Mystery & Crime Book Reviews (page 931)

STRAWGIRL by Abigail Padgett
MYSTERY & CRIME
Released: Feb. 1, 1994

"Even more radically than in her striking debut, Bo's gutsy work redefines the role of the detective in a darkly contemporary society."
Another nasty case for manic-depressive San Diego child-abuse investigator Bo Bradley (Child of Silence, 1993): the rape-murder of three-year-old Samantha Franer, whose distraught mother Bonnie commits suicide hours after her lover, French Canadian Paul Massieu, takes off for the Adironidacks with her surviving daughter Hannah. Read full book review >
SCAVENGER REEF by Laurence Shames
MYSTERY & CRIME
Released: Feb. 1, 1994

"That revelation of amiable spiritual bankruptcy is the leading pleasure—and a considerable one—of this soufflÇ of a crime novel from the author of Florida Straits (1992)."
What a bittersweet day for Key West painter Augie Silver's friends when his shipwreck death sends the value of their Silver canvases skyrocketing—and what an awkward moment when he turns up alive after all. Read full book review >

THE JUDAS TESTAMENT by Daniel Easterman
MYSTERY & CRIME
Released: Feb. 1, 1994

An explosive Qumran papyrus spirited out of the Thousand Year Reich by its Soviet occupiers surfaces 50 years later as the brass ring in a grandly scaled game of intrigue—and the bane of unassuming Irish linguist Jack Gould's existence. Read full book review >
SPECIAL VICTIMS by Nick Gaitano
FICTION & LITERATURE
Released: Feb. 1, 1994

"He killed for the art of it'') seems to come out of a different world, redolent of lending libraries and preadolescent fantasies."
An intense, undernourished psychodrama about a Chicago cop on the trail of the Collector, a contract killer of unwilling organ-donors. Read full book review >
DEADMAN by Jon A. Jackson
MYSTERY & CRIME
Released: Feb. 1, 1994

"Mulheisen and his creator are obviously having the time of their lives in this knockabout farce, and so will readers who can appreciate the ways Jackson's comedy is deepened by his characters' brutality."
An improbably rambunctious sequel to the death-soaked Hit on the House (1993) that finds mob daughter Helen Sedlacek and her lover Joe Service celebrating their execution of Detroit gang leader Carmine Busoni (revenge for Helen's slain father, Big Sid) in Butte, Montana, which isn't quite far enough to discourage contract killers Mario Soper—handily dispatched by Helen after he shoots Joe and leaves him for dead—or Heather, who combines business with pleasure by finagling her way into the home of Joe's nurse, Cate Yoder, whom she's smitten with. Read full book review >

IRENE'S LAST WALTZ by Carole Nelson Douglas
MYSTERY & CRIME
Released: Feb. 1, 1994

"Beneath the relentless infatuation with its intrepid heroine, this is the best—luckily, since it's also by far the longest—of Irene's adventures to date."
Let lesser lights like Sherlock Holmes investigate the servile murders of two seamstresses at Charles Worth's exclusive Paris salon. Read full book review >
RELIGIOUS CONVICTION by Grif Stockley
MYSTERY & CRIME
Released: Jan. 21, 1994

"Only the background—especially Gideon's prickly duet with dying, dislikable Chet and his tender, second-guessing relation with Sarah—is as strong as ever."
Arkansas lawyer Gideon Page, clinging to a parlous private practice after his stint as a public defender (Probable Cause, Expert Testimony), barely makes it into court in this undramatic courtroom drama. Read full book review >
DEATH AND THE EPICURE by Janet Laurence
MYSTERY & CRIME
Released: Jan. 20, 1994

"Even the meals, usually a high point of this series, are mediocre."
Nothing's going right for the directors of Finer Foods. Read full book review >
THE TARTAN CONSPIRACY by Richard Grindal
MYSTERY & CRIME
Released: Jan. 18, 1994

"Suspense is tempered by an avalanche of detail and a sometimes flat-footed narrative style, but, still, mostly intriguing— especially to lovers of the Scottish scene, always disarmingly captured by Grindal (The Whisky Murders, etc.)."
The death of his ailing father, Andrew, brings financial advisor Ian Blackie to Invermuir from Edinburgh to stay for a few weeks with his mother. Read full book review >
PRECIPICE by Tom Savage
MYSTERY & CRIME
Released: Jan. 18, 1994

"Not so much suspenseful as intellectually satisfying: a finely wrought, unusually clever literary debut—and a natural for the movies."
A cool, smart, and stylish first thriller—St. Read full book review >
PRESENCE OF MIND by Fred Hunter
MYSTERY & CRIME
Released: Jan. 17, 1994

"Maybe Jeremy and Emily's promised next outing will be better balanced: after all, you can't kill the whole house in every book."
Only six people were in the audience for the Pennington Players' final performance of Love's Labour's Lost, but it's six too many for whoever has started to kill them off. Read full book review >
BLEEDING HEARTS by Jane Haddam
MYSTERY & CRIME
Released: Jan. 17, 1994

"Whether or not you're already a fan of Haddam's holiday-themed mysteries, this one is a treat."
Four years after pop psychologist Paul Hazzard was acquitted of stabbing his second wife, his then-mistress Candida DeWitt, whom Paul had tried to sell to the police as a better suspect, is planning a tell-all memoir. Read full book review >
Kirkus Interview
Fernanda Santos
author of THE FIRE LINE
May 17, 2016

When a bolt of lightning ignited a hilltop in the sleepy town of Yarnell, Arizona, in June 2013, setting off a blaze that would grow into one of the deadliest fires in American history, the 20 men who made up the Granite Mountain Hotshots sprang into action. New York Times writer Fernanda Santos’ debut book The Fire Line is the story of the fire and the Hotshots’ attempts to extinguish it. An elite crew trained to combat the most challenging wildfires, the Hotshots were a ragtag family, crisscrossing the American West and wherever else the fires took them. There's Eric Marsh, their devoted and demanding superintendent who turned his own personal demons into lessons he used to mold, train and guide his crew; Jesse Steed, their captain, a former Marine, a beast on the fire line and a family man who wasn’t afraid to say “I love you” to the firemen he led; Andrew Ashcraft, a team leader still in his 20s who struggled to balance his love for his beautiful wife and four children and his passion for fighting wildfires. We see this band of brothers at work, at play and at home, until a fire that burned in their own backyards leads to a national tragedy. View video >