RaveCriminal Element...a powerful debut about two women’s search for justice as they take on the corruption at the heart of their community ... There are plenty of secrets in The Widows, and Montgomery creates a layered, rich mystery that makes the most of its historical setting. Her prose is captivating and sharp, in tune both with the natural landscape and the human corruption that haunts the mountains ... The Widows is deeply researched, and Montgomery’s writing carries with it the confidence of truth ... a fantastic debut.
PositiveThe Criminal ElementJohnson’s prose is as sharp as ever. Plucking Walt from the confines of his home county and dropping him in the desert gives Johnson the chance to get literary...and cinematic. Depth of Winter isn’t so much a mystery as it is a Western, and Johnson gives the action the sort of big-screen treatment it deserves. There are shades of The Wild Bunch ... And the action is big, well-choreographed, and thrilling. There are brawls, shootouts, and some literally explosive moments, and they’re all suspenseful and well-earned. At the heart of the book is Walt’s ongoing internal conflict about when killing is justified ... In fact, Walt finds himself in this quandary so often that, by the book’s end, the motif is repetitive ... None of that is to say Depth of Winter is a ponderous slugfest. The narrative is propulsive and rarely stops, from Walt’s escape from a U.S. border patrol station that opens the novel to the tense finale that’s gripping, though predictable. And though the stakes are high, Johnson deploys his usual wit and humor to lighten the mood.