Thrillers Book Reviews (page 495)

EAGLES OF FIRE by Timothy Rizzi
THRILLERS
Released: Sept. 6, 1996

"Furious state-of-the-art action on land, at sea, and (especially) in the air, plus credibly malefic skullduggery behind the lines, will speed most readers past the holes in a plot charitably characterized as serviceable."
USAF Major General Richard ``Duke'' James, the high-flying hero of The Phalanx Dragon (1994) and other of Rizzi's technothrillers, does earthbound battle against savage North Koreans and a vicious home-front foe in this latest test of his considerable mettle. Read full book review >
THE BURNING MAN by Phillip Margolin
THRILLERS
Released: Sept. 4, 1996

"Despite the hints of grand conspiracy and grand passion, Margolin (After Dark, 1995, etc.) leaves too little meat on these bones for any but the staunchest fans of legal intrigue, with hollow surprises that arrive too late to save his puny plot."
An Oregon lawyer exiled from Portland to the sticks grabs at a high-profile murder case as his one and only chance to turn his life around—and that's only the most obvious clichÇ in this pot of refried beans. ``You possess the intelligence to be a good lawyer, but you're lazy and self-centered,'' Peter Hale's father harangues him just after Peter's arrogance and incompetence shut a client out of a well-deserved settlement, and just before he banishes him to legal serfdom in backwoods Whitaker. Read full book review >

SHOT IN THE CATHEDRAL by Mario Bencastro
THRILLERS
Released: Sept. 1, 1996

Shot In The Cathedral ($18.95; Sept. 1, 1996; 220 pp.; 1-55885- 164-X): A skillful balance between journalistic reportage and a subjective focus on the lives of ordinary people afflicted by political upheaval distinguishes this otherwise familiar (and somewhat melodramatic) picture of El Salvador under siege in the late 1970s. Read full book review >
THE LAST THING HE WANTED by Joan Didion
FICTION & LITERATURE
Released: Sept. 1, 1996

"A pinched narrative sacrifices the pleasures of conventional character development, with Didion opting instead for a convoluted and over-the-top exploration of political skullduggery."
Didion's fifth novel (Democracy, 1984, etc.) is further proof that she's a better journalist than novelist. Read full book review >
THE KINDLING EFFECT by Peter Hernon
THRILLERS
Released: Sept. 1, 1996

"Robin Cook meets Soldier of Fortune in a gripping (if often over-the-top) thriller chock-full of medico-legal arcana."
An engrossingly macabre debut novel by St. Read full book review >

THE SHADOW BOX by John R. Maxim
THRILLERS
Released: Sept. 1, 1996

"A slick, engrossing entertainment with plausibly motivated characters and chilling detail on an underground enterprise that's evidently as remunerative as narcotics. (First printing of 50,000)"
Maxim (Time Out of Mind, 1986, etc.) forsakes the astral plane for a suspenser whose down-and-dirty plot turns on the megabuck traffic in bogus prescription drugs. Read full book review >
THE COBWEB by Stephen Bury
THRILLERS
Released: Sept. 1, 1996

"A charming, uproariously clever thriller, in the tradition of Ross Thomas and Richard Condon, with plenty of wry wit and deftly rendered characters."
When this latest wacky thriller from Bury (Interface, not reviewed)—a pseudonym for Neal Stephenson (The Diamond Age, 1995, etc.) and J. Frederick George—puts a bunch of overweight, incorruptible Iowa huskers up against Saddam Hussein just before Desert Storm, you know the bad guy with the moustache is going to take a fall. Read full book review >
THE ENCHANTMENT OF LILY DAHL by Siri Hustvedt
FICTION & LITERATURE
Released: Sept. 1, 1996

"Mystery, murder, and provincial caricatures, all in a readable but curiously dusty mix from a writer whose aims seemed higher the first time around. (Author tour)"
Hustvedt's second outing abandons the cerebral regions of postmodernism (The Blindfold, 1992) and turns to the familiar melodramas of small-town gothic. Read full book review >
THE APPRENTICE by Lewis Libby
THRILLERS
Released: Sept. 1, 1996

"Mostly atmosphere, but it's a satisfyingly romantic atmosphere, like that of an old, swashbuckling boys' novel dropped down in Japan, with a dash of Yukio Mishima for good measure."
First novel set in northernmost Japan in 1903, when war is brewing with Russia. Read full book review >
PILLOW FRIEND by Lisa Tuttle
THRILLERS
Released: Sept. 1, 1996

"Brilliantly murmurous, with extreme states of mental disorder presented as if they were as normal as blueberries on cottage cheese."
The first soft strokes of Tuttle's haunting fourth novel (Lost Futures, etc., not reviewed) build slowly, subtly into a relentless chiller. Read full book review >
KILO OPTION by Sean Flannery
THRILLERS
Released: Sept. 1, 1996

"A wild-and-woolly romp that should delight fans of Flannery's apocalyptic thrillers."
Brainy and brawny NSA agent Bill Lane, who almost single- handedly prevented a Russo-American war in old pro Flannery's Winner Take All (1994), does another star turn in foiling a dastardly plot to destabilize the already volatile Mideast. Read full book review >
MANHATTAN NOCTURNE by Colin Harrison
MYSTERY & CRIME
Released: Sept. 1, 1996

"Sordid stuff sure to tickle any voyeur's fancy, written with skill and considerable visceral force—even if occasionally straying beyond the credible. (Author tour)"
In fair homage to the noir tradition, Harrison (Bodies Electric, 1993, etc.) turns all of Manhattan into one man's personal sinkhole, where he can indulge a passion for moment-of- death stories and the twists elevating brute violence into tragedy. Read full book review >
Kirkus Interview
Morgan Matson
July 25, 2016

The Unexpected Everything is a YA feel-good story of friendship, finding yourself, and all the joys in life that happen while you’re busy making other plans. Andie has a plan. And she always sticks to her plan. Future? A top-tier medical school. Dad? Avoid him as much as possible (which isn’t that hard considering he’s a Congressman and he’s never around). Friends? Palmer, Bri, and Toby—pretty much the most awesome people on the planet, who needs anyone else? Relationships? No one’s worth more than three weeks. So it’s no surprise that Andie’s got her summer all planned out too. Until a political scandal costs Andie her summer pre-med internship, and lands both she and Dad back in the same house together for the first time in years. Suddenly she’s doing things that aren’t Andie at all. “Romance fans will find plenty to enjoy, as Andie gradually lets down her guard and risks the messy and unpredictable wonder of first love,” our reviewer writes. “A novel best read on a lazy summer day with sand between the toes.” View video >