Fiction & Literature Book Reviews

THE STRANGLER VINE by M.J. Carter
FICTION & LITERATURE
Released: March 31, 2015

"Making pleasing use of the developing bromance/adventure formula and a wealth of research, Carter delivers an engaging, skeptical, modern take on empire."
Exotically detailed and sprinkled with derring-do, Carter's historical novel follows an inscrutable old hand and a well-intentioned rookie on a quest that takes them deep into the heart of colonial India. Read full book review >
GIRL UNDERWATER by Claire Kells
FICTION & LITERATURE
Released: March 31, 2015

"With its subzero temperatures that will make you reach for a blanket and a wounded but never weakened heroine, Kells' assured debut is a winner."
A plane crash in the Rockies leaves more than physical scars on an up-and-coming competitive college swimmer. Read full book review >

THERE'S A MAN WITH A GUN OVER THERE by R.M. Ryan
FICTION & LITERATURE
Released: March 31, 2015

"A novel that tries to marry the internal conflict of Tim O'Brien to the novelist style of Nelson DeMille but can't quite stick the landing."
A Vietnam-era veteran recalls his childhood, leading up to a defining moment as a military policeman in Germany. Read full book review >
NORMAL by Graeme Cameron
FICTION & LITERATURE
Released: March 31, 2015

"A black comedy featuring a bizarre murderer who believes he suffers for his 'art.' Cameron has written a painfully funny story that's littered with corpses, both intentional and unintentional, and proves that sometimes spotting the craziest person on the block isn't quite as easy as it seems."
Cameron's novel inserts readers into the life of a man who is anything but what the title implies—normal. Read full book review >
THE ARCHITECT'S APPRENTICE by Elif Shafak
FICTION & LITERATURE
Released: March 31, 2015

"With manufactured intrigues and lukewarm romance, plot is not Shafak's strong point. What she offers is panoramic historical fiction rich with facts, atmosphere and occasional whimsy."
Following the life of an invented apprentice to the actual Ottoman Empire architect Sinan, Turkish novelist Shafak offers a liberal interpretation of Islam that's bound to create controversy, as her previous books have (Honor, 2013, etc.).Read full book review >

PRETTY UGLY by Kirker Butler
FICTION & LITERATURE
Released: March 31, 2015

"Butler's excellent observational skills and hilarious prose make this a simultaneously funny and awful satire of thwarted ambition."
Aging beauty queen Miranda forces her preteen daughter to compete in pageants while her pill-popping husband, Ray, a nurse, conducts an affair with the teenage granddaughter of a hospice patient in this first novel from TV writer and producer Butler (Family Guy, etc.). Read full book review >
THE DAY WE MET by Rowan Coleman
FICTION & LITERATURE
Released: March 31, 2015

"Coleman will make you cry with this emotional, beautifully written novel."
A woman with early-onset Alzheimer's disease desperately tries to hold onto her family and her life in this novel from Coleman (The Runaway Wife, 2013, etc.). Read full book review >
THE WORLD BEFORE US by Aislinn Hunter
FICTION & LITERATURE
Released: March 31, 2015

"Not an easy read but a compelling exploration of how memory shapes and is shaped by individuals and society."
Hunter's haunting—if sometimes elusive—second novel (Stay, 2005) wavers between practical life in the present and the unplumbed memories of a British archivist and her long-dead research subjects.Read full book review >
SCENT OF TRIUMPH by Jan Moran
FICTION & LITERATURE
Released: March 31, 2015

"A rushed and convoluted plot combines with an underdeveloped, uninspiring heroine, a love story without much spark and enough clichéd prose to sink the Bismarck."
A French perfume heiress with a gift for scent survives the trials and tribulations of World War II, and of love, in this first traditionally published novel from indie author Moran. Read full book review >
WHISKERS OF THE LION by P.L. Gaus
FICTION & LITERATURE
Released: March 31, 2015

"Out of the peaceful world of buggies and prayer caps, Gaus conjures a nail-biter that doesn't give up its secrets any quicker than the Amish."
The murder of Ruth Zook (The Names of Our Tears, 2013) continues to take its toll on the Amish community of Holmes County, Ohio.Read full book review >
AT THE WATER'S EDGE by Sara Gruen
FICTION & LITERATURE
Released: March 31, 2015

"At heart, this is an unlikely romance novel. A little too unlikely."
Three spoiled brats from Philadelphia go to Scotland to look for the Loch Ness monster in the middle of World War II. Read full book review >
BLACK DOVE, WHITE RAVEN by Elizabeth Wein
FICTION & LITERATURE
Released: March 31, 2015

"Unforgettable. (Historical fiction. 12 & up)"
Wein returns to Ethiopia, the setting of her Arthurian adventures, for a high-flying novel about the 1935 Italian invasion. Read full book review >
Kirkus Interview
Bill Browder
author of RED NOTICE
March 24, 2015

Bill Browder’s Red Notice is a nonfiction political thriller about an American financier in the Wild East of Russia, the murder of his principled young tax attorney, and his mission to expose the Kremlin’s corruption. In 2007, a group of Russian law enforcement officers raided Browder’s offices in Moscow and stole $230 million of taxes that his fund’s companies had paid to the Russian government. Browder’s attorney Sergei Magnitsky investigated the incident and uncovered a sprawling criminal enterprise. A month after Sergei testified against the officials involved, he was arrested and thrown into pre-trial detention, where he was tortured for a year. On November 16, 2009, he was led to an isolation chamber, handcuffed to a bedrail, and beaten to death by eight guards in full riot gear. “It may be that ‘Russian stories never have happy endings,’ ” our reviewer writes about Red Notice, “but Browder’s account more than compensates by ferociously unmasking Putin’s thugocracy.” View video >