Fiction & Literature Book Reviews (page 2)

SOUTH OF NOWHERE by Minerva Koenig
FICTION & LITERATURE
Released: Feb. 2, 2016

"Koenig's second is a breathless dash from start to finish. Tough, prickly Julia is a noir heroine sure to take a prominent place among female detectives."
A woman with a rough past and an iffy future fights inner and outer demons. Read full book review >
A DEADLY TAIL by Dixie Lyle
FICTION & LITERATURE
Released: Feb. 2, 2016

"This fourth outing for Whiskey, Tango, and Foxtrot (Marked Fur Murder, 2015, etc.) isn't much of a mystery, but it's a witty, zany story whose delightful animals are vastly entertaining."
Scene-stealing animals are the stars of this ghostly mystery. Read full book review >

THE FORGETTING TIME by Sharon Guskin
FICTION & LITERATURE
Released: Feb. 2, 2016

"Guskin's debut novel tells a sentimental story with a murder mystery at its core, and it's interesting even if you don't go for the premise."
A single mom confronts the possibility that her troubled 4-year-old is the reincarnated spirit of a murdered child. Read full book review >
THE MYSTERY OF THE VENUS ISLAND FETISH by Tim Flannery
FICTION & LITERATURE
Released: Feb. 2, 2016

"The detection is nominal, and the mystery takes a back seat to the comic bedlam that reigns throughout. But readers who have never before encountered sentences like 'He knew he must get his foreskin back' will cheer Archie's debut and hope for more."
This first novel from Australian science writer Flannery (Atmosphere of Hope, 2015, etc.) travels back in time to 1932-1933—and back in cultural mores a lot further—when intrigue swirls around an aboriginal mask enshrined in the Sydney Museum. Read full book review >
HE WILL BE MY RUIN by K.A.  Tucker
FICTION & LITERATURE
Released: Feb. 2, 2016

"An entertaining and often captivating tale but an unsatisfying mystery."
When the police rule her best friend's death a suicide and refuse to investigate any further, Maggie Sparkes decides to play detective. Read full book review >

SAVING JASON by Michael Sears
FICTION & LITERATURE
Released: Feb. 2, 2016

"You don't need a background in economics to get drawn into this thriller, but it probably helps."
Sophisticated sleuth Jason Stafford gets drawn into a mysterious corporate takeover plot in Sears' (Long Way Down, 2015, etc.) latest high-finance thriller.Read full book review >
CASUALTIES by Elizabeth Marro
FICTION & LITERATURE
Released: Feb. 2, 2016

"This is a tortured novel and yet a redemptive one. It isn't a happily-ever-after story, but Marro casts a ray of hope that a good life can be lived after terrible tragedy."
Marro's debut novel is a gritty tragedy that unrelentingly addresses painful issues of war, suicide, and the shady dealings of defense contractors. Read full book review >
GINNY GALL by Charlie Smith
FICTION & LITERATURE
Released: Feb. 2, 2016

"A riveting protagonist moves through unbearable racial carnage into a kind of legend."
A violent and sorrowful Jim Crow South brims in this brutal novel. Read full book review >
IN THE LAND OF ARMADILLOS by Helen Maryles Shankman
FICTION & LITERATURE
Released: Feb. 2, 2016

"A deeply humane demonstration of wringing art from catastrophe."
A portrait of the small Polish town of Wlodawa during World War II, this collection of linked short stories is both moving and unsettling. Read full book review >
THE HIGH MOUNTAINS OF PORTUGAL by Yann Martel
FICTION & LITERATURE
Released: Feb. 2, 2016

"Provocative ideas straitjacketed in an overdetermined plot."
Three grieving men's odysseys fitfully interconnect in this latest meditation on loss, faith, and belonging from Martel (Beatrice and Virgil, 2010, etc.).Read full book review >
LORD OF THE SWALLOWS by Gérard de Villiers
FICTION & LITERATURE
Released: Feb. 2, 2016

"Even Bond might blush."
Thriller in which lustful affairs send Soviet and American agents, spies, and counterspies plotting and panting in what nearly becomes a bedroom farce. Read full book review >
BE FRANK WITH ME by Julia Claiborne Johnson
FICTION & LITERATURE
Released: Feb. 2, 2016

"The curious incident of where'd you go, Salinger: clever, sweet, but a bit derivative."
A comic novel about a prickly writer, her unusual young son, and their beleaguered caretaker, set in the Hollywood Hills. Read full book review >
Kirkus Interview
Michael Eric Dyson
February 2, 2016

In Michael Eric Dyson’s rich and nuanced book new book, The Black Presidency: Barack Obama and the Politics of Race in America, Dyson writes with passion and understanding about Barack Obama’s “sad and disappointing” performance regarding race and black concerns in his two terms in office. While race has defined his tenure, Obama has been “reluctant to take charge” and speak out candidly about the nation’s racial woes, determined to remain “not a black leader but a leader who is black.” Dyson cogently examines Obama’s speeches and statements on race, from his first presidential campaign through recent events—e.g., the Ferguson riots and the eulogy for the Rev. Clementa Pinckney in Charleston—noting that the president is careful not to raise the ire of whites and often chastises blacks for their moral failings. At his best, he spoke with “special urgency for black Americans” during the Ferguson crisis and was “at his blackest,” breaking free of constraints, in his “Amazing Grace” Charleston eulogy. Dyson writes here as a realistic, sometimes-angry supporter of the president. View video >