Mystery & Crime Book Reviews (page 955)

THE GENESIS FILES by Bob Biderman
MYSTERY & CRIME
Released: Oct. 1, 1991

"Terrific, unsentimental parenting patter—in a needlessly complicated, overfamiliar medical-mystery plot."
A US debut novel (first published in 1988 in Britain) in which San Francisco freelance journalist Joseph Radkin begins to wonder: What were Malcolm Greene, the director of the People's Medical Center, and genetic-engineering scientist Krohl doing in the hospital lab at midnight just before it blew them and everything in it to kingdom come? Read full book review >
MURDER IN ORDINARY TIME by Carol Anne O’Marie
MYSTERY & CRIME
Released: Oct. 1, 1991

"In all: unpretentious but unrewarding."
San Francisco's elderly, sleuthing Sister Mary Helen is once again barging in where Police Inspectors Kate Murphy and Dennis Gallagher have begged her not to go (Advent of Dying, etc.). Read full book review >

ROSTNIKOV'S VACATION by Stuart M. Kaminksy
MYSTERY & CRIME
Released: Oct. 1, 1991

"A lesser, lighter entry in this fine series, with the most understated Soviet political plot you're likely ever to see."
Kaminsky's vacation is more like it, since Inspector Porfiry Rostnikov has taken a trip to Yalta with his wife under strict orders from his superiors (why?), whereas Kaminsky seems to be on holiday from the intensity of A Cold Red Sunrise (1988). Read full book review >
GAMES OF THE HANGMAN by Victor O'Reilly
MYSTERY & CRIME
Released: Oct. 1, 1991

"Switzerland can be expected to sue."
A photographer with a military past leads a search through Switzerland for a brilliant, spectacularly vile terrorist—in a gory but consistently clever thriller. Read full book review >
THE COPPER PEACOCK by Ruth Rendell
MYSTERY & CRIME
Released: Oct. 1, 1991

"Lesser work from a major talent; readable but unpersuasive."
Nine new short stories from the prolific, impressive Rendell—but an underpar batch this time, with no top-notch entries and quite a few clinkers. Read full book review >

AN ECHO OF JUSTICE by Hugh Miller
MYSTERY & CRIME
Released: Sept. 25, 1991

"Miller (Home Ground, Snow on The Ground, etc.) has a nice eye for the gray area between justice and revenge, though his police officers divide too improbably into savage brutes and tenderhearted gents."
Rough justice among the British constabulary as compassionate Inspector Mike Fletcher sweats to save fugitive cop-killer Steve McMillan (what could have made this scared kid kick Sgt. Read full book review >
DEAD IN THE WATER by W.J. Chaput
MYSTERY & CRIME
Released: Sept. 24, 1991

"Nothing original—or even very mysterious—happens, but Chaput (The Man on the Train, 1986) puts a fresh and welcome spin on every incident and every screwy type."
A pair of crowded, noisy scenes at Mildred's, a Massachusetts North Shore hangout, frame this shaggy, offspeed mystery; and by the fade-out, you'll have grown to love all hands present—especially Ozzie Barrett, a lackadaisical trawler who turns detective to clear his lovable, erratic Uncle Barry (whom Ozzie has just sprung from the loony bin where his two spinster aunts had committed him so that one of them could get married without his carryings-on) from a charge of killing well-to-do local widow Veronica Hammond. Read full book review >
NIGHT OVER WATER by Ken Follett
MYSTERY & CRIME
Released: Sept. 24, 1991

"Hours of good storytelling."
With the Dark Ages (The Pillars of the Earth, 1989) out of his system, Ken Follett returns to the spies, sex, and Nazis that did so well for him in Eye of the Needle. Read full book review >
DEADLY DROUGHT by Gary Alexander
MYSTERY & CRIME
Released: Sept. 24, 1991

"The silliness is a bit less inspired than in previous outings, but, still, this one's very, very funny: Alexander has no competition for the role of court-jester to the mystery."
Does landlocked Southeast Asian Luong really need an admiral? Read full book review >
A DANCE AT THE SLAUGHTERHOUSE by Lawrence Block
MYSTERY & CRIME
Released: Sept. 20, 1991

"Block were treading water, albeit it dark and deep."
A wrenching and lurid Matt Scudder outing that pits the unlicensed p.i. against childkilling slime and climaxes in vigilante violence. Read full book review >
THE AXEMAN'S JAZZ by Julie Smith
MYSTERY & CRIME
Released: Sept. 19, 1991

"Still, this is a more polished work than Mourning, and Cindy Lou a more interesting heroine than Skip."
New Orleans social-misfit Skip Langdon (New Orleans Mourning, 1990) postpones her vacation from homicide when the ``Axeman'' writes the police and taunts them about two murders he has committed. Read full book review >
WHITE RUSH/GREEN FIRE by Mark McGarrity
MYSTERY & CRIME
Released: Sept. 18, 1991

What happens to six friends cruising the Caribbean when they come across $2.4 million cash and $10 million stash from a drug deal gone bad: a gripping, though overextended, crossover novel from the chronicler, as ``Bartholomew Gill,'' of Dublin Chief Inspector McGarr (The Death of a Joyce Scholar, etc.). Read full book review >
Kirkus Interview
Luis Alberto Urrea
April 21, 2015

Examining the borders between one nation and another, between one person and another, Luis Alberto Urrea’s latest story collection, The Water Museum, reveals his mastery of the short form. This collection includes the Edgar-award winning "Amapola" and his now-classic "Bid Farewell to Her Many Horses," which had the honor of being chosen for NPR's "Selected Shorts" not once but twice. Urrea has also recently published a poetry collection, Tijuana Book of the Dead, mixing lyricism and colloquial voices, mysticism and the daily grind. We talk to Urrea about both of his new books this week on Kirkus TV. View video >