last week

A deeply affecting tale of child trafficking in India today

Djinn Patrol on the Purple Line is one of the most highly praised novels of the past year. It’s the fiction debut of Deepa Anappara, an Indian journalist transposed to London. It seems likely that in other hands, the story she tells in this novel might well have wandered off into sensationalism, pathos, or worse. […]

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3 weeks ago

Political opposition research dominates this edgy thriller

Lies, conspiracy theories, dirty tricks, and attack ads represent the ugly side of politics to the public at large. But the down-and-dirtiest aspects of election campaigns today emerge from political opposition research, or “oppo” in the jargon of the trade. In hopes of uncovering some hidden scandal in the life of an opposing candidate, a […]

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last month

A WWII thriller about Nazi “vengeance weapons”

Long before Adolf Hitler launched World War II in Europe, he started the push to develop the superweapons he believed would make Germany invincible. As early as 1936 his minions began construction of the Peenemünde Army Research Centre. There, German scientists and engineers pioneered in the development of guided missiles, the most famous of which […]

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last month

A standalone thriller from Jo Nesbø set in rural Norway

There’s something wrong with the Opgard brothers. They’re both hard-working, clever, and good-looking to boot. The sheriff knows something’s amiss, but he can’t prove it. Roy’s the village’s car mechanic, and he runs the local service station well enough to keep the corporate owners happy. And Carl, back after sixteen years in North America, returns […]

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a couple of months ago

It looks like science fiction but it’s not

You’d think that a novel centered on cutting-edge research on the frontiers of particle physics would fit easily into the genre of science fiction, and hard science fiction at that. After all, it’s about the work in a lab at Dartmouth College by a man who appears to be on the path to a Nobel […]

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7 months ago

An all-too timely thriller about a pandemic

Lawrence Wright’s novel debuted as COVID-19 flared up around the world, so it’s no surprise that the book has been marketed as a thriller about a pandemic. It is that, of course, but only in part. More accurately described, The End of October is a story of human folly and the self-destructive tendencies of the […]

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7 months ago

A hurricane, a murder, and a nursing home scam

John Grisham is widely regarded as a master of suspense. His facility with plots that steadily build anticipation toward a shattering and often surprising climax is legendary. But in his latest, he departs from the pattern. Camino Winds is a curious example of a novel that’s really two books in one. The first is all […]

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8 months ago

A classic mystery novel about a creepy criminal

If you check out just about any list of classic mystery novels, you’re likely to come across The Talented Mr. Ripley by Patricia Highsmith (1921-95). And it’s easy to understand why. When it was published in 1955, it must have created a sensation. Kirkus published a brief spoiler review of the book on November 30, […]

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