Mystery & Crime Book Reviews (page 948)

Released: July 19, 1993

"Calling Adrian Lyne."
Murder takes a backseat to fashion, great food, and Negronis in this first novel—even though Danish/Cajun swamprat Claire Claiborne, owner of Eclaire's haircutting salon, finds the first victim, manicurist Angie Labiche, in her own apartment with her once-and- future husband Dan bending over the corpse; and the second victim, New Orleans homicide cop Joe Antoine, was the last man she dated before deciding to go back to frat daddy Dan's overripe bed and board. Read full book review >
Released: July 19, 1993

"Only middling for the series."
Fire Chief Mac Fontana, with a growing record as a thorough, incorruptible arson investigator (Yellow Dog Party, etc.), gets a request from Seattle firefighter Diane Cooper—a plea to clear her from the accusations that she let three members of her ladder company (including her former fiancÇ) perish in the Ratt blaze. Read full book review >

ROOTS OF EVIL by Kay Mitchell
Released: July 19, 1993

"A can't-put-it-down gem of a British procedural."
A third outing for Chief Inspector Morrissey of Malminster Township (In Stony Places, etc.) begins with the tragic but seemingly innocent death of hard-working architect-town planner Richard Simms—in a car crash brought on by a heart attack. Read full book review >
SNAGGED by Carol Higgins Clark
Released: July 16, 1993

Kindly crackpot Richie Blossom's developed his latest invention- -runproof, snagproof pantyhose—just in time for a Miami pantyhose convention. Read full book review >
PRIME WITNESS by Steve Martini
Released: July 14, 1993

"Good medium-grade beach fare."
Defense attorney Paul Madriani (Compelling Evidence, 1992) signs on for a brief stint in the Davenport, California, prosecutor's office—then finds himself condemned to try a high-profile serial killing. Read full book review >

Released: July 12, 1993

"Maybe you can go back to high school again—especially if you've never left."
You can't go home again, magazine reporter Kay Engels learns when she flies up to Falls City, New York, for her high-school reunion— only to find her old flame Chris Campbell happily married, his thrice- married cousin Terry carrying on with ever-infatuated Richie McDowell, and a third Campbell cousin, Tony, having to break off his chastely budding romance with Kay when he's accused of Terry's murder. Read full book review >
CLEAR-CUT MURDER by Lee Wallingford
Released: July 12, 1993

"Lots of description of tree-spiking, clear-cutting, slash-and- burning, etc., and a deepening May-December romance for Ginny and Frank—but flawed by a flimsy plot and wispy, clichÇd characters."
A second outing for Neskansie National Forest security officer Frank Carver and ranger Ginny Trask (Cold Tracks, 1991), this time gearing up for trouble when Charlie Zeller's right to clear-cut the Burnt Meadows area is approved by the courts—and when trouble quickly arrives with radical environmentalists Alan Breckenbridge and Rachel Davis, as well as dozens of Earth Action! members. Read full book review >
OFFICER DOWN by Michael Grant
Released: July 9, 1993

"The recent bombing of the World Trade Center (not, by the way, the climactic target here) gives this crackerjack story an added timeliness."
Tired of battling US anti-drug authorities on Colombian soil, the druglords hatch an ingenious, improbable, yet prophetic scheme: They'll hire a cadre of terrorists to execute NYPD officers at random, spreading fear and demoralization in preparation for an all-out attack on a high-profile public institution—all in order to frighten federal authorities into backing off their demands for extraditions from Colombia. Read full book review >
THE NIGHT MANAGER by John le Carré
Released: July 7, 1993

"Despite the familiarity of the story's outlines, le Carre shows his customary mastery in the details—from Jonathan's self-lacerating momentum to the intricacies of interagency turf wars—and reveals once again why nobody writes espionage fiction with his kind of authority."
Le Carre returns to the same subject as his disappointingly episodic The Secret Pilgrim—the fate of espionage in the new world order—but now looks forward instead of backward, showing a not-quite innocent mangled between that new order and the old one, whose course le Carre has so peerlessly chronicled for 30 years. Read full book review >
ANNA'S BOOK by Barbara Vine
Released: July 2, 1993

"Despite an anticlimactic ending, then: the best Vine since A Dark-Adapted Eye."
For her sixth Barbara Vine novel (King Solomon's Carpet, 1992, etc.), Ruth Rendell returns to the formula of the earliest Vines: the unfolding investigation—through the interpretation of contemporary accounts aided by memory—of a crime in the past. Read full book review >
Released: July 1, 1993

"The second half is considerably more predictable, though never less than slickly entertaining, right down to the last, inevitable twist. (Film rights to Warner Brothers—and there's no mystery why.)"
Five New Yorkers out for a bachelor party leave their comfy bar for the Party Girl Lounge, then follow an especially game stripper up to her apartment—and into a spiraling nightmare of murder and its consequences. Read full book review >
Released: July 1, 1993

"Who cares whodunit when it's coming to everybody?"
When the skull of Grace Mulholland, an office manager who disappeared 18 years ago with $233,000 from the insurance company she worked for, turns up buried under Jacko's Pool Hall, private eye Charlie Bradshaw, tormented by the way he handled the case as a cop back in 1974—he persuaded his boss that reclusive, painfully shy Mulholland had fled alone to Mexico—takes a long second look at the surviving cast, and at the ghost of his old, unrecognizable self. 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 >