Thrillers Book Reviews (page 490)

THE GHOST OF HANNAH MENDES by Naomi Ragen
FICTION & LITERATURE
Released: Sept. 22, 1998

"A glossy celebration of culture and family, inevitably a tad schmaltzy but, like Ragen's previous work, an agreeable enough read."
A 16th-century ghost helps her present-day descendant preserve the past, in a story by American-Israeli Ragen (The Sacrifice of Tamar, 1994, etc.) that's as much a heartfelt plea for continuity as a family saga. Read full book review >
CRITICAL MASS by Steve Martini
MYSTERY THRILLER
Released: Sept. 21, 1998

"Any resemblance to books that haven't been made into movies is purely coincidental."
Courtroom specialist Martini, last seen reveling in the unlikely trials of ghostwriting (The List, 1997), tries his hand at a Tom Clancy premise: an errant Russian nuclear bomb in the hands of home-grown terrorists. Read full book review >

A PERFECT CRIME by Peter Abrahams
MYSTERY THRILLER
Released: Sept. 19, 1998

"One other surefire prediction: With Hard Rain (1)987 and The Fan (1995) already turned into Hollywood movies, this property, suitably pruned and tightened, can't be far behind. (First printing of 100,000)"
A simple case of adultery leads to more fatalities than the Gulf War in Abrahams's tense, formulaic domestic thriller. Read full book review >
THE GHOST OF THE REVELATOR by Jr. Modesitt
FICTION & LITERATURE
Released: Sept. 16, 1998

"Appealing characters, agreeably labyrinthine plotting, a fascinatingly detailed backdrop—and, love ‘em or loathe ‘em, ghosts."
Sequel to Of Tangible Ghosts (1994), Modesitt's intriguing, flavorsome alternate-world yarn where ghosts are real and America doesn't exist; instead, the continent is split among Columbia, Quebec, Deseret, and New France (some maps would have been useful); Europe is dominated by the Austro-Hungarian Empire; Adolph Hitler (under his real name) is the Empire's Ambassador to Japan; cars run on steam; computers are "difference engines," and you don't telephone, you "wire." Read full book review >
AN AMERICAN KILLING by Mary-Ann Tirone Smith
MYSTERY THRILLER
Released: Sept. 14, 1998

"Frothy fun that, when the narrator isn't gossiping about the Clintons or prattling about her fictitious successes, offers numerous compassionate glimpses of dead-end small-town life. (First printing of 75,000; author tour)"
A mostly entertaining whodunit featuring Denise Burke, a spunky, "pathologically cynical," bestselling true-crime journalist poking into a triple murder that exposes the sordid secrets of a philandering US congressman. Read full book review >

PROXIES by Laura J. Mixon
MYSTERY THRILLER
Released: Sept. 10, 1998

"Part technothriller, part family saga: an overlong but hardworking and impressively thought-out debut."
By the middle of the next century, waldo technology—machines controlled by telepresence—is far advanced. Read full book review >
THE MERCY RULE by John Lescroart
MYSTERY THRILLER
Released: Sept. 10, 1998

"Lots going on, then, though even the most patient readers may finish the book annoyed with the score of characters left undeveloped, and the way their feelings about euthanasia have been toyed with in what turns out to be a leviathan red herring."
San Francisco lawyer Dismas Hardy (A Certain Justice, 1995, etc.) is back from Lescroart's disappointing Guilt (1997)—this time defending a potential case of euthanasia in a gripping but erratically plotted legal drama. Read full book review >
DAY OF CONFESSION by Allan Folsom
MYSTERY THRILLER
Released: Sept. 9, 1998

"In suspense fiction, less can be more."
A pair of plucky Americans saves the Vatican from itself in a thriller long on pages and short on probability. Read full book review >
30 SECONDS by Sam Giancana
MYSTERY THRILLER
Released: Sept. 9, 1998

"Tons of surefire thriller elements; not a spark of life."
Lust, greed, violence, the frenzy of the ad biz, the evils of the drug trade, the vagaries of the Information Age, the CIA, the Super Bowl, the kitchen sink—and still the suspense just won't wash. Read full book review >
A CRIMINAL APPEAL by D.R. Schanker
MYSTERY THRILLER
Released: Sept. 8, 1998

"Nora's harsh, uncompromising voice, something new and welcome in the genre, makes the extravagantly improbable premise of her first case worth the stretch—though it's a relief to find her headed to more suitable employment at the fade-out."
Ten-year-old Dexter Hinton's conviction in the drive-by shooting of elderly robbery target Cora Rollison was routine once the judge admitted the confession that Dexter—d recanted after talking to his grandfather and guardian Carl Hinton. Read full book review >
THE WALL by John Marks
MYSTERY THRILLER
Released: Sept. 8, 1998

"Cold War buffs and glÑsnost groupies will go for it; others may feel left out in the cold."
A debut thriller by U.S. News journalist (and former Berlin bureau chief) Marks, who takes us on a wild-goose chase through Eastern Europe during Communism's last days. Read full book review >
NO PHYSICAL EVIDENCE by Gus Lee
FICTION & LITERATURE
Released: Sept. 2, 1998

"Awkward legal melodrama enriched by passionate pleading for the protection of children. (Book-of-the-Month alternate selection)"
Overwritten, overplotted legal procedural, set in a richly atmospheric Chinese-American Sacramento, that makes a compelling point about the challenges involved in investigating and punishing sex criminals. 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 >