RavePittsburgh Post-GazetteThe New Girl shows very clearly what any progressive ruler in the Saudi kingdom is up against. The author offers a crash course in Wahhabi, the strictly orthodox Sunni Muslim sect that has a covenant with the House of Saud ... Readers who don’t care about politics will certainly still enjoy The New Girl, which spins an excellent yarn. A shocking explosion, a chance encounter, a radioactive toxin, a lie to a mole and a super twist at the end are all elements that make the book’s 468 pages fly by.
RavePittsburgh Post-GazetteIn this excellent debut ... Benz unpacks her story slowly, and she brings many surprises to it. The Gone Dead is an entertaining and suspenseful mystery, but also extremely insightful. There are beautifully simple descriptions as well as more complicated emotional observations; best of all, it manages to be exotic yet feel absolutely authentic. Add to that, Ms. Benz studs her story with numerous mentions of books, music and African American history—enough to keep the curious busy for months researching her references ... Ms. Benz’s affection for her characters and their story is so strong that many will leave the novel lifted by love.
PositivePittsburgh Post-Gazette\"... Mr. Iles offers fascinating facts about actual World Heritage sites in the area ... fun and surprising cultural references are rife throughout Cemetery Road ... Those who love an overflowing page-turner will appreciate Mr. Iles’ distinct voices, unexpected and effective metaphors, intense scenes and super dramatic emotions, despite a little raunchy romance.\
PositivePittsburgh Post-Gazette\"... Child stirs [the book\'s] two plots into a unique mix that’s often sweet and nostalgic but sometimes overflows with the righteous violence that defines Jack Reacher ... What is surprising are some of Child’s choices in Past Tense. One is his settings in the Laconia Library... always written with satisfying geometry and a light touch of humor ... Plain wisdom from that other rare bird, Lee Child.\
PositivePittsburgh Post-Gazette\"The plot of Lethal White, set in 2012 while London was hosting the Summer Olympics, is much too richly convoluted to do justice to it here ... In the end, when the author attempts to connect the dots, the picture is a little blurry. But the pleasure for many readers will be the journey with Strike and Robin, even if the destination isn’t clear.\
PositivePittsburgh Post-Gazette...stylish and intense ... In her pages, Ms. Mangan renders a similar visual excitement and ominous tone that Hitchcock brought ... Beneath Ms. Mangan’s striking style is plenty of substance. She follows the obsessive friendship between Alice and Lucy with varied tempos in her writing, sometimes slow and introspective, other times speeding it up with the dramatic tension and twists of a good murder mystery. These changes of pace keep the reader off balance and wondering what’s going to happen next.
John Le Carré
RaveThe Pittsburgh Post GazetteWhat may come as a surprise is how much of the book takes place in the present, and how beguiling its narrator turns out to be ... Fans old and new should not be disappointed that Smiley’s role in A Legacy of Spies ends up being minor. Instead, welcome Peter Guillam, the charismatic and emotionally engaging star of this installment ...Peter redefines aging. He is vivid and vital with a dry wit and a sharp memory ...details are baroquely complicated, which is Mr. Le Carré’s signature style, like a nesting doll of double-agents and disinformation. The construction is elegantly vintage, tense and atmospheric, with sharply differentiated characters and highly charged emotions.
RaveThe Pittsburgh Post-GazettePhil Klay comes as close as possible to relating the emotions of various people before, during and after the war in Iraq. The depth of his perceptions and clarity of his observations are remarkable … Mr. Klay has a straightforward, no-frills style. He expresses himself with a young man’s energy that directly and immediately pulls the reader into his narratives. It would be impossible to remain detached and just sit back and admire his skill as a writer. These stories are felt like shrapnel in the gut.
RaveThe Pittsburgh Post-GazetteThis is a field well-cultivated by masterful writers such as Elizabeth George and the late P.D. James, and the quality of Ms. Hawkins’ psychological suspense puts her right up there with them. In fact, in some ways she surpasses these older novelists ... Numerous other perspectives, usually conflicting, become a box of fascinating puzzle pieces to assemble ... It will make a lushly gorgeous movie, but is unlikely to capture the wealth of Ms. Hawkins nuances. Definitely read the book first.
RaveThe Pittsburgh Post-GazetteThose considering Mississippi Blood may wonder if it will be understandable without having read the two previous novels. The answer is a great big yes, although anyone who has time should start at the beginning ... Although an emotional courtroom drama, there is plenty of action in Mississippi Blood. Mr. Iles drives his story forward with sturdy sentences but stops often to indulge in purely beautiful writing.
RaveThe Pittsburgh Post-GazetteThe narrative that unfolds is intricate and highly entertaining. It doesn’t rely as much on Reacher’s quirky lifestyle choices. Instead, the super suspenseful plot turns on his ability to deduce and calculate, his gut feelings and wild guesses, his knowledge of science and human nature ... 'There are no time machines,' Reacher says at one point. But that’s exactly what Mr. Child has created in Night School, and it’s a thrilling ride.
PositiveThe Pittsburgh Post-GazetteSet in the Florida Panhandle against the backdrop of an Indian-owned casino, Mr. Grisham’s novel grabs attention like triple cherries on a slot machine. While he deals an entire deck of characters in The Whistler, it’s the plot that makes the book so winning ... Mr. Grisham’s plot is richly complex, but in telling his big story, occasionally a character’s voice ends up sounding much like the author’s.
PositivePittsburgh Post-Gazette...a timely look at what young athletes, and their families, are willing to endure for a chance at the spotlight. ... Rather than curve balls in the plot, it’s the chilling emotional twists that make the story so intriguing ... Ms. Abbott provides both plenty of drama and a look at the Knoxes’ ordinary routine.
PositiveThe Pittsburgh Post-GazetteWhile Nick’s nobility could be argued, what’s undeniable is that Mr. Hamilton has delivered a well-constructed story with a complicated plot, a lot of action, some vivid language and a variety of nicely detailed scenes ... The book’s dust jacket features praise from crime writing heavyweights such as Harry Bosch creator Michael Connelly, and scenically, Mr. Hamilton captures Chicago as well as Mr. Connelly depicts Los Angeles. But Nick doesn’t have the unique individualism of a character such as Bosch. What Nick lacks in intellect, however, he makes up for in testosterone.
B. A. Shapiro
PositivePittsburgh Post-GazetteNovels are often engaging while being read then quickly forgotten, but The Muralist leads to a desire for more: To learn about the abstract expressionists, to see paint on canvas up close and personal, and to be aware of the world’s current refugee crisis in hopes that the history recounted in Ms. Shapiro’s book will never be repeated.
RavePittsburgh Post-GazetteTotally engrossing, The Crossing is like a carefully planned vacation with no work required. Just relax and enjoy a fascinating ride.