Mystery Thriller Book Reviews (page 1589)

CHRISTINE by Stephen King
MYSTERY THRILLER
Released: April 29, 1983

"King's blend of adolescent raunch, All-American sentiment, and unsubtle spookery has never, since Carrie, been more popcorn-readable—with immense appeal for all those fans interested in the 522-page equivalent of a drive-in horror movie."
The Exorcist meets My Mother, The Car. . . in a chiller that takes a nifty Twilight Zone notion and stretches it out to King-sized proportions—with teen-gab galore, horror-flick mayhem, epic foreshadowing, and endlessly teased-out suspense. Read full book review >
THE WIDENING GYRE by Robert B. Parker
MYSTERY THRILLER
Released: April 11, 1983

"But while some readers (newcomers especially) will appreciate the quick, sassy, competent narration here, Spenser veterans will continue to be disappointed—by the thin mystery, the undeveloped supporting cast, and the tired, smug portrait of Spenser himself."
Case #10 for Boston's Spenser—who made himself a well-deserved reputation with his first four appearances (especially Promised Land) but has been in sketchy, self-indulgent decline ever since. Read full book review >

MYSTERY THRILLER
Released: Jan. 27, 1983

"Over-contrived, insufficiently charming, and blandly didactic: the weakest of the Oakes adventures—but short and fast enough to please the sizable following."
CIA super-agent Blackford Oakes spies around Berlin, just before the Wall goes up—in the most somber, least witty or inventive of Buckley's Cold War thrillers thus far. Read full book review >
DIFFERENT SEASONS by Stephen King
FICTION & LITERATURE
Released: Aug. 27, 1982

"Thin gimmicks, weighed down with King's weak characters and weaker prose (unlike his crisp short stories)—but the fans may come around yet again, despite the clear evidence that King needs the supernatural to distract from his awesome limitations as a mainstream storyteller."
It will take all of King's monumental byline-insurance to drum up an audience for this bottom-of-the-trunk collection: four overpadded novellas, in non-horror genres—without the gripping situations needed to transcend King's notoriously clumsy writing. Read full book review >
CINNAMON SKIN by John D. MacDonald
MYSTERY THRILLER
Released: June 2, 1982

"But if MacDonald's formula varies little, the shrewd vignettes of places and people continue to be vividly engaging—and his masterly pacing ensures absorbing, taut reading every time around."
Travis McGee's 20th—which finds him enjoying life on his Florida houseboat, trying to keep his affair with hotel-manager Anne Renzetti on an even keel. Read full book review >

THE MAN FROM ST. PETERSBURG by Ken Follett
MYSTERY THRILLER
Released: May 14, 1982

"Still, though this is Follett's weakest book by far, the big-name byline and the overall readability (plus a jolt or two of graphic sex) should ensure a sizeable readership—with historical-romantics more likely to be pleased than Follett's usual thriller fans."
Follett, whose thrillers have been impressively tough-minded, goes all soft now—with a pre-WW I suspense-romance that recycles the Eye of the Needle premise (woman adores assassin) but surrounds it with the soupy conventions of corny family-saga fiction. Read full book review >
'A' IS FOR ALIBI by Sue Grafton
MYSTERY THRILLER
Released: April 30, 1982

"Agreeable heroine (only her running is a bore), fine dialogue, a great eye for people and places—so we're looking forward to 'B' through 'Z,' especially if Grafton can tighten up her plotting."
A shakily plotted but otherwise terrific start for a new detective series—with Kinsey Millhone, twice-divorced California private eye, as the enormously engaging narrator. Read full book review >
CEREMONY by Robert B. Parker
MYSTERY THRILLER
Released: March 24, 1982

"No mystery, fewer laughs than usual, lots of one-on-one violence—a predictable yet swiftly readable Spenser, without the pretentious chitchat that has bogged down some of his recent outings."
Tracking down runaway teenage girls is a staple of hard-boiled shamus fiction, and that's what Boston's Spenser is up to in this slight, efficient episode—a modest comeback after the tedium of 4 Savage Place. Read full book review >
THE LITTLE DRUMMER GIRL by John le Carré
MYSTERY THRILLER
Released: March 1, 1982

"So Smiley followers may be in for a slight let-down, but they—and others—will want to read every word nonetheless."
Underneath the grand, stately textures and rich, ironic nuances (which make this new, non-Smiley le Carre novel superior reading), there's a surprisingly conventional thriller-romance here—something of a step backward, perhaps, from the originality and moral/psychological delicacy of the Smiley-Karla trilogy. Read full book review >
THE MAN WITH A LOAD OF MISCHIEF by Martha Grimes
MYSTERY THRILLER
Released: Sept. 1, 1981

"But fans of the Golden Age mystery probably won't feel like complaining; and they'll certainly look forward to Jury's next outing—which could be a classic if it adds a Christie twist to all the other glories here."
Like Liza Cody's Dupe (above), Grimes' mystery debut is a triumph manquÉ—with style, wit, charm, atmosphere. . . and a disappointing plot. Read full book review >
POWDER BURN by Carl Hiaasen
MYSTERY THRILLER
Released: Sept. 1, 1981

"Good, solid underworld melodrama—with some especially authentic touches in the police work (a morgue scene is a standout) and the trafficking."
The cocaine traffic in Miami—convincingly, tautly fictionalized by two Miami Herald reporters. Read full book review >
CUJO by Stephen King
MYSTERY THRILLER
Released: Sept. 1, 1981

King goes non-supernatural this time—and the result, despite the usual padding, is a tighter, more effective horror novel. Read full book review >
Kirkus Interview
Katey Sagal
author of GRACE NOTES
April 10, 2017

In her memoir Grace Notes, actress and singer/songwriter Katey Sagal takes you through the highs and lows of her life, from the tragic deaths of her parents to her long years in the Los Angeles rock scene, from being diagnosed with cancer at the age of twenty-eight to getting her big break on the fledgling FOX network as the wise-cracking Peggy Bundy on the beloved sitcom Married…with Children. Sparse and poetic, Grace Notes is an emotionally riveting tale of struggle and success, both professional and personal: Sagal’s path to sobriety; the stillbirth of her first daughter, Ruby; motherhood; the experience of having her third daughter at age 52 with the help of a surrogate; and her lifelong passion for music. “While this book is sure to please the author’s many fans, its thoughtful, no-regrets honesty will no doubt also appeal to readers of Hollywood memoirs seeking substance that goes beyond gossip and name-dropping,” our critic writes. “A candid, reflective memoir.” View video >