McDevitt, Jack. The Devil’s Eye.

NY: Ace, 2008.

This is the fourth in McDevitt’s SF adventure series featuring antiquities dealer Alex Benedict and his pilot and sidekick, Chase Kolpath (who seems to have taken over duties as the narrator), and it isn’t quite as good as the first three, in my opinion.


Published in: on 3 July 2020 at 9:02 am  Comments (1)  

Larkwood, A. K. The Unspoken Name.

NY: Tor, 2020.

I’ve managed to read quite a few really good books over the years, partly because I get through a lot of reviews beforehand, so I usually know what to expect going in. It’s not often I get really blown away unexpectedly. But this time? Wow. Just wow. I know nothing whatever about the author except that she studied at Cambridge and lives in Oxford, and that this is apparently her debut novel.


Roberts, Lisa Brown. How (Not) to Fall in Love.

Ft.Collins, CO: Entangled Publishing, 2015.

As in every literary genre, there are plenty of mediocre, slap-dash young adult novels out there — but, contrary to the generalizations made about them by some (probably elitist) readers, there are also a surprising number of good ones. This one isn’t great literature and it’s not even terribly original in its theme or plot line, but it’s still rather above the average of published fiction.


Griffiths, Elly. The Dark Angel.

NY: Houghton Mifflin, 2018.

This author’s series of mystery novels featuring forensic archaeologist Dr. Ruth Galloway have all been pretty good, but this time she even gets to leave Norfolk for sunny Italy for awhile. An Italian colleague with whom she had a pleasant one-night stand years before has requested her assistance with a burial site in the Liri Valley, near the ancient monastery of Monte Cassino.


Morton, Kate. The Secret Keeper.

NY: Simon & Schuster, 2012.

I read The Lake House awhile back and was thoroughly caught up in the narrative. Morton is a first-rate storyteller. That book dealt with the theme of family secrets, and this one does, too. The first (and main) POV character, though there are several others, is Laurel Nicolson, who grew up happy with her three sisters and much younger brother in a rural English farmhouse.


McCammon, Robert R. Boy’s Life.

NY: Pocket Books, 1991.

McCammon is a novelist. But more than that — and more important, he’s a storyteller. And the thing about a well-told story is, it’s like sitting down on your sofa with a beer and simply listening to someone while he tells you interesting things. A well-told story is also a lot like life, in that much of what happens seems minor, ordinary, day-to-day. Just the routine stuff that happens between getting up and going to bed.


Published in: on 12 May 2020 at 3:36 am  Leave a Comment  
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McDevitt, Jack. Seeker.

NY: Ace Books, 2005.

McDevitt is, generally, one of our more reliable SF authors, and his far-future “Alex Benedict” series is some of his best work. Alex is a dealer in antiquities out on Rimway, at the edge of human-inhabited space — he’s emphatically not an archaeologist, which regularly gets him sneered at by the academics.


Taylor, Jodi. No Time Like the Past.

Abercyon, UK: Accent Press, 2015.

This is the fifth book in the marvelous series about the time-traveling historians of St. Mary’s Institute, as seen mostly from the perspective of Dr. Madeleine Maxwell, Chief of Operations. St. Mary’s barely survived being besieged by the Time Police but now they’ve mostly rebuilt themselves and the History Department is back in business.


Morgan, Rachel. The Faerie Guardian.

np: Amazon Digital Services, 2012, 2015.

I confess I got a little confused when I first saw this book. Kim Harrison, who hails from the Cincinnati area, has done a series of mostly quite good fantasy novels about witches and demons and vampires and whatnot, and there’s a fair amount of romance to be found in them, too. The main character’s name in that series is “Rachel Morgan.”


Winslow, Don. California Fire and Life.

NY: Random House, 1999.

I sort of got hooked recently on Don Winslow via his most recent book, The Winter of Frankie Machine. I discovered that he writes very exciting, very well thought-out crime novels, which are also very funny (though sometimes in a macbre way). They’ve won a number of awards and have been finalists for a great many more.