The Black Echo (Review)

Michael Connelly is well-regarded among a subset of mystery fans, so I thought I’d see what all the fuss is about – and I started at the begining. The Black Echo is the book that introduced the world to Heironymous "Harry" Bosch in 1992. And I did see what all the fuss is about ……

Young Americans (Review)

Since Josh Stallings’ Young Americans seems likely to win a Lefty, I figured I’d better read it. Also, it takes place in the mid-70s, aka "America’s Best Years." Also also, it takes place in the Glam Rock 70s, which was the best part of the 70s. And it’s an Elmore Leonard-style heist novel. What’s not…

Back of Beyond (review)

C J Box’s Back of Beyond reads like a rush project. It has an intriguing premise, a hook that locks in your interest early, but almost nothing else. The plot doesn’t work, the characters are cartoons, the action is filler unconvincing and unnecessary, the solution is unsatisfying and the writing is … I was going…

Death Without Company (Review)

Once upon a time I read Craig Johnson’s The Cold Dish and liked it. It had some rough edges to be sure, but nothing that couldn’t be explained by it being a debut novel. I felt certain the next entry in the series would be better. Unfortunately, I’m wrong about that. Death Without Company has…

The Cold Dish (Review)

Somehow I’ve missed out on both Longmire and the series of books on which it’s based. I was barely aware of the show, and when I picked up The Cold Dish recently, I wasn’t even aware of the connection. I’d just seen a passing favorable mention of the book series on a blog and got…

The Silkworm (Review)

A good mystery should end with the reader slapping his forehead and saying "I realy should have seen that!" Robert Galbraith(aka JK Rowling)’s The Silkworm is like that except for the part where you slap yourself on the head. In this one, it’s more like you groan, say "of course," and then think you would…

Gone Girl (Review)

Let’s get one thing straight: Gillian Flynn’s Gone Girl is overrated, but that doesn’t keep it from being excellent. What does that mean? Mostly it means that the book fails on a lot of the terms that people think it succeeds, but it still manages to succeed where it counts. Let’s explore. It’s only fair…

Dead of Winter (Review)

PJ Parrish’s Dead of Winter is one of those books where the pacing and plot are so good, and the characters at least good enough, that you don’t initially notice how trite it is. Louis Kincaid is a black cop recently out of work, having exposed some corruption at his last job in Mississippi. So…

The Return (Review)

Three things strike me on having finished HÃ¥kan Nesser’s The Return. The first is that I wonder how much Japanese crime fiction, if any, Nesser’s read. I wonder that because lots of Japanese crime fiction – especially Japanese police procedurals – use the basic pattern that’s employed here: A series of events gives an inspector…