I’m a bit behind in posting links to my book reviews to this site, so let’s catch up! All of these reviews are posted in full at BookPage. You can visit my BookPage review page to access all my reviews or just follow the links below to read about the individual books. Enjoy!
The Line That Held Us
The plot of David Joy’s third novel, The Line That Held Us, is simple: A man accidentally kills another man and tries to cover it up with the help of a friend, while the murdered man’s brother seeks vengeance on them. The complexity of the novel comes in Joy’s evocative language, his unforgettable characters and how he weaves themes of family, friendship and justice throughout this darkly engrossing Southern crime noir.
Rust & Stardust
All Sally Horner wanted was to fit in with the cool girls at school. What she got instead was two years of harrowing captivity at the hands of a sexual predator. Author T. Greenwood recounts Sally’s real-life plight in Rust & Stardust, a shocking crime novel about the famous real-life 1948 abduction that inspired Vladimir Nabokov’s Lolita and the film that followed.
Whiskey When We’re Dry
Western novels are cool again, and Whiskey When We’re Dry by John Larison is a perfect example of why. Set in 1885 in the heart of the Midwest, the novel shirks the traditional white-hat-versus-black-hat shtick for a more grounded, emotional view of life on the range. In this instance, we experience the wild country’s hardships thorugh the eyes of 17-year-old Jessilyn Harney as she wrestles to find her place in a man’s world.
Red White Blue
Red White Blue, the new novel from screenwriter Lea Carpenter, is an intriguing, albeit challenging, read. Intriguing in that it revolves around a woman’s exploration into her father’s life — and death — as a CIA operative. Challenging in its narrative structure, which briskly alternates between two points of view over a series of short, nonlinear chapters. But for lovers of spy novels, it’s more than worth the read.
The Boy at the Keyhole
Nine-year-old boys can have active imaginations. Left alone, without a mother or father and int he care of a doting but well-meaning housekeeper, that imagination can easily reach extremes, from incredible fantasy to irrational terror. Such is the case for the impressionable Samuel Clay, who yearns for his mother constantly and can recite the exact number of days she has been gone to the United States, in Stephen Giles’ intensely gripping thriller, The Boy at the Keyhole.
Novels revolving around the assassination of John F. Kennedy have become a genre unto themselves. There are plenty, and likely even more conspiracy theories to boot. So at first take, November Road, the new thriller from author Lou Berney, may seem like just another book to add to the stack. Berney, though, is not just another author. Through gorgeous prose, the Edgar, Macavity and Anthony Award-winning author elevates an otherwise simple cat-and-mouse story into a heartfelt journey of hope and discovery for two characters running from their pasts.
Bonus: Don’t miss my interview with Lou Berney!
Mycroft and Sherlock
Mycroft and Sherlock, the new novel by NBA legend Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, with an assist from screenwriter Anna Waterhouse, sees the Holmes brothers in their first joint investigation, which involves a series of brutal murders, cryptic Chinese glyphs and the opium trade. But what’s even more entertaining is watching the Holes brothers try to outdo each other with their deductive reasoning.
All right, that’s it for now. But keep watching this site and BookPage for upcoming reviews of The Best Bad Things by Katrina Carrasco, The Feral Detective by Jonathan Lethem, Sugar Run by Mesha Maren and The Widows by Jess Montgomery!