PositiveThe Star Tribune... a fascinating blend of truth and speculation, and as Halloween approaches (not to mention the presidential election), readers are likely to feel a timely shock to their senses.
PositiveThe Star TribuneGretchen Berg also weaves in an unexpected thread of race relations, in addition to exploring sibling rivalry and class conflict, to create a compelling debut novel.
RaveThe Star TribuneAnthony has woven the historic and the contemporary into this brilliant and fast-paced novel. Bursts of hilarity and heartbreak make it a delight to read. A perfect escape for this political season.
PositiveThe Star TribuneIn Consider This, he pays generous homage to authors, coaches and editors who kept him on his unorthodox path when conventional publishing houses wouldn\'t touch him ... And something you won\'t get anywhere else: the author\'s personal must-read lists of both fiction and nonfiction titles, writings and teachings that have molded authors through the decades. Whether you\'re inspired to improve your own writing or simply like to revel in the art behind your favorite authors\' work, this tamed-down, reined-in Palahniuk is insightful.
Marcie R. Rendon
PositiveThe Star TribuneRendon, an enrolled member of the White Earth Anishinabe Nation who lives in Minneapolis, has created a forceful vehicle in Cash’s character as a reminder of a painful history ... Cash’s story is set in the 1970s amid the Vietnam War and the rise of the American Indian Movement, but before the Indian Child Welfare Act, the first federal attempt to keep orphaned or abandoned kids in tribal communities ... It’s a rough reminder of how far we still have to go.
RaveThe Star TribuneAcclaimed Minnesota attorney-turned-writer Allen Eskens has taken a sharp turn into new territory with his latest book, a literary novel that explores racial prejudice in mid-1970s Missouri. It’s a heavy theme, butNothing More Dangerous buzzes along with the tempo of a boyhood story that almost tells itself ... The story is gripping and yet reassuring as the boys’ friendship deepens. Their summer adventures exploring the woods take on a Stand By Me quality with Stephen King-like dread around every bend ... a fine mystery that involves layers of racial introspection — persecution, guilt and retribution, important lessons learned in a region where prejudice has been passed down through generations and barely acknowledged for what it is ... The characters are intriguing; some you love and some you hate ... Eskens tells us in an author’s note that he started this book in 1991 and kept putting it away, never quite feeling it was ready. He can proudly pronounce it ready now.
RaveThe Star TribuneRuth Ware has spun a complex narrative — part ghost story, part deception thriller and part revenge tale laced with a longing for love and acceptance. This novel follows her first four successful psychological dramas with the same immersive writing, clever characters and delicious plot surprises. Readers think the story is headed one way only to be jerked back on course with a startling reveal. And this goes on and on with whiplash succession. Stick with this one. Ware always saves the best for the end.
RaveThe Star TribuneAs with many cat-and-mouse plots, the cat eventually becomes the prey. How this comes about is a wickedly delicious premise that may or may not follow any of the breadcrumb trails the author has scattered for us ... It’s hard to believe this is [Downing\'s] debut novel. The conversations are dead-on natural—believable, even when the couple are discussing the unbelievable things they’ve done. The plot is rich in twists and turns, loyalty and betrayals, love and loathing. The prose is crisp and easy to read. Just not easy to put down. When you’re ready for a long weekend with a psychologically twisted page-turner, My Lovely Wife is your perfect date.
PositiveThe Minneapolis Star TribuneA fresh new voice out of Ireland, Olivia Kiernan delivers her second crime novel with a veteran\'s flourish.
PositiveMinneapolis Star Tribune\"In her latest mystery, bestselling author Lisa Jewell combines the cloistered charm of a small English village with the curiosity, paranoia and nosy fatalism of \'Rear Window.\' Then comes a dose of lust and lies and the sinister pursuit of \'Fatal Attraction.\' It’s a thrilling trifecta, not conducive to \'read a few pages and fall right to sleep\' ... Jewell thrusts forward a series of likely suspects and more than a few red herrings. Salacious secrets start to emerge like rats from a hole as the mystery builds to its final surprise. (Don’t leave before the credits roll, as they say) ... With 16 novels to her credit and more twists up her sleeve than a master magician, Jewell is sure to keep you up at night.\
PositiveThe Minneapolis Star TribuneCompletes a one-two gut punch that was well worth the wait ... [a] pulsating plot ... Eskens is a descriptive writer who laces his stories with Minnesota location and lore. He twists his plots like a State Fair pretzel and makes us give even sketchy people the benefit of the doubt, leaving the conclusion wide open until he decides to deliver the final tug. The Shadows We Hide is a rewarding sequel.
William Kent Krueger
RaveThe Star TribuneIf his loyal spirit, derring-do, Iron Range ruggedness and protect-my-people nature don’t hook you, an irresistible story line will ... Krueger keeps up the tension and mystery in this, the 17th Cork O’Connor novel, partly through his comfort with real places—Iron Range towns, Iron Lake and other familiar treasures. He uses them to develop an uncanny sense of place and purpose; we can almost smell the pines and see the reflection of the moon on a cold lake. Krueger has an obvious affection for his richly developed, recurring characters ... Krueger’s taut storytelling and intricate plots almost always center on a topic in the news, a compelling hook he’s researched well and has wrapped his tale around.
