PositiveNPRThat darkness and corruption dwell behind the shiny, happy façade of middle-class life is a common enough theme in American storytelling. In The Chain, McKinty hooks the motif up to a power supply, connects it to wi-fi and plunges it into the Dark Web, where The Chain slithers like a basilisk, feeding on our obsession with social media, and our blithe ignorance of online privacy and security. And where it moves at the speed of a T3 connection ... a straight-up, stone-faced thriller ... McKinty waits until the last third of the book to reveal who created The Chain, and how they run it, day-to-day. It\'s an infuriating choice, to torture the reader this way, but it\'s the smart one. Flashbacks inevitably slow a narrative down, and The Chain is all about momentum. Sometimes, though, it feels as though it moves a little too fast. At the peak of the action, discordant notes pop out: A revolver with a safety catch; a Massachusetts colloquialism that doesn\'t ring quite true. But these are just tiny bumps, loose pebbles on the rails of an otherwise thunderous ride into the darkest, most fearful reaches of a parent\'s mind.
MixedNPR\"Whether it\'s the descriptions of Holbrooke\'s tennis-playing companions in 1960s Saigon, his cigar-smoking, back-stabbing investment banker buddies at Lehman Brothers in the go-go \'80s, or his celebrity cocktail-party pals in New York in the \'90s, the elite is ever-present in Our Man. That might stick in your craw, were it not for Packer\'s energetic prose, which carries the reader easily through the three main acts of Holbrooke\'s diplomatic life ... Our Man is impeccably sourced. Packer was given complete access to Holbrooke\'s papers by Kati Marton, Holbrooke\'s third wife. He also had remarkable access to Holbrooke\'s friends and associates, and conducted more than 250 interviews. Despite this, Packer fails to shed much light on the glaring inconsistency in Holbrooke\'s career trajectory—his move to Wall Street, and the world of lobbying and consulting. Why did a man like Holbrooke, who appeared so committed to public service and solving the world\'s conflicts, decide to hop on the money train? It\'s an irritating gap in the narrative, and it means that even though the book runs to more than 500 pages, it feels frustratingly incomplete.\
RaveNPR\"The Last Stone is a rigorous documenting of the 40-year journey taken by Montgomery County detectives and the cold-case team that interrogated Lloyd Welch. It\'s a riveting, serpentine story about the dogged pursuit of the truth, regardless of the outcome or the cost. And it\'s a useful reminder that in an age of science, forensics, and video and data surveillance, the ability of one human being to coax the truth from another remains the cornerstone of a successful investigation.\
Patrick Radden Keefe
PositiveNPRAs a historian, there\'s no mistaking his bias: Keefe is contemptuous of the British government and the security services, and he venerates the Provisional IRA. As the narrator of a whodunit, however, he excels, exposing the past, layer by layer, like the slow peel of a rotten onion, as he works to answer a question that the British government, the Northern Irish police and the McConville family has been seeking the answer to for nearly 50 years ... Keefe draws the characters in this drama finely and colorfully ... Keefe is a meticulous researcher, whose dive into the source material that informs so many histories of the Troubles goes deeper than most. Say Nothing is at its best when it\'s at its most granular. Some of the details are delightful ... a timely warning that it doesn\'t take much to open old wounds in Ireland, and make them fresh once more.