All the Old Knives by Olen Steinhauer

All the Old Knives is a great read. Taut, fast-paced, and full of suspense and intrigue. It has the quintessential Steinhauer exploration of the human psyche and the espionage world as a stage for asking questions about truth and deception; about the way lies warp and change our relationships and our own self-conception.

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In the Mail: Agent X

Cynics will enjoy the portrayal of all FBI administrators as butt-covering careerists, but Vail, equal parts Sherlock Holmes and Dirty Harry, strains credulity. Not as strong as The Bricklayer, but fans won’t want to give up on the series yet.

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In the Mail: Bitter Legacy

Bitter Legacy (Matt Royal Mysteries) by H. Terrell Griffin Booklist Review Griffin’s Matt Royal novels may be the closest approximation we have today to John D. MacDonald in his pulp-fiction prime. Griffin’s characters are as stark as a man in a trench coat under a street light. They all have backstories that give them depth, and they possess that lovable quality of players in radio-era dramas with which MacDonald infused the characters in his Travis McGee series. In ...

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The Queen of Patpong by Timothy Hallinan

I am a big fan of the Poke Rafferty series by Timothy Hallinan so I try to keep up with the latest release but for various reasons I have been falling behind. My mother-in-law bought me the latest in the series, The Queen of Patpong, and I read it in early September. But work and life intervened and I never managed to post a review here. Allow me to rectify that now. I won’t leave you in suspense. I loved the book as usual. But it wasn’t neccesarily a foregone conclusion. This book...

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Saving Max by Antoinette van Heugten

I will confess that I was initially drawn to Saving Max because my son’s name is Max. I noticed the name over at NetGalley and decided it was worth a read. Here is publisher’s synopsis: Max Parkman—autistic and whip-smart, emotionally fragile and aggressive—is perfect in his mother’s eyes. Until he’s accused of murder. Attorney Danielle Parkman knows her teenage son Max’s behavior has been getting worse—using drugs and lashing out. But she can’t...

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