Rankin, Ian. Even Dogs in the Wild.

NY: Little, Brown, 2015.

John Rebus, homicide specialist with the Edinburgh police, has retired twice already but he just can’t stop being a cop. This time, he’s called in to act as a consultant by DI Siobhan Clarke, once his protégé, now an accomplished detective in her own right. The thing is, he was for decades the nemesis of Gerald Morris Cafferty, local crime lord, and the two men, while never friends, have reached a sort of rapprochement in retirement.


Published in: on 30 July 2016 at 3:33 pm  Leave a Comment  
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Ellis, Robert. City of Echoes.

Seattle: Thomas Mercer, 2015.

This author is new to me, though he appears to have done half a dozen previous novels. Matt Jones is an LAPD detective newly assigned to Robbery/Homicide — the gold ring for Los Angeles cops — and he’s supposed to be meeting his best friend and mentor on the force for a celebratory supper when he’s called to a murder scene down the block from the restaurant — which turns out to be his friend, dead in a hail of large-caliber lead, apparently a victim of a robber the media calls the Three-Piece Bandit.


Crais, Robert. Chasing Darkness.

NY: Simon & Schuster, 2008.

Crais is one of the more reliable writers of crime fiction around, both in his handful of independent novels and in the sixteen books featuring Los Angeles private investigator Elvis Cole and his friend and partner, Joe Pike. Cole is a professional, mostly doing work for attorneys, much of it very routine, but that’s what pays the bills.


Appel, Allen. Time After Time.

NY: Carroll & Graf, 1985.

Among science fiction sub-genres, I’m a great fan of time-travel stories — and yet I somehow missed this first volume of an outstanding trilogy for more than a decade after its publication. How did I never hear of it or read a review? Because it certainly received a good deal of well-deserved attention among the reviewers. God only knows. But I’ve read all three volumes more than once in the thirty years since.


Cleeves, Ann. Thin Air.

NY: St. Martin, 2014.

It’s been a year now since Fran Hunter died, and while Inspector Jimmy Perez will never, ever forget her, he has at least returned to the world of the living and resumed his duties running the Shetland Islands’ small police force. This time, the story involves a party of six young professionals from London, three couples, who are visiting Unst, the northernmost island of the Shetlands — the most northerly community in the UK, in fact, a place where the sun never sets in midsummer.


Higashino, Keigo. Salvation of a Saint.

NY: St. Martin, 2012.

This is the second novel featuring Tokyo homicide detective Kusanagi and his physicist friend, Yukawa, who helps out the police with their more technical mysteries and puzzles, and who has become known to the cops as “Detective Galileo.” The mystery this time centers on the death by arsenic poisoning in his own kitchen of Yoshitoka Mashiba, a corporate CEO.


Storm, Matthew. Interesting People.

np: Cranberry Lane Press, 2015.

This final volume of the “Interesting Times” trilogy is definitely a rouser. At the end of the previous installment, Sally Rain, who caused most of the trouble (but with the best of intentions), had been exiled to The Island indefinitely by the ancient little girl Artemis,


Storm, Matthew. Interesting Places.

np: Cranberry Lane Press, 2015.

At the end of the first volume, Interesting Times, Oliver Jones had traded in his dull life as a stock analyst for a sometimes too-exciting job with the Araneae Group that involves carrying firearms and taking on problems ranging from free-range vampires to alternate Earths.


Storm, Matthew. Interesting Times.

np: Cranberry Lane Press, 2013.

Oliver Jones is a financial analyst for a small San Francisco hedge fund and his life is a succession of gray, dull days. He has acquaintancances but no friends, no love life, no hobbies. He doesn’t even dream.


Published in: on 11 July 2016 at 5:24 am  Leave a Comment  
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Atwood, Margaret. The Stone Mattress.

NY: Random House, 2014.

To my mind, Atwood is one of the two or three greatest living writers in English. In each of her novels and short stories, what she has to say is always worth hearing. And the way in which she says it will hold your attention, make you think, and make you laugh. She’s completely accessible, too, not abstract and Joycean. And this doesn’t happen by accident, as her expert critical essays make clear. I always pick up Atwood’s latest book with pleasurable anticipation, and I’ve never been disappointed.