... lives up to its title ... These stories are more 'whydunit?' than the traditional 'whodunit?' and all the more chilling for it ... Recommended for readers of psychological mysteries and thrillers as well as genre aficionados seeking the standout stories of the year.
Lethem comments in his introduction on the expanding boundaries of crime fiction, noting 'how vital and diverse and happily contradictory the variations within a so-called genre can be.' All of that vitality is on view in this unusual but thoroughly satisfying collectiong ... As always, an essential anthology.
Lethem infuses much-needed variety into the 23rd volume in Penzler’s annual best-of series ... Lethem’s wide-ranging sensibilities will be a welcome palate cleanse for fans clamoring for something different.
As is often the case, the roster is a little hit-and-miss ... a very good way to acquaint yourself with a selection of writers who deserve our attention and praise. Thanks to Otto Penzler and Jonathan Lethem, we have contributions from Arthur Klepchukov, Preston Lang, Robb T. White, and Jared Lipov that will encourage us to get out there and discover what else they’ve written ... And as for Brian Panowich, well, if you haven’t read his work before now, you’ve got some homework to catch up on.
No cops, one robber. Leaning more on Freud than Conan Doyle, Lethem’s 20 selections highlight the angst of the everyday ... A bonanza for fans of psychological suspense but a dud for devotees of detection.