Ivanović’s contributions are from Serbian, Bosnian, Croatian, and Finnish writers—all admirably noirish.


Fourteen tales of woe from what Serbian novelist Momo Kapor once called “a low-budget New York.”

Like all Balkan capitals, Belgrade cowers in the shadow of war. In Muharem Bazdulj’s “Black Widow, White Russian,” a Serbian woman who grew up in Sweden enlists the help of a recent divorcé to find the soldier responsible for her father’s death. A Croatian who’s secretly a Serb comes to no good in Miljenko Jergović’s “The Case of Clerk Hinko, a Noose, and Luminal.” The gay heroine of Vladimir Arsenijević’s “Regarding the Father” helps her lover avenge the rape of her mother by war criminals. Vule Žurić shows Partisan and Soviet soldiers sharing the task of excavating the grave of a spy killed by the Nazis in “The Man Who Wasn’t Mars.” Aleksandar Gatalica allows another victim of Nazi brutality to take his revenge via time travel in “The Phantom of the National Theater.” Other stories look forward rather than back in time. The spyware that the IT specialist in Misha Glenny’s “The RAT” installs on a customer’s iPhone thwarts a murder. Goran Skrobonja explores the consequences of a technology that allows people to create a living doppelgänger to take their place when they want to be somewhere else in “Alter Ego Inc.” And some stories are timeless in showing the strange turns that can be taken by the most pedestrian among us, like the chess-playing retirees who discover a sadomasochistic sex business operating out of the cardiologist’s office on the fourth floor of their apartment building in Oto Oltvanji’s “Underneath It All Runs the River of Sadness.”

Ivanović’s contributions are from Serbian, Bosnian, Croatian, and Finnish writers—all admirably noirish.

Pub Date: Dec. 1, 2020

ISBN: 978-1-61775-749-5

Page Count: 272

Publisher: Akashic

Review Posted Online: Sept. 16, 2020

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Oct. 1, 2020

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One of the most successful of Box’s increasingly ambitious have-it-all thrillers.


The Wyoming winter brings maverick game warden Joe Pickett poachers, murderers, spies, and some ferocious bad weather.

Seeking a wounded elk and a marauding wolf during a brutal snowstorm, Joe is amazed to discover a human corpse sticking halfway out of a metal outbuilding on the Double Diamond ranch. While he’s conscientiously photographing the crime scene, somebody starts shooting at him. Ranch foreman Clay Hutmacher refuses to say anything about the building’s purpose until he checks with billionaire ranch owner Michael Thompson; Gov. Colter Allen abruptly orders Joe off the case; and departing Twelve Sleep County Sheriff Scott Tibbs, the boss who’d do anything to avoid having Joe make waves, reports that there’s no body at the place he described. Meanwhile, Joe’s old friend Nate Romanowski, an outlaw falconer, is approached by ex–Army Ranger Jason Demo, who’s trying to attract anti-government malcontents to join the secessionist Sovereign Nation, and Joe realizes that his predatory mother-in-law, Missy, is neglecting her fifth or sixth husband, attorney Marcus Hand, who’s dying of pancreatic cancer, to cozy up to Allen, who plans to launch his campaign for reelection at the public library headed by Joe’s wife, Marybeth. What does the death of University of Wyoming engineering professor Zhang Wei, if that’s really who the dead man was, have to do with all of this malfeasance? Like a patient spider, Box plays out plotline after plotline, balancing his sympathies adroitly between anti-establishment libertarians who’ve had enough of the coastal elites and officers sworn to serve and protect their communities, before knotting them all together with a climactic revelation that for better or worse will leave you gasping.

One of the most successful of Box’s increasingly ambitious have-it-all thrillers.

Pub Date: Feb. 28, 2023

ISBN: 9780593331309

Page Count: 368

Publisher: Putnam

Review Posted Online: Jan. 12, 2023

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Feb. 1, 2023

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A compelling take on the classic whodunit.

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The shocking murder of a public figure at a high-end hotel has everyone guessing who the culprit might be.

Twenty-five-year-old Molly Gray, an eccentric young woman who's obsessed with cleaning but doesn't quite have the same ability to navigate social cues as those around her, loves working as a maid at the Regency Grand Hotel. Raised by her old-fashioned grandmother, who loved nothing more than cleaning and watching Columbo reruns, Molly has an overly polite and straightforward manner that can make her seem odd and off-putting to her colleagues despite her being the hardest worker at the hotel. After her grandmother's death, Molly's rigid life begins to lose some of its long-held balance, and when the infamous Mr. Charles Black, a rich and powerful businessman suspected of various criminal enterprises, is found murdered in one of the rooms she cleans, her whole world gets turned upside down. Before Molly knows what's happening, her odd demeanor has the police convinced she's guilty of the crime, and certain people at the hotel are a little too pleased about it. With the help of a few new friends (and while fending off new foes), she must begin to untangle the mystery of who really killed Mr. Black to get herself off the hook once and for all. Though the unusual ending might frustrate some readers, this unique debut will keep them reading.

A compelling take on the classic whodunit.

Pub Date: Jan. 4, 2022

ISBN: 978-0-593-35615-9

Page Count: 304

Publisher: Ballantine

Review Posted Online: Feb. 8, 2022

Kirkus Reviews Issue: March 1, 2022

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