and an appreciation of the lasting impact of his photos.
RaveBooklist...[a] brilliant work of narrative nonfiction ... Taibbi is unsparing in his excoriation of the system, police, and courts that led to the fatal choke hold and worked to blur the abuse afterward, rooted in the NYPD’s policy of showing activity through arrests—many times manufactured or bogus—then 'test-a-lying' in court about what happened. This is a necessary and riveting work.
RaveBooklistWhat photographer Jacob Riis did for the tenement poor in How the Other Half Lives (1890) and what novelist Upton Sinclair did for stockyard workers in The Jungle (1906), journalist Bruder now does for a segment of today’s older Americans forced to eke out a living as migrant workers. ... In the best immersive-journalism tradition, Bruder records her misadventures driving and living in a van and working in a beet field and at Amazon. Tying together the book is the story of Linda May, a woman in her sixties who takes on crushing jobs with optimistic aplomb. Visceral and haunting reporting.