Malin Persson Giolito, Trans. by Rachel WIllson-Broyles
MixedThe New York Times Book Review... a somewhat arid, if absorbing, legal thriller ... It is both a strength and a frustration of Beyond All Reasonable Doubt that the author does not feel the imperative to explain too much or to tie her ending up in a neat bow. Instead, while by the end of the book the central question has been answered, even more have been posed — and not in the way that sets up a sequel (though that could happen), but in the way that imitates life, in all its messiness and obfuscation ... You kind of want to throw it against a wall. And you want to meet Sophia Weber again.
PositiveThe New York Times Book ReviewThe politics of pope-picking clearly captivates Harris, a former political reporter, as it indubitably captivates many of us. The book is filled with procedural and historical detail...Harris has done his research, and it shows, though he is also careful to situate his story in the contemporary world. That tension adds to the ambience ... the twist at the end is about as dramatic an incorporation of the modern cultural conversation about gender and sexuality as can be imagined ... Harris has written a gripping, smart book. The only quibble, ironically enough, is that it could have used a touch more soul.
MixedThe New York Times Book ReviewIt would be unfair to reveal who dies and who lives, but chances are you can guess the outcome of the last battle — though said battle is not itself the end of the book. Instead there is an epilogue after a coda after a conclusion, as if the author could not quite bring himself to say goodbye to the world he had imagined. That’s understandable: Lengthy as the book is, it is also compulsively readable. In the end, a subplot involving the transformation of a giant shipwreck into a usable ark meant to take a small slice of humanity to a virus-free island off the coast of Australia provides resolution — or at least a reason for Cronin to fast-forward to 1003 A.V.
PositiveThe New York Times Book Review...this is a character sketch: of a marriage, a sociopath, a family destroyed by the economy, the things we do for love — all finely drawn within the confined environment of a creaking old farmhouse on a homestead in a town far, far away. The better to scare you with, my dear ... All of the [characters] are sympathetic and suspicious in equal measure, a result of Brundage’s ability to peel away the onionskin layers of emotion that define any relationship. As the clues accumulate and the killer is revealed, the truth becomes both horrifying and inevitable. In the end, justice is done and redemption found, though not as one might expect, which makes the book all the more satisfying.