Thrillers Book Reviews (page 495)

Released: June 1, 1997

"Nobody, in detailing the lethal excitements of high-tech aerial combat in at least plausible geopolitical contexts, does it better than Brown."
Retired USAF Colonel Patrick McLanahan and his band of irregulars help turn the tide when the People's Republic of China makes war on its lost province of Taiwan, in another high adventure from past master Brown (Shadows of Steel, 1996, etc.). Read full book review >
Released: June 1, 1997

"The promised series is cause for rejoicing."
That rascal Lovejoy never could resist the ladies, so it's only natural that when Gash put the antiquer/swindler/raconteur aside after 19 adventures (The Possessions of a Lady, 1996, etc.), he'd turn to an even more devout worshipper of female charm. Read full book review >

STAR WITNESS by Lia Matera
Released: June 1, 1997

Say this for Willa Jansson (Last Chants, 1996, etc.): She doesn't shrink from the big cases. Read full book review >
THE READER by Bernhard Schlink
Released: June 1, 1997

"Toward its climax, the novel becomes, fitfully, frustratingly abstract, but on balance this is a gripping psychological study that moves skillfully toward its surprising and moving conclusion."
The Reader ($20.00; June 1997; 224 pp.; 0-679-44279-0): A compact portrayal of a teenaged German boy's love affair with an emotionally remote older woman, and the troubled consequence of his discovery of who she really is and why she simultaneously needed him and rejected him. Read full book review >
OUT OF BODY by Thomas Baum
Released: May 21, 1997

"Still, for much of its length a tough, original, and compelling debut, showing great promise. (Author tour)"
Strong debut suspense novel set in Seattle. Read full book review >

DISCIPLES by Austin Wright
Released: May 20, 1997

"Still, despite many moments of genuine emotion—the encounters between Harry and Lena, the appearances of the surprisingly sympathetic Miller—the characters in general are wooden embodiments of ideas who fail to lend plausibility to a disjointed plot."
A metaphysical thriller by the author of, among others, Telling Time (1995), this one about the human need for gurus both religious and secular. Read full book review >
Released: May 19, 1997

"Higgins's 27th (Drink with the Devil, 1996, etc.), negligible as melodrama, shows the old pro giving Tom Clancy a run for his money as the most fetishistic of contemporary thriller writers. (Book-of-the-Month Club main selection)"
The President's illegitimate daughter is kidnapped by terrorists who haven't reckoned with the might of the Higgins regulars. Read full book review >
Released: May 14, 1997

"Meltzer spins a mean paranoid fantasy that'll have you turning pages in a frenzy to learn whether Ben and his equally strung-out buddies ever grow up. (Literary Guild super release; film rights to Fox 2000; author tour)"
Loose lips sink careers in this barn-burning first novel about a Supreme Court clerk who runs his mouth to a disastrously ill-chosen confidant. Read full book review >
DRAGON TEETH by E. Howard Hunt
Released: May 12, 1997

"Aimless, bloated, and undramatic fare unredeemed by any hint of suspense."
On a break from ex-DEA superstar Jack Novak (Izmir, 1996, etc.), Hunt offers a limp tale in which a CIA operative returns to the Peoples Republic of China in search of his missing son while Beijing and Washington stumble to the brink of WW III. Read full book review >
Released: May 8, 1997

"Tidily plotted and mildly entertaining, with special appeal to aficionados of Native American lore. (Regional author tour)"
A fourth adventure for Molly Bearpaw (Seven Black Stones, 1995, etc.), recently appointed Major Crimes Investigator for the Cherokee Nation of Oklahoma, who's soon faced with a puzzle worthy of the hefty title. Read full book review >
DEADLY HARVEST by Leonard Goldberg
Released: May 6, 1997

"Shock value and more from Goldberg, a clinical professor at UCLA Medical Center who has the anatomy of ingenious murders down pat."
Tough police Lieutenant Jake Sinclair and pathologist Joanna Blalock (Deadly Care, 1996) team up again to excellent effect, tackling a tangled web of a case that pits them against both garden-variety murderers and predatory traffickers in human body parts. Read full book review >
THE GUN SELLER by Hugh Laurie
Released: May 6, 1997

"Still, every episode is awash with giggles, even if the whole production seems directed at audiences who think Get Smart would have worked better as a six-hour BBC series."
It's no surprise that this fey first novel from British TV comedian/writer Laurie (Jeeves and Wooster, etc.) should feature an updated Bertie Wooster pitched headlong into international intrigue, terrorism, and really embarrassing scrapes. Read full book review >
Kirkus Interview
H.W. Brands
October 11, 2016

As noted historian H.W. Brands reveals in his new book The General vs. the President: MacArthur and Truman at the Brink of Nuclear War, at the height of the Korean War, President Harry S. Truman committed a gaffe that sent shock waves around the world. When asked by a reporter about the possible use of atomic weapons in response to China's entry into the war, Truman replied testily, "The military commander in the field will have charge of the use of the weapons, as he always has." This suggested that General Douglas MacArthur, the willful, fearless, and highly decorated commander of the American and U.N. forces, had his finger on the nuclear trigger. A correction quickly followed, but the damage was done; two visions for America's path forward were clearly in opposition, and one man would have to make way. Truman was one of the most unpopular presidents in American history. General MacArthur, by contrast, was incredibly popular, as untouchable as any officer has ever been in America. The contest of wills between these two titanic characters unfolds against the turbulent backdrop of a faraway war and terrors conjured at home by Joseph McCarthy. “An exciting, well-written comparison study of two American leaders at loggerheads during the Korean War crisis,” our reviewer writes in a starred review. View video >