Thrillers Book Reviews (page 483)

SYNBAT by Bob Mayer
THRILLERS
Released: Jan. 1, 1994

"Action-packed entertainment—with primate villains that are not, alas, based on paranoid fantasies but on probable results of research programs reported to have been funded by the US government."
In the atavistic milieu plausibly conjured up by Mayer for his latest thriller (Eyes of the Hammer, Dragon SIM-13), Synbats are synthetic battle forms—expendable, elementally sentient, genetically altered baboons developed for military duties deemed too hazardous or risky for higher-order troops. Read full book review >
DEAD EYES by Stuart Woods
THRILLERS
Released: Jan. 1, 1994

"Smooth running, but shallow characters (the villain is a total cipher) and lack of dramatic payoffs leach suspense: Wait Until Dark this isn't. (First printing of 100,000)"
A blind actress is tormented by a stalker—in another slick but uninspired thriller by Woods (L.A. Times, p. 332, etc.), who himself seems in the dark about how to capitalize on his melodramatic premise. Read full book review >

MYSTERY & CRIME
Released: Jan. 1, 1994

"And next time, with luck, will."
At their best, Laymon's cackling horrors (The Stake, 1991; Night Visions 7, 1989) are the nastiest around—sleek, black- humored, skirting (if not slipping over) the edge of pornoviolence. Read full book review >
MAZATLAN by E. Howard Hunt
MYSTERY & CRIME
Released: Dec. 10, 1993

"No doubt they will, since Hunt gives his readership the sort of leathery fare they presumably want: For would-be tough guys only, though."
Another awesomely un-politically correct thriller from Hunt (Chinese Red, 1992, etc.), this kicking off a new series narrated by an ex-DEA agent who knows his way around guns, booze, and boats- -and who will slap a ``bitch'' around if she gets out of line. Read full book review >
LOOSE AMONG THE LAMBS by Jay Brandon
THRILLERS
Released: Dec. 1, 1993

It only begins when the fat lady sings, as San Antonio D.A. Mark Blackwell (Fade the Heat, 1990) learns in this crackling tale of a child-abuse confession too good to be true. Read full book review >

THE CUTTING HOURS by Julia Grice
THRILLERS
Released: Dec. 1, 1993

"Just about every clichÇ you need for a healthy day's supply of momma pulp."
Every mother's nightmare comes to life in this Psycho Comix tale of the knife-wielding misfit who gets fatally stuck on a suburban Michigan mother and daughter. Read full book review >
THE SNARES OF DEATH by Kate Charles
MYSTERY & CRIME
Released: Dec. 1, 1993

"Wildly improbable character motivation, but vintage village mystery buffs will adore the prissy parish spinsters, the long- suffering vicar's wife and the fortuitously dropped bits of gossip that fuel the sluggish plot."
For two-thirds of the book, obnoxious Evangelical minister Bob Dexter antagonizes his wife, daughter, new parishioners, animal- rights activists, and millionaire Noah Gates of the Gates of Heaven Printing Company, and then, finally, someone picks up part of an altar rail and dispatches him. Read full book review >
THE SNAKE EATER by William G. Tapply
MYSTERY & CRIME
Released: Dec. 1, 1993

"As you'd expect, the answers aren't quite as good as the questions, but this entry relies less on atmosphere and more on mystery than any of Brady's outings in years."
A rare criminal client for Boston probate attorney Brady Coyne (Tight Lines, 1992, etc.)—Daniel McCloud, arrested for growing 70 pounds of cannabis that he insists he's using to alleviate the effects of Agent Orange—leads to one of Brady's strangest cases when the marijuana charges are abruptly dropped and a manuscript that Brady's agreed to send to New York literary agent Al Coleman turns out to be fatal to both Daniel and Coleman. Read full book review >
BETTER IN THE DARK by Chelsea Quinn Yarbro
THRILLERS
Released: Dec. 1, 1993

"Slower and with less narrative momentum than Darker Jewels, but still inviting: Yarbro stints nothing on historical verisimilitude."
Another of Yarbro's tales of the vampire Count Saint-Germain (Darker Jewels, p. 104, etc.). Read full book review >
GOD'S ADAMANTINE FATE by Colin Alexander
THRILLERS
Released: Nov. 24, 1993

"Not exciting—but mercifully free of the usual goopy medical adulation and heroics."
Overworked pediatricians and a tough-talking talk-show host wage war on corporate scum, craven bureaucrats, corrupt medicos, and juvenile liver cancer in central New Jersey: a competent first medical thriller by a pseudonymous oncologist/pharmaceutical- researcher who knows the territory. Read full book review >
O LITTLE TOWN OF MAGGODY by Joan Hess
MYSTERY & CRIME
Released: Nov. 16, 1993

"A fast, funny, amiably sardonic look at the forces behind the myths of stardom—and a marvelous treat for Maggody fans (Maggody in Manhattan, etc.)."
The zany citizens of Maggody, Arkansas, now in the grip of a recession, meet the mostly messed-up performers and handlers of the C&W music world when small-time record company executives Pierce and Ripley Keswick decide to polish the tarnished image of their hard-drinking mega-star Matt Montana. Read full book review >
GUILTY CONSCIENCE by Michael Underwood
MYSTERY & CRIME
Released: Nov. 16, 1993

"Disappointing stuff from a writer who's often more than just barely readable."
London lawyer Rosa Epton (The Seeds of Murder, etc.) is visited one day by Evelyn Henshaw—wealthy, overdressed, and claiming to be in danger from second husband Ralph, who, according to her, had disposed of his first wife, Jean. Read full book review >
Kirkus Interview
Gabrielle Zevin
March 3, 2015

A. J. Fikry’s life is not at all what he expected it to be. He lives alone, his bookstore is experiencing the worst sales in its history, and now his prized possession, a rare collection of Poe poems, has been stolen. But when a mysterious package appears at the bookstore, its unexpected arrival gives Fikry the chance to make his life over—and see everything anew. “Zevin writes characters who grow and prosper,” our reviewer writes, “in a narrative that is sometimes sentimental, sometimes funny, sometimes true to life and always entertaining.” View video >