Thrillers Book Reviews (page 491)

DARKNESS, I by Tanith Lee
Released: Jan. 1, 1996

"A noteworthy vampire variant, set forth in Lee's remarkably textured, glittering prose, though the numerous meandering, occasionally coinciding plotlets provide insufficient structural firmness to really compel the attention."
Third in a hitherto paperback fantasy/horror series (Personal Darkness, etc.) about the immortal, predatory, vampirish Scarabae- -although they aren't obliged to drink blood, nor are they much bothered by daylight, crucifixes, or garlic. Read full book review >
DARK ARMADA by Colin D. Peel
Released: Dec. 13, 1995

"Undemandingly stripped-down intrigue with explosions obbligato, though the whole affair seems to be extruded through a time warp."
At the narrow end of the wedge, a solitary aircraft explosion over the Solomon Islands; at the other end, the balance of power in the Mideast arms race. Read full book review >

THE FINAL JUDGMENT by Richard North Patterson
Released: Dec. 8, 1995

One last wrinkle before Caroline Masters accepts the presidential nomination for an appeals-court judgeship: She's been called back to Resolve, New Hampshire—to the family she hasn't spoken to for 20 years—to help a niece who's been arrested for murder. Read full book review >
HOST by Peter James
Released: Dec. 1, 1995

"Like Mary Shelley's venerable monster, an ungodly pastiche, but also as gripping and thoughtful as its Promethean predecessor."
A first technothriller from veteran James (Prophecy, 1994, etc.) with a snazzy Robin Cook-meets-William Gibson twist: Stiffs in cryonic coffins await the day when science will be able to reanimate them. Read full book review >
Released: Dec. 1, 1995

"It's got a kid, a girl, a hero, not to mention Nazis and even a mechanical dinosaur: a slick and serpentinely constructed triumph of boy fiction if ever there was one."
A still-tough-as-leather former CIA operative and a genetically engineered boy prodigy race to save the world from a synthetic virus that gobbles up human blood: a zippy hardcover debut from the prolific Land. Read full book review >

Released: Dec. 1, 1995

"An absorbingly different sort of soldier's story, one that turns on character as well as action and hints that lonesome Major Isen may have found a worthy new mate."
Another in Ruggero's estimable series (Firefall, 1994, etc.), this time with hero Major Mark Isen, a veteran of combat in three foreign campaigns, finding himself in dubious battle at a Stateside post. Read full book review >
BEST NEW HORROR 6 by Stephen--Ed. Jones
Released: Dec. 1, 1995

"A collector's collection, and very impressive."
The sixth in a series, a must for all horror fans, featuring 22 stories from 1995. Read full book review >
VANITAS by S.P. Somtow
Released: Dec. 1, 1995

"Somtow wraps up his enlightened bloodsucker's career with all the gore and horror of a vegetarian vampire chomping on a beefsteak tomato."
Third—and, apparently, last—of Somtow's yarns (Valentine, 1992, etc.) about the rock star and 2,000-year-old eunuch adolescent vampire Timmy Valentine, who has bestowed his vampirehood upon Angel Todd in exchange for the latter's human soul. Read full book review >
SPOOKER by Dean Ing
Released: Nov. 27, 1995

"A second-rate thriller with little pace or suspense, albeit an abundance of loose ends and shock-value details."
Spookers are the rainy-day funds that intelligence agents amass against the time when they must decampwhereon hangs a flimsy tale from Ing (Butcher Bird, 1993, etc.). Read full book review >
WHERE THE MONEY IS by Ivan G. Goldman
Released: Nov. 22, 1995

"An impressive debut, one reminiscent of the work of Elmore Leonard and Donald Westlake for the way it effectively combines antic action with sardonic commentary."
Backstage Las Vegas provides an appropriately raffish setting for a stylish, twisty first novel, this one featuring a full complement of lovable losers and blackguardly villains. Read full book review >
CORRUPTION OF BLOOD by Robert K. Tanenbaum
Released: Nov. 20, 1995

"Here and there we get glimpses of Tanenbaum's virtuosic ability to sort out and dramatize complicated material, but this novel is sunk in its own self-importance."
Manhattan ADA Butch Karp gets a crack at the crime of the century in this heavy-breathing addition to a popular series that includes such brainy thrillers as Depraved Indifference (1989) and Material Witness (1993). Read full book review >
DRAG QUEEN by Robert Rodi
Released: Nov. 20, 1995

"The plot's flighty and incoherent, but when it congeals, the humor is merciless and swift."
Another plateful of giddy meringue from Rodi (What They Did to Princess Paragon, 1994, etc.), the undisputed doyen of the effervescent gay novel of manners. Read full book review >
Kirkus Interview
Michael Eric Dyson
February 2, 2016

In Michael Eric Dyson’s rich and nuanced book new book, The Black Presidency: Barack Obama and the Politics of Race in America, Dyson writes with passion and understanding about Barack Obama’s “sad and disappointing” performance regarding race and black concerns in his two terms in office. While race has defined his tenure, Obama has been “reluctant to take charge” and speak out candidly about the nation’s racial woes, determined to remain “not a black leader but a leader who is black.” Dyson cogently examines Obama’s speeches and statements on race, from his first presidential campaign through recent events—e.g., the Ferguson riots and the eulogy for the Rev. Clementa Pinckney in Charleston—noting that the president is careful not to raise the ire of whites and often chastises blacks for their moral failings. At his best, he spoke with “special urgency for black Americans” during the Ferguson crisis and was “at his blackest,” breaking free of constraints, in his “Amazing Grace” Charleston eulogy. Dyson writes here as a realistic, sometimes-angry supporter of the president. View video >