PositiveBooklistAn absorbing tale for readers willing to surrender to some unlikely character behaviors and an occasionally predictable plot, although fans of Gone Girl and its successors will appreciate an ending that puts a pricey shoe on one foot and then changes it again . . . and again.
PositiveBooklist... riveting ... masterfully told in different voices from a well-developed cast of characters. Police officer Pearl Maze is worthy of her own series. Fans of Megan Abbott and Wendi Corsi Staub will relish this one.
PositiveBooklistReaders may find themselves smitten with Daniel and with the dauntless Miriam Fforde Croft, whose relationship with Daniel deepens in this episode ... Primarily identified for her authentic period sets and well-rendered characters, Perry writes in what she has called the \'Put Your Heart on the Page\' method, with the focus placed squarely on what happens to people under the pressure of investigation. This book is an excellent example of her craft.
S. A. Lelchuk
RaveBooklistNikki is a dangerous woman, sort of a Lisbeth Salander, but with a lot more heart ... Lelchuk takes readers on a rock-’em-sock-’em motorcycle ride to a surprising conclusion. Along with the action, this outstanding series debut boasts a well-developed supporting cast whose interactions with Nikki make her bookstore as inviting as Louise Penny’s Three Pines bistro.
Sophie Hénaff, Trans. by Sam Gordon
RaveBooklistAuthor Hénaff...brings her keen wit to this chic, quirky, and quasi-noir visit to the City of Lights. There is strong appeal here to fans of Chris Ewan’s Good Thief and Jussi Adler-Olsen’s Department Q series.
PositiveBooklistThe investigation unfolds, in turn, in the separate narratives.. and the suspense builds as the truth about each of their experiences emerges. The wrap-up here is just a bit too neat, but Gardner’s fans will not be disappointed by this insightful look into the impact of crime on its victims.
PositiveBooklistThe atmosphere is so thick you can taste the red-clay dust, and the folklore surrounding the mysterious stockman adds an additional edge to an already dark and intense narrative. The truth is revealed in a surprising ending that reveals how far someone will go to preserve a life worth living in a place at once loathed and loved.
Melissa Scrivner Love
PositiveBooklistLola Vasquez is back in a stunning sequel to the author’s Edgar-nominated and Debut Dagger–winning Lola (2017) ... Many readers may find themselves developing a definite affection for a woman who is essentially a cold-blooded killer, but others may find this violent novel a difficult read. Either way, it exposes painful truths. Suggest to those who know Arturo Pérez-Reverte’s similar The Queen of the South (2004).
RaveBooklistThe Elmore Leonard–like cinematic prose begs for a film adaptation ... Recommend this triumph of moral ambiguity to fans of black humor, including that of Carl Hiaasen and Dennis Lehane, in addition to Leonard.
RaveBooklistThis stunning debut opens boldly with the word You, as did Jay McInerney’s Bright Lights, Big City (1984), and readers are likely to make other comparisons between the two, though Restoration Heights stands apart because of an added element of mystery ... This is an instant New York fiction classic, exuding dark poetry from a lyrical narrative populated by well-defined characters in carefully, or, shall we say, artistically, arranged settings. Best recommended to a younger, hip audience or to aging McInerney fans who remember Bright Lights, Big City with fondness.
MixedBooklistThe idea that two badly damaged people who filled up rooms with their worldliness, their big words, and their general aura of disdain would expect to find contentment in simple domesticity off the beaten path in Kansas strains credulity, even before murder comes to farm country. Still, the brilliantly conceived and presented conclusion would do Patricia Highsmith proud. Expect plenty of promotion, too, as this debut novel is being advertised as 2019’s The Woman in the Window.
RaveBooklistThis arresting English-language debut from South African crime author Brynard validates her reputation as \'The Afrikaans Stieg Larsson\' ... Brynard brings a strong, authentic voice to the country’s conflict-ridden past and its current complex society and entangled land claims. A brilliant ensemble cast, well-measured suspense, straightforward dialogue, and nice pacing add up to an outstanding thriller. Fans of other South African authors, from James McClure to Deon Meyer, will relish Brynard’s new and distinctive voice, although readers should be prepared for the book’s gritty and, at times, gruesome details.
RaveBooklistOnce a party girl, [the protagonist Amy] now lives a solitary existence, keeping her exotic tattoos well hidden while working odd jobs and doing penance by delivering Communion to the housebound. This remarkable discordance is riveting ... Amy elicits the same dark fascination as Sara Gran’s stellar neo-noir detective, Claire DeWitt ... [an] outstanding thriller.
RaveBooklistAnother stellar domestic drama ... [Jewell] has created a cast of well-defined characters whose lives are already intertwined at the start, even though they don’t know it yet ... Expert misdirection keeps the reader guessing, and the rug-pulled-out-from-beneath-your-feet conclusion—coupled with one final, bone-chilling revelation—is stunning. Best not to bet on anyone. A compulsive read guaranteed to please fans of A. J. Finn and Ruth Ware.
Alex Beer, Trans. by, Tim Mohr
RaveBooklist\"In her debut novel, Beer, a rising star in Austrian crime fiction, brings post-WWI Vienna to life in an overwhelmingly grim portrayal of a defeated empire’s daily struggle to survive the constant cold, disease, hunger, and despair ... This is a masterfully constructed novel with a very satisfying ending that points to a series. But it’s very dark stuff, best suited for readers with a deep appreciation of international noir.
