Thrillers Book Reviews (page 491)

HUMAN ERROR by Tom Casey
THRILLERS
Released: Dec. 1, 1996

"A smooth flight of fancy for Casey, who displays a real flair for portraying mistake-prone adults facing the consequences of their actions in the air and on the ground."
Breakdowns in personal relationships and the possibility of lapses in judgment by those at the controls of high-tech jetliners provide some engrossing conflicts in a first-rate debut novel from pilot Casey, now a captain with American Airlines. Read full book review >
A MURDER OF CROWS by Steve Sheppard
THRILLERS
Released: Dec. 1, 1996

"A diverting and workmanlike debut thriller from Sheppard, a former longtime Pentagon correspondent for ABC-TV."
A young orthopedist in rural Nebraska and a fugitive from a Siberian gulag are all that stand between the US and devastation at the hands of a Cold War enemy. Dr. George Duval witnesses a fiery truck accident on a country road. Read full book review >

MEASURING LIVES by Tom Foley
THRILLERS
Released: Dec. 1, 1996

"Newcomer Foley's bilious loathing of the tasteless rich and his climactic series of hokey, gratuitous James Bondish chases in (of all places) the Swiss Alps doesn't save a tricked-up lawyer fantasy that, while no worse than generic Grisham, is no better."
In this Grishamesque legal procedural set in sunny, nouveau riche Naples, Florida, paranoid but good-looking former Miami Beach prosecutor John Geddy, who made a name for himself prosecuting serial killers, can't seem to leave criminal law behind. Read full book review >
THE MERMAIDS SINGING by Val McDermid
MYSTERY & CRIME
Released: Dec. 1, 1996

"The grim details make this one not for everybody—but if serial killers are your meat, you'll see why McDermid won this year's Gold Dagger from Britain's Crime Writers Association."
Nothing in McDermid's wisecracking books about Manchester p.i. Read full book review >
THE TIME OF FEASTING by Mick Farren
THRILLERS
Released: Dec. 1, 1996

"The historical background offers considerable originality, while the storytelling speeds along with theatrical trumpery through predictable plot points."
First vampire novel by sf writer Farren (Elvis and the Colonel, 1989, not reviewed) swaggers swankily and advances the genre by creating a new version of vampires' ancestry: Their creators came in UFOs, altered human DNA to fashion the new creatures, and, in their spare time, provided the inspiration for humankind's religions. Read full book review >

MIRAGE by
THRILLERS
Released: Nov. 20, 1996

"If this isn't movie-bound, Hollywood needs a brain transplant."
The Wilson-Costello team turns out a medical thriller about memory that echoes the wonderfully trashy psychological suspense of Hitchcock's Spellbound updated as a computer game. Read full book review >
DOWN TO A SUNLESS SEA by David Poyer
THRILLERS
Released: Nov. 19, 1996

"White-knuckle diving scenes, constant action, and a raffish antihero whose motives lie well below the surface make the latest chapter in the motley tale of Tiller Galloway a welcome addition to Poyer's offbeat series."
Scapegrace diver Tiller Galloway finds the inner space of limestone caves as risky as the open-ocean deeps probed in his three previous outings (Louisiana Blue, 1994, etc.). Read full book review >
ERROR OF JUDGMENT by Dexter Dias
FICTION & LITERATURE
Released: Nov. 14, 1996

"An even more feverish follow-up to Dias's memorably unpleasant debut (False Witness, 1995), with a particularly nasty series of surprises that don't get sprung till you're convinced you already know the absolute worst about everybody involved."
How's this for an impossible case: Barrister Nick Downes has been assigned the defense of the nameless amnesiac (he turns out to be poet and painter Will Turner) who was caught in a Vice sweep of a Queensway brothel shortly after he told the lady-in- charge that he'd buried a body in a chalk pit in Kent. Read full book review >
TRIALS by Anne Tolstoi Wallach
THRILLERS
Released: Nov. 12, 1996

"The boyfriend rivalry is undercooked and tepid, then, but the canny portrait of the judicial system in action adds welcome momentum and keeps those pages turning."
Wallach (Private Scores, 1986, etc.) dresses up her soapy premise—best friends in love with the same man—with a lively glimpse at the intense machinations that lie behind advancement in the judicial system. Read full book review >
BEVERLY & MARIGOLD by Val Coleman
FICTION & LITERATURE
Released: Nov. 12, 1996

"In any event, the laughs are always genuine, and the social history of New York over the past 50 years is dead-on."
From Columbia University urban studies professor Coleman, two groups of zany stories, one about the experiences of an amiable white middle-class screwup, the other about those of an industrious black homeless woman. Read full book review >
THE THIRTEENTH HOUR by Barbara Sofer
FICTION & LITERATURE
Released: Nov. 11, 1996

"On balance, a superb exploration of the Arab-Israeli conflict that's in many ways superior to le CarrÇ's Little Drummer Girl for its well-informed insight into the subtle horrors and fugitive joys of life under siege."
Vivid and all-too-believable thriller of Arab terrorism in Israel, told from a feminist viewpoint by children's author Sofer (Shalom, Haver, p. 751, a tribute to Yitzhak Rabin). Read full book review >
SEX CRIMES by Jenefer Shute
THRILLERS
Released: Nov. 1, 1996

"While the effort to get inside the head of one so disturbed at times seems heavily stylized and clinical, there's no denying that this sexy fable of modernity exposes emotions that many might rather ignore. (Literary Guild and Doubleday book club selections)"
After making waves with her 1992 debut, Life-Size, the chronicle of an anorexic, Shute returns with a different, no less discomfiting tale of obsession, this time involving a woman so hopelessly in love that she blinds her erstwhile boyfriend. Read full book review >
Kirkus Interview
Nancy Isenberg
author of WHITE TRASH
July 19, 2016

Poor Americans have existed from the time of the earliest British colonial settlement. They were alternately known as “waste people,” “offals,” “rubbish,” “lazy lubbers,” and “crackers.” By the 1850s, the downtrodden included so-called “clay eaters” and “sandhillers,” known for prematurely aged children distinguished by their yellowish skin, ragged clothing, and listless minds. Surveying political rhetoric and policy, popular literature and scientific theories over 400 years, in White Trash: The 400-Year Untold History of Class in America, Nancy Isenberg upends assumptions about America’s supposedly class-free society––where liberty and hard work were meant to ensure real social mobility. Poor whites were central to the rise of the Republican Party in the early nineteenth century, and the Civil War itself was fought over class issues nearly as much as it was fought over slavery. “A riveting thesis supported by staggering research,” our reviewer writes in a starred review. View video >