More than 700 book reviews

Tag Archive for ‘Crime’

Donna Leon’s latest is not “one of her best”

Earthly Remains (Commissario Brunetti #26), by Donna Leon @@ (2 out of 5) For some reason I cannot fathom, Marilyn Stasio raved about Earthly Remains. Stasio has been editing a column on crime fiction for the New York Times Book Review—forever, it seems. Her recommendations are often good. But this one wasn’t. She called this… Read More ›

A Nazi medal in Sweden triggers a journey into the past

The Hidden Child (Patrik Hedström and Erica Falck #5), by Camilla Läckberg @@@@ (4 out of 5) Once upon a time French classicists derived the principles of drama from Aristotle’s Poetics, proclaiming the “three unities.” This restrictive concept required that a play depict only a single action that takes place in a single location within… Read More ›

Dystopian fiction: 14 standalone novels

Note: I posted this commentary in error on April 3, 2017. It’s incomplete. I’ll repost at a later date once I’ve completed it. Dystopian fiction figures prominently in the work of some of the world’s best science fiction writers. With Donald Trump in the White House, and an increasingly fearful public contemplating the possibility of… Read More ›

A great start to John Lescroart’s Dismas Hardy series

The Vig (Dismas Hardy #2), by John Lescroart @@@@ (4 out of 5) Dismas Hardy’s resumé is a little difficult to understand: former Marine (combat in Vietnam), former San Francisco cop, former Assistant DA, now one-quarter owner of the Shamrock and full-time bartender there. The explanation is simple, though. The events that induced him to… Read More ›

A hitman, burglars, and hackers in the San Fernando Valley

Herbie’s Game (Junior Bender #4), by Timothy Hallinan @@@@ (4 out of 5) After writing three very funny crime novels featuring the professional burglar Junior Bender, Timothy Hallinan produced Herbie’s Game. It’s not as funny. In this fourth novel in the series, Hallinan waxes philosophical in lengthy contemplative passages that show Junior’s serious side. It’s… Read More ›

Forced sterilization, fascists, and serial murder—in Denmark

The Purity of Vengeance (Department Q #4), by Jussi Adler-Olsen @@@@ (4 out of 5) Many Americans harbor an image of Denmark as one of the most progressive and livable countries in the world. That may well be the case—the country’s rankings on global indexes support it—but you might well gain a different impression of… Read More ›

Police corruption in suburbia

Where It Hurts (Gus Murphy #1), by Reed Farrel Coleman @@@@ (4 out of 5) After decades of reading mysteries and thrillers, I still frequently encounter authors whose names are new to me—but are described as “bestselling” and sometimes have dozens of novels to their credit. Reed Farrel Coleman is the latest example. Author of… Read More ›

Karin Slaughter’s tale of neo-Nazis and meth in rural Georgia

Beyond Reach (Grant County #6), by Karin Slaughter @@@@ (4 out of 5) Detective Lena Adams of the Grant County Police is in trouble again. On a visit to her home town, she witnesses the gruesome murder of a friend on the back seat of a car she has been forced to drive. While sitting… Read More ›

The joy of San Francisco noir

Dead Irish (Dismas Hardy #1), by John Lescroart @@@@@ (5 out of 5) San Francisco bartender Dismas Hardy was briefly a patrol officer in the SFPD while he worked toward a law degree. He left the law shortly after the death of an infant son and divorce from his wife. But when his boss and… Read More ›

“The godmother of modern Norwegian crime fiction”

Blind Goddess (Hanne Wilhelmsen #1), by Anne Holt @@ (2 out of 5) Blind Goddess is the first of nine entries to date in Anne Holt’s series of detective novels featuring Oslo Detective Inspector Hanne Wilhelmsen. I don’t plan to read any of the rest of them. When Jo Nesbø proclaimed Holt “the godmother of… Read More ›