Helene Tursten, Trans. by Marlaine Delargy
RaveBooklistTursten has entertained readers for 20 years with her series of crime novels ... Her new character, identified only as Maud, is another brilliant creation ... She is presented here in five episodes, all dark, irreverent, and hilariously funny.
RaveBooklistAward-winning master of suspense Bolton manages to transform a campfire ghost story into a riveting novel ... Witches and zombies abound, and it is left to the reader to decide if these characters are simply delusional or that this stuff is for real ... Here’s hoping for a series with more of Florence, and, please, the witches.
T M Logan
MixedBooklistA fast-paced debut that is as much about decisions (mostly bad) and their consequences as it is about deception ... A fairly standard formula with some good twists at the end, marred by generally unlikable characters and behaviors that are highly improbable, but the writing is strong.
RaveBooklistAbsorbing ... afire with [Daly\'s] trademark brilliantly defined characters ... The element of literary ambition makes for a fascinating story within the story, with details on the dangers of plagiarism and the destructive practice of \'sock puppetry\'—posting fake bad reviews of authors’ work—enhancing the telling. The turn at the end is an absolute triumph. Readers will hope to hear more of the Campbells soon.
PositiveBooklist...a body wearing 1995 Nikes has been unearthed by treasure hunters looking for WWII loot. While fending off (Pirie) superior’s attempts to sabotage her work, she is also investigating a series of vicious rapes that occurred in the late eighties and has been drawn into a peculiar domestic stabbing. McDermid moves the reader deftly back and forth in time as her dab hand allows the indomitable Pirie to \'bring the dead home.\'
T. Jefferson Parker
RaveBooklistA widowed ex-cop and ex-marine combat veteran, Ford carries his own emotional baggage. He is a kick-ass warrior with a heart of gold but a head overflowing with painful memories. Parker’s writing is sharp, and each character in the extended cast is unique and finely nuanced despite the super-fast-paced narrative. The themes of redemption and revenge run on parallel tracks, occasionally intersecting. This is quintessential California noir.
RaveBooklist\"The dialogue is sometimes biting and always witty, and the entire book is at once wicked and sublime. This would be perfect for fans anxiously awaiting the next Carl Hiaasen. They will be delighted to learn the distinctions between Cheeto and Cheez-It residues. But no palm trees; just lots of good corn acreage.\
RaveBooklist Online\"Literature has a dark sorority of bad, creepy, and cruel girls, which now includes seven-year-old Hanna Hansen ... Debut novelist Stage has convincingly created one of the youngest villains ever, and readers who appreciate such creepy tykes as Shriver’s Kevin and Doris Lessing’s Ben (in The Fifth Child, 1988) will be unable to resist the urge to meet Hanna.\
PositiveBooklist\"A Double Life features a somewhat protracted and shocking conclusion that will have nail-biters gnawing down to their nubs ... Bound to please Berry’s fans as well as followers of domestic-noir masters of the be-careful-what-you-wish-for tale, including Hallie Ephron, Gillian Flynn, and Paula Hawkins.\
PositiveBooklistA breathtaking thriller with plenty of action and some very clever twists, this is one of those stories where just when you think things can’t get any worse, they do; but the grimly satisfying conclusion makes it worth it for both characters and readers. Fans of David Baldacci and John Grisham will enjoy the unpredictability and unrelenting suspense.
James A McLaughlin
PositiveBooklist\"The landscape is rendered in remarkable prose that puts the reader right out on the trail with Moore in his ghillie suit, often lost in a Castaneda-like rapture that contrasts sharply with intermittent bursts of stunning brutality. C. J. Box and Paul Doiron fans will enjoy this edgy tale, with human greed and wildlife exploitation at its heart.\
RaveBooklistActually, the word is not murder, it’s ingenious ... A masterful meta-mystery.
RaveBooklist\"...[a] brilliant politcal satire ... He takes the same kind of snarky, tasty bite out of eastern Long Island’s overdevelopment that Carl Hiaasen does from the plunder of Florida ... Promise readers that the only way they will put this book down is when Charlton Heston’s ghost pries it from their cold dead hands.\
PositiveBooklistKoryta excels at action set in remote places, and fans of William Kent Krueger and C. J. Box will enjoy this one.
RaveBooklist...a brilliant narrative about a confused young woman struggling to separate fact from fiction in her life ... Perfect for millennial readers and highly recommended for fans of eventually justified 'paranoid woman' characters who descend in a direct line from Charlotte Brontë to Ruth Ware.
PositiveBooklist\"Hall brings the unreliable narrator to new heights in this disturbing narrative while subtly planting the seed in the reader’s mind that Verity, damaged by her own childhood issues, may be feeding Mike’s mania to suit her own ends. For fans of Nabokov’s Lolita, Highsmith’s Ripley tales, or Christine Mangan’s recently published first novel, Tangerine.\
RaveBooklist[Harper] manages to match her debut’s intensity with another riveting, tension-driven thriller ... Perfect for fans of Tana French and readers who enjoy literary page-turners.
A. J. Finn
RaveBooklistFinn has carefully paced Anna’s internal narrative and intricately woven interactions (real or imagined?) and added a diabolical dimension that makes this story even more intense than Hitchcock’s Rear Window. And when the catalyst for Anna’s condition is ultimately revealed, it is far more traumatic than a broken leg. An astounding debut from a truly talented writer, perfect for fans in search of more like Gone Girl and The Girl on the Train.