Mystery & Crime Book Reviews (page 948)

HOW MANY MILES TO BABYLON by Doris Gercke
MYSTERY & CRIME
Released: Nov. 1, 1991

"In Hamilton's fluent translation, Gercke reads like a feminist DÅrrenmatt—without his fondness for surprises, but with the same talent for revealing the skeleton beneath the detective-story skin."
Hamburg detective Bella Block, old-pro heroine of five previous novels, makes her English-language debut in this austere fable. Read full book review >
HOPE AGAINST HOPE by Susan B. Kelly
MYSTERY & CRIME
Released: Nov. 1, 1991

"First in a series, which needs more thought and charm to qualify as an engaging British cozy read."
In a first mystery, England-based Kelly introduces Little Hopford village inspector Nick Trevellyan and the area's new resident—former Londoner, computer-whiz Alison Hope—who bickers mightily with her cousin and former Hope Softwear partner Aidan (she bought him out, she says) and becomes suspect #1 when Aidan is bashed to death in his room over the Bird-in-Hand pub. Read full book review >

WHOO? by Richard Hoyt
MYSTERY & CRIME
Released: Nov. 1, 1991

"Waggish and flip rather than funny—though Hoyt, with a fine sense of balance, manages to find knaves and fools on both sides of the environmental debate."
As in the earlier mysteries featuring Seattle shamus John Denson (Fish Story, etc.), the questions here are far from ordinary. Read full book review >
THE GREAT CALIFORNIA GAME by Jonathan Gash
MYSTERY & CRIME
Released: Oct. 28, 1991

"As witty and knowledgeable as Gash can be, he hasn't much of a story to tell here."
Still struggling to reclaim the magnificent form of Jade Woman (1989), in which incorrigibly corrupt antiques-dealer Lovejoy nosed about Hong Kong, Gash now turns to America for inspiration—with only so-so results. Read full book review >
COUNT THE DAYS by Lin Summerfield
MYSTERY & CRIME
Released: Oct. 25, 1991

"Splendid evocation of country schools, English landscape, tinkers, and village mores: Anglophiles will queue up for this one."
Summerfield's debut owes much of its charm to its saucy, wise- child narrator, 11-year-old Cassie Wade, whose school chum Margie Thoroughgood, ``the girl who had everything''—blond hair, big blue eyes, a developing bust, and a splendid, shiny silver bike—stepped into a green car and was never seen again, imparting terror to all the parents and a certain notoriety to the village of Upper Grisham. Mrs. Thoroughgood befriends Cassie—begins, in fact, to obsess about her—and when Cassie's dad is abroad and her remarried mum is not eager to deal with her, Mrs. T. invites her to move into Margie's old room—and dress in her dresses and ride her bike. Mr. Thoroughgood is away for a spell, perhaps permanently. Read full book review >

JUDAS PRIEST by Ralph McInerny
MYSTERY & CRIME
Released: Oct. 25, 1991

"Some non-boring religious love, mostly unhackneyed characters, and a lively flow of events make for one of the better efforts in this series."
Father Dowling's quiet days at the rectory of St. Read full book review >
THE UNDERGROUND STREAM by Velda Johnston
MYSTERY & CRIME
Released: Oct. 24, 1991

"For faithful fans only."
Yet another of the author's beautiful, benighted heroines (The Girl on the Beach, etc.)—this one twentysomething Gail Loring, still recovering from a disastrous affair, a breakdown, and a sojourn in a psychiatric clinic. Read full book review >
SUGARLAND by Phillip Finch
MYSTERY & CRIME
Released: Oct. 24, 1991

"The action scenes are so-so, and too many felonies are pinned on the usual suspects—but Finch (Trespass, 1987, etc.) provides a razor- sharp Philippine setting and a splendidly laconic voice for his disillusioned, desperately hopeful hero."
Even before he leaves for the Philippines to look into the supposed death of Carlito Sanchez, insurance-investigator Jack Hart is half in love with a photo of Lito's cousin Evangeline Flores. Read full book review >
SMASH CUT by Steven Womack
MYSTERY & CRIME
Released: Oct. 23, 1991

"Workmanlike plotting and prose—enlivened only by Lynch's relationship with his acerbic, bored secretary Maud."
New Orleans p.r. honcho Jack Lynch (Murphy's Fault), now trying to score positive media points for client Andrew Kwang, whose plans to purchase the defunct Riverbend Nuclear Power Plant and convert it into Kwang World Pictures headquarters has run afoul of Pearl Bergeron, representative of the Louisiana Film Commission- -is suddenly up to his press releases in trouble: Pearl is murdered, and Lynch's client shapes up as the number one suspect. Read full book review >
THE PRESIDENT'S MAN by Elliott Roosevelt
MYSTERY & CRIME
Released: Oct. 22, 1991

"Repetitive, clichÇd hoodlum dialogue, perfunctory sex passages, and endless details of clothes worn and food eaten keep this one dull and static beneath all the gunfire, but history and nostalgia buffs might like it anyway."
First of a series of posthumous novels featuring Jack Endicott, a friend of and troubleshooter for Franklin Roosevelt, then New York Governor, soon to be elected to his first term as President. Read full book review >
PARTY TILL YOU DIE by David Charnee
MYSTERY & CRIME
Released: Oct. 22, 1991

"The first in a series, which can only improve."
A gimmicky first novel introducing clown/juggler Pat Arnold (the Archie Goodwin role) and rich, smart, attorney/part-time super-sleuth and freelance clown D.L. Blacker (Nero Wolfe wannabe), who meet when both are hired by obnoxious wheeler-dealer Gary Johnson to play the Mega-Bank employee party. Read full book review >
AN EYE FOR AN EYE by Joseph Teluskin
MYSTERY & CRIME
Released: Oct. 22, 1991

"Not entirely satisfactory as either detective story or moral exemplum—but Teluskin keeps the pot boiling briskly until the end."
Distinguished physician Gerald Braun shoots Ron Martin, his daughter's confessed killer—who got off with six years—in front of two police officers but gets out on his own recognizance after his rabbi, Daniel Winter, argues his case before the court. Read full book review >
Kirkus Interview
Bill Browder
author of RED NOTICE
March 24, 2015

Bill Browder’s Red Notice is a nonfiction political thriller about an American financier in the Wild East of Russia, the murder of his principled young tax attorney, and his mission to expose the Kremlin’s corruption. In 2007, a group of Russian law enforcement officers raided Browder’s offices in Moscow and stole $230 million of taxes that his fund’s companies had paid to the Russian government. Browder’s attorney Sergei Magnitsky investigated the incident and uncovered a sprawling criminal enterprise. A month after Sergei testified against the officials involved, he was arrested and thrown into pre-trial detention, where he was tortured for a year. On November 16, 2009, he was led to an isolation chamber, handcuffed to a bedrail, and beaten to death by eight guards in full riot gear. “It may be that ‘Russian stories never have happy endings,’ ” our reviewer writes about Red Notice, “but Browder’s account more than compensates by ferociously unmasking Putin’s thugocracy.” View video >