RaveOpen Letters ReviewThis is high octane suspense. What starts in a sanatorium leads to a desperately dangerous race to find a killer ... chilling echoes of One Flew over the Cuckoo’s Nest and The Prisoner reverberate in every twist and turn of Billy Boyle’s life or death mission ... With consummate skill, Benn weaves a compelling variation on a locked-room mystery into a detail-rich novel whose high level of tension never lets up ... The Red Horse is right up there with the best classic mysteries. In other words, a winner!
RaveOpen Letters Review... the writing style is ever-so-slightly different (Child’s writing is terser than Child and his brother) but the story is just as powerful ... Capitalizing on his size and intensity (a controlled rage bottled up in the form of a sledgehammer) we are reminded once again why Reacher is one of the coolest characters to ever wander around a topnotch thriller like this one ... fresh, lands a lot of unexpected punches and keeps you on edge to the very end. It’s a compulsively readable thriller that proves the series is primed to continue on at the highest level for many years to come.
RaveThe Open Letters ReviewIn the time honored tradition of Agatha Christie, among others, Cleeves buries a number of secrets amongst the isolated group. Some are related to the death of this young woman, while others are tantalizing red herrings that do much to turn the characters into flesh-and-blood people ... Since the investigation involves those from all levels of the social hierarchy in this small village, Ann Cleeves is able to make minute but significant observations about human interaction. One of her hallmarks is that the depiction of the investigation and the logical leaps made by the authorities must feel as authentic and accurate as is humanly possible. As is her wont, all the necessary clues abound for the canniest of readers to figure out. Of course, true to form, the clues are obfuscated successfully. She is a master of misdirection albeit that she never cuts corners on her way to revealing the culprit ... To date, Ann Cleeves has written nine Vera Stanhope novels. Her gift is that she manages to make each of them feel as fresh and exciting as when readers first met Vera back in The Crow Trap. The Darkest Evening is another page-turner from one of the best in the genre.
RaveThe Open Letters ReviewAs always, Penny excels at creating a meticulously constructed mystery. In the process, she reveals unvarnished truths about the hidden workings of the world—as well as a nuanced portrait of the Gamache clan—warts and all ... Plus, her evocation of the City of Light is as masterful as the increased role she ever so subtly allots to Reine-Marie. The librarian’s research skills are crucial to untying the intricate knot at the mystery’s core. As ever, Penny’s deft touch with plotting only enhances her in-depth character studies ... Penny is very special and All the Devils Are Here is an exceptional addition to the Gamache series.
Sarah Stewart Taylor
RaveThe Observer... a bubbling broth of a book. It’s a paean to Ireland. It’s a love letter to its inhabitants in all their multifaceted splendor. It made me homesick for Dublin ... Taylor skillfully switches time periods from 1993 to 2016 in this splendid, atmospheric mystery that artfully blends the history and romance of Ireland with a contemporary police investigation. The Irish setting is so vividly evoked that you can practically hear that dulcet brogue, taste the Guinness and smell the peat fires. The Mountains Wild is a beautifully plotted novel that builds to a stunning, unforgettable conclusion.
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Here we have murder, madness and megalomania among the high and mighty ... Death in the Family is a riveting read. It’s a top notch mystery that is intricately layered to keep you in suspense until the last word. It’s a very special start to a new series whose subsequent installments, I, for one, eagerly await.\
RaveThe Open Letters Review... delicious ... A series of shocking twists culminates in a masterful ending. You won’t get there on your own—trust me, don’t even try. Just relish the opportunity to reacquaint yourself or discover the classic books ... Whether you are a well-read mystery maven and classic whodunit fan, or a rank beginner, don’t miss Eight Perfect Murders. Swanson hits every high note in this homage to the old fashioned crime novel. Oh and that nifty climax will leave you breathless!
RaveOpen Letters Review... [a] powerful novel of endurance against all odds ... a beautifully written, powerful, indelibly real and deeply moving novel.
PositiveOpen Letters Review... best described as an intricate puzzle ... a thriller filled with hair-raising twists and turns, fueled by haunted characters, graphic violence and raw emotions. Black deftly transforms this rawness into a strength through the character of Valerie. He bares her wounded psyche and the self-deprecating awareness of her own darkness ... Albeit elegantly crafted, the climax of this novel comes with a final sleight of hand that might make you feel played. Forgive Mr. Black, it’s one more canny bit of mischief that makes Anything for You such a splendid read.
John Le Carre
RaveOpen Letters ReviewAs anyone worth their trench coat knows, le Carré is the gold standard among spy novelists ... It is so wonderfully typical of le Carré to introduce a character who goes from mildly innocuous to rampantly pivotal ... among other things, a brilliantly multilayered examination of the disillusionment of aging spies. It turns a merciless eye on their secrets and their defections from the causes they once espoused. It lays bare at its center one of the author’s core beliefs: \'Promise nothing you can’t take back\' ... The ending, if you can call it that, is ambiguous, unpredictable, deliciously outrageous. In good spy novels, there is no such thing as a clean getaway. But always with le Carré you get one helluva ride.
RaveThe Open Letters Review... deftly wrought ... calls to mind my favorite female sleuth, Agatha Christie’s Miss Jane Marple ... The ending, as befits this original, madcap mystery, is one last lovely surprise. What Rose Forgot is a winner on every level!
RaveThe Open Letters Review... delivers as both a tightly plotted, taut legal thriller and a highly suspenseful serial killer investigation ... [Cavanagh\'s] best yet ... There are plenty of page-turning twists, and a few red herrings beautifully marinated ... Cavanagh has perfected the old Agatha Christie ploy of focusing your attention in one direction (the wrong one) while in plain sight palming the ace. The finale is a stunner. Thirteen is not to be missed.
