Mystery & Crime Book Reviews (page 945)

HIGHER AUTHORITY by Stephen White
MYSTERY & CRIME
Released: Nov. 1, 1994

"White defies stereotypes to produce some of the subtlest and most teasing red herrings ever. (First printing of 35,000)"
A thriller whose characters possess such psychological complexity that readers become as preoccupied with plumbing their depths as with figuring out whodunit. Read full book review >
CRACK DOWN by Val McDermid
MYSTERY & CRIME
Released: Nov. 1, 1994

"Kate's detection is more dogged than inspired, but the northern England working-class background is chillingly plausible, and Kate's wry humor as welcome as ever."
The first indication Birmingham PI Kate Brannigan gets that things have gone wrong with her rock-journalist boyfriend, Richard Barclay—who's been posing as her husband in order to expose a scheme to defraud automakers' loan companies of short-term interest—is a call she receives from his solicitor in the dead of night. Read full book review >

AH, TREACHERY! by Ross Thomas
MYSTERY & CRIME
Released: Nov. 1, 1994

"But all the characters project such a deliciously matter-of-fact sense of knowing exactly what they're talking about, from campaign finance reform to assassination techniques, that just meeting, listening to, and watching them in action will leave you dizzy with pleasure."
The title, a sly translation of Beethoven's aria, perfectly captures the disapproving, exhilarated tone of this effervescent concoction. Read full book review >
IRISH GOLD by Andrew M. Greeley
FICTION & LITERATURE
Released: Nov. 1, 1994

"The would-be lovers may be less cloying back in Chicago, where Greeley (Sacraments of Love, 1993, etc.) promises to send them for a new series. (Book-of-the-Month Club dual selection)"
Back in the Old Country to find out why his late grandparents left after the Troubles, insisting they could never return, Dermot Michael Coyne, retired from the Chicago commodities trading floor on a bit of Irish luck, runs headlong into fetching student Nuala Anne McGrail, reason enough to remain on the island forever. Read full book review >
A DRINK BEFORE THE WAR by Dennis Lehane
MYSTERY & CRIME
Released: Nov. 1, 1994

"A lively debut about residents of the Boston metropolitan area who don't summer in Hyannisport."
Patrick Kenzie is a Dorchester, Mass., boy born and bred. Read full book review >

WORLD OF HURT by Richard Rosen
MYSTERY & CRIME
Released: Oct. 31, 1994

"Familiar traumas, every one, but Rosen's intensity—especially when Harvey begins to notice how completely he's stepped into the despicable victim's shoes—makes them bleed afresh."
It's a long way from Cambridge, where retired baseball player Harvey Blissberg (Saturday Night Dead, 1988, etc.) hangs his hat, to suburban Chicago, where his brother Norm's basketball buddy has been killed. Read full book review >
THE SINNERS' LEAGUE by L.L. Enger
MYSTERY & CRIME
Released: Oct. 31, 1994

"A testosterone cocktail in which the supporting actresses get victimized and idealized and wring their hands while right-minded Mike Hammers of the Great Lakes mete out the roughest justice imaginable."
Retired from baseball to live the simple life in upstate Minnesota with his journalist bride Carol Long, Gun Pedersen (debuting in hardcover following four paperback mysteries) returns a phone call from his screenwriter friend/not-quite-lover Diane Apple and lets loose a Pandora's box of demons. Read full book review >
DOING WRONG by H.R.F. Keating
MYSTERY & CRIME
Released: Oct. 31, 1994

"Please To Vote for Communist Party (Marxist'')—and Inspector Ghote's ineffable charm. (Author tour)"
Inspector Ganesh Ghote has barely had time to clear off his desk since Cheating Death (p. 888) when he's called out on the strangling of Mrs. Shoba Popatkar, late Minister of Railways and sempiternal do-gooder. Read full book review >
NOW YOU SEE HER, NOW YOU DON'T by William Murray
MYSTERY & CRIME
Released: Oct. 26, 1994

"Ross Perot with the presence of John Wayne makes an amusingly scary conceit for a political thriller, but Murray (We're Off to See the Killer, 1993, etc.) never allows the thriller to take wings because he's left his heart in Del Mar; only the racing background blooms with his customary alchemy."
Horseplaying magician Shifty Lou Anderson, whose eye for horseflesh is a lot sharper than his instinct for women, is involved with a suitably unsuitable new lady: Megan Starbuck, a PR consultant for Wayne Copeland, a movie star with big political plans that are being financed by a right-wing fund-raising octopus called America One. Read full book review >
RAW DEAL by Les Standiford
MYSTERY & CRIME
Released: Oct. 26, 1994

"Since Deal continues to do nothing heroic (that's his shtick), this thriller remains inert, giving far too much away from the beginning and keeping only the most inconsequential secrets for last. ($45,000 ad/promo; author tour)"
After a standout appearance in Done Deal (1993), it's back to the grind for mayhem-prone Florida builder John Deal in this deeply ordinary Carl Hiaasen knockoff. Read full book review >
THERE WAS A LITTLE GIRL by Ed McBain
MYSTERY & CRIME
Released: Oct. 25, 1994

"It's a rare pleasure seeing such an old pro still taking the kind of chances that would sink a writer with less nerve."
After Matthew Hope (Mary, Mary, 1993, etc.) is critically shot in the opening sentences, his extended Florida family—his PI Warren Chambers, Chambers's own op Toots Kiley, and Calusa police detective Morris Bloom—retrace his steps for the last few days before the shooting looking for clues, and find that Hope's last client had been George Steadman, eager to acquire a 30-acre parcel to use as winter quarters for his circus. Read full book review >
CHINA TRADE by S.J. Rozan
FICTION & LITERATURE
Released: Oct. 21, 1994

"But Rozan's fast-moving first novel presents her Asian-American cast and their world with a delicacy that goes far beyond local color."
New York private eye Lydia Chin gets no respect. Read full book review >
Kirkus Interview
Brad Parks
author of SAY NOTHING
March 7, 2017

In Brad Parks’ new thriller Say Nothing, judge Scott Sampson doesn’t brag about having a perfect life, but the evidence is clear: a prestigious job. A beloved family. On an ordinary Wednesday afternoon, he is about to pick up his six-year-old twins to go swimming when his wife, Alison, texts him that she’ll get the kids from school instead. It’s not until she gets home later that Scott realizes she doesn’t have the children. And she never sent the text. Then the phone rings, and every parent’s most chilling nightmare begins. A man has stolen Sam and Emma. For Scott and Alison, the kidnapper’s call is only the beginning of a twisting, gut-churning ordeal of blackmail, deceit, and terror; a high-profile trial like none the judge or his wife has ever experienced. Their marriage falters. Suspicions and long-buried jealousies rise to the surface. Fractures appear. Lies are told. “The nerve-shredding never lets up for a minute as Parks picks you up by the scruff of the neck, shakes you vigorously, and repeats over and over again till a climax so harrowing that you’ll be shaking with gratitude that it’s finally over,” our critic writes in a starred review. View video >