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The Last Magazine: A Novel

I found myself wishing that The Last Magazine wasn’t the last fiction that Michael Hastings survived to write.


World of Trouble: The Last Policeman Book III

Winters makes riveting entertainment out of both an old dog and his new tricks.


The Mad and the Bad

The Mad and the Bad is a lot like a rollercoaster: it builds anticipation with a steady-but-not-too-slow climb, then it drops you into a high-speeding, sharp-turning, upside-down spinning ride that is both joyous and slightly terrifying (or, in this case, grotesque).


Yeah! Yeah! Yeah!: The Story of Pop Music from Bill Haley to Beyoncé

Like the print version of an endless, time-filling BBC series—even the most interested readers will likely do a lot of fast-forwarding.


Last Stories and Other Stories

Exquisite: beautifully, perfectly imagined and written. Weird, too. A little heavy for the beach, perhaps, but perfect reading for the Day of the Dead.


The Hundred-Year House

Makkai strikes a smartly absurdist tone as her characters nervously await impending doom from the uneventful Y2K bug, but while the novel is both funny and smart at times, Makkai fails to make the estate the foreboding character it needs to be to both ground and uproot these privileged characters who can't see how lucky they are and how self-absorbed their lives have become.


Red Winter: A Novel
Kirkus Reviews : Red Winter (July 16, 2014)

Although the hero’s guilt becomes nearly as burdensome to the plot as to him, Smith (The Child Thief, 2013, etc.) adeptly builds both characterization and suspense in Nikolai’s race to find his family before his former comrades find him.


Cut and Thrust

The political convention as family reunion, with lots of drama, no sustained plot and all the regulars acting pretty much as you’d expect.


Everyone Lies

The pseudonymous pair who write as Garrett skillfully weave just enough of the crime-solving partners’ past and hints about a more hopeful future to add even more suspense to the fast-paced plot.


The Bone Orchard

The question of who shot Kathy Frost is less urgent than the question of how many more enemies Mike (Bad Little Falls, 2012, etc.) can make in the state of Maine before he burns a hole in the map and drops headlong through it.


Blade of the Samurai

Hiro and Father Mateo’s second adventure (Claws of the Cat, 2013) combines enlightenment on 16th-century Japanese life with a sharp and well-integrated mystery.


World of Trouble: The Last Policeman Book III

This final installment in Winters’ trilogy is the weakest, marked by a falling off of both the writing and the story that made the first entry worthwhile. Perhaps the world lasted 14 days too long.


Wayfaring Stranger: A Novel

Instead of focusing on the wages of long-ago sin, as he generally does, Burke shows the sins actually being committed over several fraught years in the nation’s history. The result is a new spaciousness married to his fine-tuned sense of retribution.


Last Orders

Some readers may find the conclusion messy and unsatisfying, but that’s part of Turtledove’s argument: War often is.


Invisible Beasts

One doubt Muir doesn’t quell is whether such a fanciful treatise has a chance of enlightening that organism, but she deserves a good-size audience to give the experiment a fair shot.


Enemies at Home

Flavia's slow-moving second mystery is a solidly plotted traditional whodunit with some nice historical touches. As the heroine become more fully fleshed, her challenges become more and more interesting.


The Heist
Kirkus Reviews : The Heist (July 15, 2014)

With "a fallen British spy, a one-eyed Italian policeman, a master art thief, [and] a professional assassin from the island of Corsica," Allon’s 14th caper is a fun read.


Tomorrow and Tomorrow

He has created a towering, trippy, potent first novel with a delicious and distinctive voice.


Nobody Is Ever Missing

All told, NOBODY IS EVER MISSING is a powerhouse of a book, and one that assuredly can take its place in a continuum of feminist literature...


California: A Novel
Bookreporter : California (July 11, 2014)

Her book is a post-apocalyptic variation on the commune novel... Cross a hippie book like T.C. Boyle’s Drop City with the sensibility of a George Saunders, and you’d have a work that resembles California.