RaveOpen Letters ReviewLike those Japanese Daruma dolls nesting inside one another, Disappearing Earth’s many female characters are entwined, sometimes tenuously, by the tragedy of the Golosovsky girls ... Julia Phillips’ Disappearing Earth is an exquisitely crafted, stunning novel, set in a strange, ancient, beautiful place marked by glaciers and volcanoes and endless cold ... Phillips\' remarkable novel dares to imagine the possibilities.
RaveThe Open Letters ReviewIncisive, intelligent, mesmerizing, mordantly witty, masterfully written, Metropolis is the author at the top of his game. Auf wiedersehen Mr. Gunther and Mr. Kerr—you will be sorely missed.
PositiveOpen Letters Review\"A new Donna Leon mystery featuring that quintessential Venetian cop with an unnerving eye for evidence, Commissario Guido Brunetti, is always a treat. Unto Us a Son Is Given is no exception ... Brunetti’s interaction with his consistently fascinating wife and his rapidly maturing children, contributes much to the pleasure of reading Leon ... And as always, Leon portrays Venice, one of the most intriguing cities on earth, with an added dimension all her own.\
PositiveOpen Letters Review...witty ... In the end it all comes together like the bulletin board full of thread and pins that Freddie and Taylor keep to connect the many tentacles of the case ... First, Kill the Lawyers is a complex, beautifully plotted mystery. It is an often dark, frequently funny roller coaster ride of a read that you won’t soon forget.
RaveOpen Letters Review\"... thoroughly engrossing ... Harman’s exploration of Dickens’ interest in the case, reaction to the book Jack Sheppard, and horrified account of the hanging, which he witnessed, add depth to this assiduously researched and splendidly written book. In the end she reminds us that truth is often stranger than fiction, particularly when inspired by it. Indeed!\
RaveOpen Letters ReviewOnce more the game is afoot, as Sherlock Holmes often says. This time it’s his creator, Arthur Conan Doyle, who is on the case. It is 1888 and Jonathan Wilkins, Prime Minister William Gladstone’s personal secretary, calls on Doyle to assist in the hunt for the heinous Whitechapel murderer. Three prostitutes have been slaughtered within the past month ... Bradley Harper’s A Knife in the Fog skillfully evokes a terrorized Victorian London between August and November of 1888 when the Ripper’s bloody rampage prevailed. Conan Doyle is as fascinating and gifted a detective as his creation. The colorful cast of characters, vividly portrayed, includes cameo appearances by Mark Twain and Oscar Wilde ... But it is the premise, the plotting, the attention to period detail that make this debut novel, A Knife in the Fog, so special. Most important of all, is the deliciously irreverent solution which, believe it or not, is very 21st century.
RaveOpen Letters Review...an elegantly ingenious addition to the series ... The wrap-up is a nifty variation on one of Christie’s original solutions. Once again, Sophie Hannah demonstrates that she is more than capable of nailing the style and substance of the great lady herself. She has produced another feast for Christie fans.
RaveOpen Letters ReviewAs Crisis opens, Harrison \'Harry\' Foster, a legal consultant specializing in crisis management for the London firm of Simpson White Consultancy Ltd., is dispatched to Newmarket. His mission is to investigate a fire in the Castleton House Stables owned by the Chadwick family. Considered one of the finest racehorse training establishments in the country, it was home to seven very valuable horses that were destroyed in the fire. The most prized of the lot, Prince of Troy, was the current wonder racehorse and the odds-on favorite for the renowned Epsom Derby. His death is an immeasurable loss to racing, as well as to its Middle-Eastern owner Sheikh Karim, who is Harry’s client ... With Crisis, Francis has given us another special thriller. He delivers compelling behind-the-racing-scene details, delicious character vignettes, and some hard-hitting gritty stories full of surprising twists and turns. Welcome to the winner’s circle once again.
RaveThe Open Letters ReviewSweet Little Lies is a multilayered, complex novel that explores how the sins of our fathers reflect upon us in an entirely new way. It exposes the seamy underbelly of Irish society and its tawdry connection to London’s criminal class. Frear lays bare all the ways that dysfunctional families guard their family secrets and the havoc they wreak upon each other to keep it that way. The case takes many twists and turns before winding up with one of those double whammy surprises so dear to the hearts and minds of readers like me. Cat is as fascinating as she is likable, prickly, flawed and thoroughly believable. I can’t wait for her next adventure.
PositiveOpen Letters ReviewJack is a high-end, high-tech coke dealer, a businessman and entrepreneur, whose brand is called the Pale Peruvian Stallion. It’s the imprint on the little cellophane twists in which it arrives. He’s the Amazon of cocaine trafficking—riding high, so to speak, and no one can breach his complex security system… There’s a contract out on his life. The deadly hitmen known as the Seven Demons have been hired to take him out … With the help of his contacts in the dark web, a portal called Poltergeist, Jack plans to take the Seven Demons out one by one.
The Price You Pay is an intoxicating thriller.
Lars Kepler, Trans. by Neil Smith
RaveThe Open Letters ReviewNothing is predictable in The Sandman, this edgy, riveting, beautifully-wrought thriller. The scenes between Saga Bauer and Jurek Walter are elegantly orchestrated to elicit what can only be described as restrained horror gone awry. Linna is a phenomenal cop-cum-hero who stays ahead of the bad guys with savvy and spirit. Plus, there is a cliffhanger climax that will take your breath away.