Perdido Street Station by China Mieville

Synopsis: When a brilliant and ruthless scientist is asked by mutilated being to help it to fly, his research unleashes a deadly terror on the sprawling, rambunctious, decadent city of New Crobuzon, and only his belief in crisis theory may save the human and non-human inhabitants, including Isaac’s lover Lin, a khepri with the body of a beautiful woman and a scarab beetle for a head. Review: I have long passed over China Mieville out of a kind of reverse snobbery, assuming that a writer…

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The Husband’s Secret by Liane Moriarty

Synopsis: If you found a letter from your husband saying “do not open until I’m dead,” what would you do? Review: I think the fact that it’s taken me a week to write this review says all you need to know about how I felt about The Husband’s Secret. Bland, forgettable, lacking in narrative oomph… bummer. Share on Facebook

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Mr. Mercedes by Stephen King

Synopsis: A recently retired detective finds his suicidal urges lifting when he receives a taunting letter from someone claiming to be the man who drove a stolen Mercedes into a crowd of job seekers, killing many of them, including a baby. Review: I really don’t have much to say about Mr. Mercedes, except that I really wish Stephen King would stop writing black characters who like to talk like racist caricatures on purpose, only to have their white liberal friends laugh knowingly. I am really…

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Shirley: A Novel by Susan Scarf Merrell

Synopsis: A young couple spends a year at Bennington College living with gothic writer Shirley Jackson and her philandering husband. Review: George and Martha from Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf? have nothing on Shirley and Stanley, in real life (as chronicled in the wonderful biography Private Demons), and Shirley: A Novel delivers every ounce of juice you would hope for. Even better–the plot and characters are nothing short of excellent. Author Susan Scarf Merrell uses a thriller structure, and the plot is filled with allusions,…

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Close Reach by Jonathan Moore

Synopsis: Kelly and her husband Dean have sold everything to live at sea, but their dreams of repairing their broken marriage are shattered when their radio signal is jammed after hearing a terrifying cry for help and a battered fishing vessel comes alongside them–with no intention of helping. Review: Close Reach scared me to death, and I loved every minute of it. It’s a tightly crafted thriller set in a fabulously spooky world (in the middle of the ocean near the Drake Passage to Antarctica),…

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Before I Wake by C.L. Taylor

Synopsis: When her daughter falls into a coma, a politician’s wife goes searching for the truth, even as a past abusive relationship and her own mental instability come back to haunt her. Review: Before I Wake was a wild enough ride. It had enough juicy backstory to keep me engaged even though the present-day mystery was a bit of a slog. Though Susan’s sordid previous relationship didn’t hit any fresh notes, it attacked all the expected ones with gusto. The mystery was a little implausible…

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