10 years ago

An unsuccessful Patricia Cornwell novel not about Kay Scarpetta

After reading one too many of Patricia Cornwell’s Kay Scarpetta crime novels, I convinced myself that the author had grown tired of her stock characters and would need to strike out in a new direction sometime soon or lose much of her audience. At Risk, which features another brilliant investigator steeped in high-tech forensic techniques, […]

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10 years ago

Alan Furst’s superb novel, “Spies of the Balkans”

In the long, tense years of the Cold War, spy stories and films grounded in the rivalry between East and West appeared in such profusion that the genre degenerated into self-parody, eventually giving birth to bawdy satires. The public, it appeared, had long since ceased taking spy novels seriously. Then, in 1988, came Alan Furst […]

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10 years ago

About cakes, cattle, and the passing of the old ways

For any reader looking for respite from the unrelenting violence of the world we live in, The Double Comfort Safari Club is a worthy antidote. The characters in this novel “. . . talked about all sorts of things . . .: about weddings and children and money. About cattle. About jealousy and envy and […]

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10 years ago

Crime and punishment in Scott Turow’s Kindle County

More than twenty years ago, Chicago attorney Scott Turow gained a large following with a brilliant legal thriller, Presumed Innocent. In this sequel, his ninth novel set in fictional Kindle County, Turow updates the tale with another gripping murder mystery informed by his long experience practicing law. Innocent takes up the story of Kindle County […]

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10 years ago

The captivating third entry in Stieg Larsson’s Millennium series

First things first: The Girl Who Kicked the Hornet’s Nest is unquestionably the most successful of Stieg Larsson’s three-volume Millennium series about Lisbeth Salander. Salander, one of the most extraordinary characters ever to inhabit the printed page, is one of a large cast that includes the author’s fantasy doppelganger, the journalist Mikael Blomkvist; Mikael’s colleagues […]

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