PositiveThe Toronto Star (CAN)In the long-running Wolfe series, James Carlos Blake describes the family adventures in smooth and expert style. Two plot characteristics set his latest book apart from the rest. First, it involves the family in the porn business for the first time and, second, it finds motivation in the Wolfe matriarch who must be the most ancient operator in the entire world of crime. She’s Catalina Luisiana Little Wolfe, 115 years old, lucid, domineering and capable of driving the Wolfe men to unusually death-defying endeavours.
RaveToronto Star (CAN)In the latest book in this enthralling series set in Millers Kill, Upper New York State...what unfolds is a set of murderous circumstances that are fiendish and vastly entertaining in a crackerjack mystery story.
MixedToronto StarThe first half of Louise Penny’s new Inspector Gamache novel is all about the weather ... Then something freakish for a Penny book happens: in the matter of sleuthing, the reader gets way out in front of the customarily infallible Gamache and stays there for most of the novel ... Gamache recovers in time to work some fancy deducing in the last chapters, just barely avoiding total narrative disaster.
PositiveThe Toronto StarSlaughter demonstrates her customary intense writing and deep research in describing the book’s action. In the process, she produces the most cringe-making depictions of surgical procedures since Ian McEwan’s Saturday, the novel that set a very high bar in presenting a horrendous day in the life of a neurosurgeon.
PositiveToronto Star\"Readers need to be off-the-charts clever to figure out who’s going to kill whom in this disturbing first novel by the American writer Annie Ward ... By alternating narrators and tossing a couple of other dangerously spooky characters into the mix, the book keeps its readers eternally off balance, not a pleasant sensation but one that feels oddly just right for this strange novel.\
PositiveThe Toronto StarSo, in the Brennan-free Two Nights, what fills the empty pages? Answer: action. The new book features so many scenes of shootouts and other violent collisions that it sometimes feels like one long record of homicidal strife ... The principal character is the bizarrely named Sunday Night ...a freelance investigator, she’s hired by a wealthy older woman to track down the woman’s kidnapped grandchild ... Since the clashes between Night and the bad guys come with such frequency, it’s good to report that Reichs shows plenty of resourcefulness at cooking up fresh takes on unbridled physical conflicts, the kind of thing that leaves readers practically breathless.
PositiveThe Toronto StarThis setup makes for intriguing stuff, especially given Joseph Kanon’s deft hand at sketching the old world of spies and their craft. But the book’s narrative doesn’t really take off until Frank throws a twist into the plot. It seems that he, the spy who has always presented himself as the true believer in the communist cause, now wants to sneak back home, and he expects Simon to play an indispensable role in this great escape. Kanon spins out this story with just the right amount of expert detail and vivid twists to make it convincing and entertaining in the tradition of John le Carre and Charles McCarry.
PositiveThe Toronto StarThe action teems with characters and ranges geographically from San Francisco to Miami to Bangkok and back to the Bay area. People get murdered along the way, double crosses are common and trust among colleagues is a sometimes thing. Patrick Hoffman writes vivid and colourful prose, in a style that has Hollywood movie written all over it. The movie will probably be more focused than the book, but Every Man A Menace makes for an exciting read while we wait breathlessly for the film.