Thrillers Book Reviews (page 497)

PANDORA'S CLOCK by John J. Nance
THRILLERS
Released: Aug. 11, 1995

"A couple of nominal romantic subplots, one in flight and the other on the ground, detract needlessly from what could have been an impressively taut performance. (Literary Guild selection; author tour)"
Nance (Phoenix Rising, 1994, etc) treads on familiar groundor flies at familiar altitudein his latest: a big ol' jet airliner thrillfest that finds additional inspiration in the recent wave of killer-virus paranoia. Read full book review >
A PERFECT SOLDIER by Ralph Peters
THRILLERS
Released: Aug. 8, 1995

"West clashes did not end with the Cold War."
A very well-done if bleak and cynical chiller from an old pro (The Flames of Heaven, 1993, etc.) in which Army counterintelligence operatives battle hit men from an erstwhile Soviet republic. Read full book review >

MURDER AMONG FRIENDS by Jonnie Jacobs
MYSTERY & CRIME
Released: Aug. 1, 1995

"Busy, chatty, and as much like Kate's debut (Murder Among Neighbors, 1994) as one more Buick rolling off the line."
More mild suburban malice for art consultant Kate Austen, whose client Mona Sterling is found dead (pills and Scotch) on her sofa. Read full book review >
ALTERNATE SIDES by Marissa Piesman
MYSTERY & CRIME
Released: Aug. 1, 1995

"Yuppies at play, in what feels like a weeklong lunch at a kosher deli."
Such a problem: Should Legal Service lawyer Nina Fischman keep her place in the West 70s or move in with ad exec Jonathan Harris all the way over in the East 80s? Read full book review >
CONFLICTS OF INTEREST by John Martel
THRILLERS
Released: Aug. 1, 1995

"Occasionally tense, but bombast and lawyerly histrionics can't compensate for the lack of a believable plot."
A convoluted and overlong second legal thriller from big-time, San Francisco-based trial lawyer Martel (Partners, 1988). Read full book review >

CEMETERY OF ANGELS by Noel Hynd
THRILLERS
Released: Aug. 1, 1995

"Chilling ghost scenes enrich Hynd's suspense-powered plot, but disposable characters and subplots may inspire some to close the graveyard gates mid-service."
Hynd's latest entry in the horror genre (A Room for the Dead, 1994, not reviewed): an uneven tale of past lives, guardian spirits, and treachery that's marked by both the best and the worst qualities of the author's spy novels. Read full book review >
THE TAKEOVER by Stephen Frey
THRILLERS
Released: Aug. 1, 1995

"The bottom line: standard and poor. (First printing of 200,000; film rights to Paramount; Book-of-the-Month Club featured alternate; $125,000 ad/promo)"
For all the advance hype, investment banker Frey's first novel, an over-the-top Wall Street/Washington thriller that's less imaginative than paranoid, falls far short of blue-chip, let alone blockbuster, status. Read full book review >
VIRUS by Graham Watkins
SCIENCE FICTION & FANTASY
Released: Aug. 1, 1995

"Not hopeless, but not all that thrilling either."
Serviceable technothriller from Watkins, who seems to have undertaken a full retreat from the kinky excess of Kaleidoscope Eyes (1993): the boffing here is strictly virtual. Read full book review >
THE VALENTINE LEGACY by Catherine Coulter
THRILLERS
Released: Aug. 1, 1995

"Without a scrap of period ambiance, and buffeted by marathon titillation, Coulter's romances, even so, have pace, humor, and, above all, a welcome cheerfulness."
Third confection in Coulter's circa-Regency Legacy romances, with a formula by now etched in marzipan: strong-minded, beautiful, unsinkable heroine; marital sex spread lavishly and in lavender; a concluding bit of mystery and suspense. Read full book review >
THE GHOSTS OF SLEATH by James Herbert
THRILLERS
Released: Aug. 1, 1995

"Familiar stuff, working toward Sleath's invasion by a flesh- mist, but page by page Herbert grips by anchoring us into his skeptical psychic investigator."
For his 17th horror novel, Herbert goes back to Haunted (1989) to recover his footing after some weaker tries to scare the reader. Read full book review >
BLACK LIGHTNING by John Saul
THRILLERS
Released: Aug. 1, 1995

"However banal the plot, the suspense works, ensuring the readership of many. (Literary Guild alternate selection)"
Bestselling horror writer Saul (The Homing, 1994, etc.) presents the serial killer you can't kill, even with 2,000 volts of electricity flooding through him for two minutes. Read full book review >
THE TRICKSTER by Muriel Gray
FICTION & LITERATURE
Released: Aug. 1, 1995

"May she instead avoid the bear trap clichÇs of genre fiction and go mainstream."
Intolerance and archetypal horror entwine like snakes in this gripper set in the Canadian Rockies: a first from Scottish TV broadcaster Gray. 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 >