PositiveThe Star TribuneThough set in modern times, it opens with a Gothic feel ... all manner of threats, lies, betrayal and intrigue are rattling skeletons in the family closets. The story keeps the suspense at an entertaining level and is a fine fourth card in Ware’s growing deck of thriller.
PositiveThe Star TribuneIt’s an engaging read, but never riveting or chilling, and the mostly privileged status of this group makes them hard to relate to. But the story does psychologically pick away at the common threads of motherhood. And with its populist topic...it’s bound to press familiar hot buttons and unnerve many readers.
PositiveStar TribuneAs immigration debates swirl in Congress and refugees swarm across borders around the globe, a timely and engaging book humanizes the polarizing political debates ... a provocative debut novel ... in telling his story, Bala faithfully re-creates the painful processes and indignities that the real-life Tamils endured ... timely, relevant and frightening.
Leila Slimani, Trans. by Sam Taylor
RaveThe Minneapolis Star TribuneReminiscent of The Hand That Rocks the Cradle, the story’s tension builds relentlessly even though the author has telegraphed the morbid ending at the beginning of the book. Louise’s descent into mental illness, even madness, grabs us by the throat ...this unsettling tale has been translated into English by Sam Taylor, for an eager North American audience. Fans of psychological thrillers will find it a perfect start to their 2018 reading list.
P. D. James
RaveThe Minneapolis Star TribuneThe newly collected short stories all have her familiar twists and turns, tales of English privilege and cunning attitude woven deftly into the human condition … The tales go well beyond solving the crime, delving instead into what drove the characters to these dastardly deeds and how the consequences played out afterward. In this way, James writes more as psychologist than forensic investigator ... British to the core, Baroness James wears her bestowed crown as ‘Queen of Crime’ even posthumously … This fun collection is just training wheels for the meaty stuff.
PositiveThe Minneapolis Star TribuneWare is back to her inaugural theme, women reunited to face the horrors of the past. The story has roots at a second-class boarding school on the gloomy English coast. Our girl chums have all been banished from home for one reason or another and seem to have little in common until a mean-spirited lying challenge pulls them together ... Ware writes with sharp dialogue and rich psychological drama. If you liked her earlier works, you just may love The Lying Game.”
RaveThe Minneapolis Star TribuneInto the Water captures all the suspense and terrifying emotions of the first, but it beams with a maturity in writing and in storytelling that will draw her fans right back over the edge ... Hawkins’ tale is told through so many sets of eyes that it’s sometimes hard to keep the playlist straight ... But the novel also flows with an instinctual understanding of relationships, young love, devoted friendships and dedication to duty, familial faults and small-town paranoia. Every character is believable. The actions seem right and real, even when you don’t see them coming.
RaveThe Minneapolis Star Tribune...the definitive back story on cult leader Jim Jones' rise to power ... This is so much more than a biography of a minister-turned-megalomaniac. It's a chronicle of the times, when people grasped at hope and happiness in unexpected places. And it's a chilling portrait of a man who, when the curtain was dropping on his slice of heaven, took everyone down with him.
RaveThe Minneapolis StarAlmost defying a genre, Hunt’s story is an enticing mix of mystery, historical fiction and fantasy, all wrapped up in a writing style that immerses you in another time. The road in evening is transformed into Some Other Place, where hope and goodness collide with hate and fear ... The book is at once disturbing, highly imaginative and evocative, a tale that is likely to occupy your thoughts well after you close the cover.
PositiveThe Minneapolis Star TribuneLeavitt paints her characters with deep flaws and yet hugely redeeming qualities. The writing is rich and real and provocative, with scenes that bring tears of sadness and of joy as we watch America struggle with its growing pains and wonder if our young protagonist will make it through her own.
RaveThe Minneapolis Star TribuneEvery once in a while, a book comes along that you just can’t shake. It surfaces in dreams and in casual conversation, or it brushes against your consciousness as you encounter the rush of everyday life.
Jodi Picoult’s new novel is one of those stories ... the author manages not to be preachy, instead tackling the complex layers of racial relations with a blunt honesty and disarming humility ... a courageous and important work.
PositiveThe Minneapolis Star TribuneWith a churning plot worthy of Agatha Christie, and fresh on the heels of her bestselling thriller In a Dark, Dark Wood, Ruth Ware twists the wire on readers’ nerves once again. Cabin 10 just may do to cruise vacations what Jaws did to ocean swimming. You’ll be afraid to go out on the water.
RaveThe Minneapolis Star TribuneReaders come away with a sense that, through researching and writing I Will Find You, Connors has been able to banish some demons and start down a healthy path — one that leads to finding her own new self. Her book is a study in healing and courage and should prove to be a resource for many of those touched by these terrible crimes.
Andrew Michael Hurley
RaveThe Minneapolis Star TribuneThroughout their travails, the Loney takes on a life of its own, brooding and powerful, becoming the one character in Andrew Michael Hurley’s dark tale that will not be ignored ... This impressive first novel is luxuriously written, with dialogue springing from richly developed characters. The Loney has won awards and accolades from such reviewers as horror master Stephen King and won the Costa First Novel Award, among other distinctions. Nothing about it disappoints.