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Tag Archive for ‘thriller’

A novelist revisits the Russian Revolution

Lenin’s Roller Coaster (Jack McColl #3), by David Downing @@@ (3 out of 5) When the Russian Revolution erupted in 1917, it was by no means clear that Vladimir Lenin’s Bolsheviks would come into power. Even after Lenin and his allies seized the reins of government in Moscow and Leningrad late in the year, the… 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 ›

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 ›

Devil worship and murder in this early Inspector Rebus novel

Hide and Seek (Inspector Rebus #2), by Ian Rankin @@@@ (4 out of 5) Detective Sergeant John Rebus (later Inspector Rebus) is pulled from a pressing murder investigation by his boss to become the front man in a new citywide campaign to combat drug trafficking. Since this leaves him with little to do, and since… Read More ›

A spy story that will keep you guessing

The Travelers: A Novel, by Chris Pavone @@@@@ (5 out of 5) In his third novel, The Travelers, Chris Pavone weaves a tale so baffling that you’re likely to be shocked again and again as the truth at the heart of the story gradually floats to the surface. Once again, as in his previous books,… Read More ›

Going undercover for the CIA in ISIS

The Prisoner (John Wells #11), by Alex Berenson @@@@@ (5 out of 5) To uncover the identity of a mole in the CIA, John Wells must go undercover again. A long time earlier, he had spent years with Al Qaeda in Afghanistan and Pakistan. At the time, he was the CIA’s only source of first-hand… Read More ›

48 excellent mystery and thriller series

Two years ago I posted a list of my 36 favorite mystery and thriller series. What follows is an updated version of that list. I’ve made several changes in my Top 10 list. I’ve also added 12 titles—and demoted a few to a new category of “Not-so-great series.” Unless you’re a devoted fan of the… Read More ›

The first in a series of great detective novels

Knots and Crosses (Inspector Rebus #1), by Ian Rankin @@@@@ (5 out of 5) John Rebus makes his debut as a Detective Sergeant in the Edinburgh police in Knots and Crosses. He’s been on the force for fifteen years following a decorated career in the British Army and, for a time, in the original special… 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 original hard-boiled detective?

Red Harvest (Continental Op #1), by Dashiell Hammett @@@@ (4 out of 5) Maybe he wasn’t the original hard-boiled detective. But he was certainly among the first. His creator, Dashiell Hammett, called him “the Continental op.” And the New York Times termed Hammett “the dean of the… ‘hard-boiled’ school of detective fiction” in its obituary… Read More ›