PositiveBooklistEach of French’s novels...offers wonderfully complex and fully realized characters. Broken Harbor offers half a dozen ... French’s descriptive powers are both vivid and nuanced, and her deeply creepy ghost estate inspires madness and a subtle kind of gothic horror. French has never been less than very good, but Broken Harbor is a spellbinder.
RaveBooklistComplex characters and a vivid sense of place are at the heart of French’s literary success...and although Conway and Moran are fine protagonists, it is the members of the two rival cliques, and St. Kilda’s itself, that make The Secret Place much more than just a solid whodunit. French brilliantly and plausibly channels the rebellion, conformity, inchoate longings, rages, and shared bonds, as well as Kilda’s role in fostering them.
RaveBooklistFrench has written another winner ... has everything: memorable characters, crisp dialogue, shrewd psychological insight, mounting tension, a palpable sense of place, and wonderfully evocative, painterly prose. In the Woods was an Edgar Award finalist; this one just might go one step further.
RaveBooklist... a superior novel about cops, murder, memory, relationships, and modern Ireland. The characters of Ryan and Maddox, as well as a handful of others, are vividly developed in this intelligent and beautifully written first novel, and author French relentlessly builds the psychological pressure on Ryan as the investigation lurches onward under the glare of the tabloid media. Equally striking is the picture of contemporary Ireland, booming economically and fixated on the shabbiest aspects of American popular culture. An outstanding debut and a series to watch for procedural fans.
RaveBooklist\"Each of Lawson’s DeMarco novels have been first-rate, but House Witness may be the best yet. DeMarco’s investigation and the machinations of the witness tamperers are skillfully detailed and thoroughly involving, but the love affair between two of the criminals is an unexpected bonus. Readers will once again find themselves comparing Lawson to the late, great Ross Thomas.\
PositiveBooklistLimón, who spent half his 20-year army career in Korea, brings that knowledge to his rich characterizations ... This thirteenth novel in the series, however, is darker and angrier any of its predecessors ... Limón offers a shocking backstory concerning the North Korean capture of the USS Pueblo in 1968. One of the most powerful episodes in an always-strong series.
PositiveBooklist OnlineAgent 10483’s psychopathy and his capacity for extreme violence are the very qualities that commended him to the Organization, an Israeli spy agency. Those qualities also spurred the Organization to induce multiple \'transformations\' that would spur the agent to commit suicide. The final transformation nearly succeeds ... The Organization knows he’s coming for them, but 10483 is not only a psychopath—he’s also very smart and preternaturally goal-oriented ... Last Instructions, like its predecessor, offers an arresting premise and plenty of darkness, which will be enough for some espionage fans, but it may disappoint those looking for a faster pace.
RaveBooklist\"That sense of authenticity, along with vividly drawn characters, much detail about tradecraft, and an appropriately convoluted plot that centers on moles in both the SVR and the Senate Select Committee on Intelligence make this a compelling and propulsive tale of spy-versus-spy. Matthews’ characters are variously fascinating, eccentric, and truly odious ... Red Sparrow is greater than the sum of its fine parts. Espionage aficionados will love this one.\
PositiveBooklistAction fans might be left a course or two shy of a full meal, but Karjel’s portrayal of little-known Djibouti is fascinating, and his characters are appealingly multifaceted.
Victor del Árbol, Trans. Lisa Dillman
PositiveBooklist OnlineÁrbol builds a complex and engaging crime novel from many seemingly disparate characters and events. Diffident, middle-age Barcelona attorney Gonzalo Gil maintains his modest solo practice, but his assertive wife wants him to join her father’s high-powered firm, and Gonzalo knows the invitation will cost him. Things begin to spin out of control when he learns that his estranged older sister, who gave up a promising career in journalism to become a police inspector, has committed suicide and is assumed to have tortured and murdered a Russian gangster ... A Million Drops is genuinely compelling, but at more than 600 pages stuffed, it might leave some readers feeling like they’ve overindulged on a very rich dessert.
PositiveBooklist OnlineFrom Mackay’s arch title to his granular examinations of his characters’ behaviors and thoughts, it’s clear that his approach differs from that of many Scottish crime-fiction authors ... Mackay’s Glasgow criminals think like businessmen and even see themselves as workers in the \'crime industry.\' ... Devotees of crime fiction featuring ravening gangsters and over-the-top violence should exercise patience with Mackay. His Glasgow gangsters are fully fleshed human beings finding their way
D. B. John
RaveBooklistThe lives of these people collide in a harrowing thriller that exposes an amazingly corrupt regime that embraces savage brutality and nearly every kind of lucrative criminal enterprise. John concludes with a fascinating 10-page bibliographic essay supporting his claims, but Star of the North would be a superior thriller even if it was pure fiction.