Fiction & Literature Book Reviews (page 9)

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 >
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 >

THE HARDER THEY COME by T.C. Boyle
FICTION & LITERATURE
Released: March 30, 2015

"Boyle's vision and ambition remain compelling, though his characters here seem like plot devices."
Violence corrodes the ideal of freedom in an ambitious novel that aims to illuminate the dark underbelly of the American dream. Read full book review >
THE HOMEPORT JOURNALS by A. C. Burch
FICTION & LITERATURE
Released: March 27, 2015

"An often vivid portrait of Provincetown life and May-December friendships, despite a bland main character."
An elderly woman and her troupe of gay live-ins take in a young man running from a bad romance in Burch's debut novel. Read full book review >
THE CAVENDON WOMEN by Barbara Taylor Bradford
FICTION & LITERATURE
Released: March 24, 2015

"A novel that could have used more melodrama or even drama."
Second installment of Bradford's answer to Downton Abbey.Read full book review >

HAUSFRAU by Jill Alexander Essbaum
FICTION & LITERATURE
Released: March 24, 2015

"A smart book that entertains page by page but doesn't add up to anything larger."
Between caring for three children, visiting a Jungian analyst and taking a German class, Anna wouldn't seem to have much time for extramarital liaisons, but like her namesake, Madame Karenina, she manages. Read full book review >
NARCISA by Jonathan Shaw
FICTION & LITERATURE
Released: March 24, 2015

"A mix-and-match novel with the grunge of Bukowski, the teeth-grinding momentum of the Beats and the acidic self-loathing of addiction novels."
The ugly saga of the relationship between a self-professed outlaw and a psychotic crack whore. Read full book review >
SIGNATURE KILL by David Levien
FICTION & LITERATURE
Released: March 24, 2015

"The combination of peerlessly depressive Behr and the formulaic serial-killer plot produces a thriller at once mordant, grueling and routine."
When a sex killer terrorizes Indianapolis, ex-cop Frank Behr (Thirteen Million Dollar Pop, 2011, etc.) swings into action, with darkly mixed results.Read full book review >
THE WISDOM OF PERVERSITY by Rafael Yglesias
FICTION & LITERATURE
Released: March 24, 2015

"Most important, he shines a Kleig light where it may be most needed, into the parlors and playrooms where many Americans endure or perpetrate these nightmares."
Three New York friends, in their childhood and adult selves, deal with a wily pedophile in an affecting novel that is big-screen lurid without being superficial or too slick. Read full book review >
JD by Mark Merlis
FICTION & LITERATURE
Released: March 24, 2015

"While the novel should be applauded for its ambitious goals, it falls short of actually achieving most of them."
Merlis' new novel deals with the tenacity of the past and one woman's struggle to reconcile her dead husband's account of their life, their marriage and the death of their son with her own memories. Read full book review >
NAKED EARTH by Eileen Chang
by Eileen Chang, introduction by Yiyun Li
FICTION & LITERATURE
Released: March 24, 2015

"Chang's novel can be less than subtle at times, but its description of small compromises and grand despair are both affecting and compelling."
Love is tested against revolutionary intrigue during China's Cultural Revolution. Read full book review >
INSPECTOR OF THE DEAD by David Morrell
FICTION & LITERATURE
Released: March 24, 2015

"A propulsive, richly imagined yarn that never loses steam or insults the reader's intelligence."
God save the queen—or failing that, send in the opium sot. Read full book review >
Kirkus Interview
Fatima Bhutto
April 14, 2015

Set during the American invasion of Afghanistan, Fatima Bhutto’s debut novel The Shadow of the Crescent Moon begins and ends one rain-swept Friday morning in Mir Ali, a small town in Pakistan’s Tribal Areas close to the Afghan border. Three brothers meet for breakfast. Soon after, the eldest, Aman Erum, recently returned from America, hails a taxi to the local mosque. Sikandar, a doctor, drives to the hospital where he works, but must first stop to collect his troubled wife, who has not joined the family that morning. No one knows where Mina goes these days. But when, later in the morning, the two are taken hostage by members of the Taliban, Mina will prove to be stronger than anyone could have imagined. Our reviewer writes that The Shadow of the Crescent Moon is “a timely, earnest portrait of a family torn apart by the machinations of other people’s war games and desperately trying to survive.” View video >